Philatelic Literature Recommendations
by members
of the eBay Users Stamp Club

Presented at meeting on December 15, 1999

Part I

On December 15, 1999, the eBay Users Stamp Club meeting agenda was:

Topic: Philatelic Literature

What books, catalogues and journals do you find essential to your enjoyment of the hobby?
Which ones do you refer to all the time?
Which reference books live on your desk permanently?
Which auction catalogues make the best references?
Which philatelic books were total wastes of money?

This Part I page and a second page (there is a link to Part II at the bottom of the page) report the results of a very productive philatelic literature discussion.  Further recommendations have been received resulting in the addition of several volumes.

The listing is certainly not complete but it does provide an excellent start for the philatelist searching for information or looking for suggestions for his philatelic library.  As might be expected the listing is most complete for United States philately.  Many readers will be disappointed that the key philatelic reference for their specialty has been omitted.  That is not by intent but rather by not being included in the interests of the people who have contributed.

In general, I have tried to use the same citation as is found in the American Philatelic Research Library on-line catalogue.  I have also tried to minimize the citations of editions and dates.  I would encourage those with interest in a particular volume to ask literature dealers or other knowledgeable collectors which editions are the most appropriate for their use.

Thanks for the help I have already received in correcting and completing this reference.  Please send further corrections, recommendations, and comments to Editor.

Sources of Philatelic Literature:

American Philatelic Research Library;
eBay Auctions
Phil Bansner;
James Bendon;
Leonard Hartmann;
James E. Lee;
Jim Mehrer;
Saskatoon Stamp Centre, and
Vera Trinder.


American Philatelic Congress The Congress Book (published annually since 1935  -- 65 volumes through 1999)  There is a "searchable" on-line listing of the contents of these volumes at Leonard H. Hartmann's American Philatelic Congress page.  There is also an excellent index for Vol. 1 to Vol. 52 which was published in Philatelic Literature Review, Second Series, Volume 36 No. 3 Whole number 136 3rd Quarter, 1987.  The APC also publishes an index periodically.

American Philatelic Society. Committee on Accreditation of National Exhibitions and Judges. Manual of philatelic judging : how exhibits are judged

Billig, Fritz et al Billig's philatelic handbooks (Published in 44 Volumes.  There is a list of the contents of the 44 volumes at FAQ for the rec.collecting.stamps.discuss Newsgroup in Section 5.2 List of Billig's Philatelic Handbooks)

Billig, Fritz et al Billig's Specialized Catalogs (11 volumes:  Vol. 1, Austria, Vol 2, Czechoslovakia, Vol. 3, Norway, Vol. 4, Greece, Vol. 5, France, Vol. 6, Handbook of the Private Local Posts of the World, Vol. 7, Canada Plate Varieties, Vol. 8, Rocket Mail (2 volumes plus supplements), Vol. 9, Canada War Tax Stamps, Vol. 10, The Hradcany (Czechoslovakia first issue), Vol. 11, French Revenue Stamps)

Billig, Fritz et al Billig's Handbooks on Forgeries (44 volumes) These are described as booklets and cover only the older, more common forgeries. Old German States:  Alsace Lorraine, Baden, Bavaria, Bergedorf, Bremen, Brunswick, Hamburg, Hannover, Heligoland, Lubeck, Mechlenburg-Schwerin and Strelitz, Oldenburg, Saxony, Schlesweg-Holstein, Thurn & Taxis, Wurttemburg.  Italy and Italian States:  Italy, Lombardy Venetia, Modena, Naples, Parma, Romagna, Roman States, Sardinia, Tuscany, Two Sicilies.  Other Countries:  Belgium, Bulgaria, Congo, Greece I, Greece II, Jugoslavia I, Jugosolavia II, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Romania I, Romania II, Romania III, Russia Empire and Levante, Russia Soviet, Samos, Serbia, Turkey I, Turkey II.  Also in English:  Roman States, Congo, Brunswick.

Billig, Fritz et al Billig's Handbooks on Cancellations -- Postmarks (13 volumes: Vol. 1, Schweiz, Vol 2, Baden, Vol. 3, Italian, Vol. 4, Lombardy-Venetia, Vol. 5, Sizilien, Vol. 6, Osterreich, Vol. 7, Samos, Vol. 8, United States County and Postmaster Postmarks, Vol. 9, British Postmarks, Vol. 10, Japan, Vol. 11, Postal Markings of The Allied Forces in Great Britain, Vol. 12, U. S. Naval Postmarks, Vol. 13, Spain Postal Markings)

Cabeen, Richard McP. Standard handbook of stamp collecting

Datz, Stephen R. Top dollar paid! : the complete guide to selling your stamps

Harlow, Alvin F. Paper Chase : the amenities of stamp collecting

Herst, Herman, Jr. Nassau Street : a quarter century of stamp dealing

Lee, James E. Philtelic literature catalog

Lindquist, H. L. The stamp specialist (20 volumes.  Mike Lau/Jiim Watson listing of the contents of the 20 volumes.)

Mosiondz, Peter, Jr. Successful stamp dealing : tried and tested tips and techniques

Neil, Randy L. The Philatelic Exhibitors Handbook; The New Philatelic Exhibitors Handbook (2nd Ed. 1995)

The Philatelic Foundation, Various Authors, Opinions I - VI : philatelic expertizing - an inside view (6 vols.)

Rowe, Kenneth The postal history and markings of the forwarding agents (1996 edition)

Williams, Leon Norman Williams, Maurice Fundamentals of philately

United States:

American Air Mail Society American Airmail Catalogue: a reference listing of the airposts of the world Vol 1-5, 5th edition

Appleton, D., and Company / Wilson, James Grant, 1832-1914 Appletons' cyclopaedia of American biography Volumes include Supplements. Volume VI includes also an analytical index. Contents: Vol. I. Aaron - Crandall. -- Vol. II. Crane - Grimshaw. -- Vol. III. Grinnell - Lockwood. -- Vol. IV. Lodge - Pickens. -- Vol. V. Pickering - Sumter. -- Vol. VI. Sunderland - Zurita.

Antrim, Earl Civil War prisons and their covers

Arfken, George P. Postage Due:  The US Large Numeral Postage Due Stamps 1879 – 1894

Ashbrook, Stanley B. Ashbrook special service, issues 1-81

Ashbrook, Stanley B. The United States One Cent Stamp of 1851-1857 : the study and story of a single United States stamp, the first of a value of one cent to be issued by our government ; also a review of the postal history and postal markings of the above period (2 Vol.)

Ashbrook, Stanley B. The United States ten cent stamp of 1855-1857

Baker, Hugh J. Bakers' U.S. classics

Baxter, James H. Printing Postage Stamps by Line Engraving

Beecher, Henry W. / Wawrukiewicz, Anthony S. U.S. domestic postal rates, 1872-1993 (This book has been recently updated.)

Bomar, William J. Postal Markings of United States Expositions (1996 2nd edition recommended)

Brazer, Clarence W. Essays for US Adhesive Postage Stamps

Brookman, United States, United Nations and Canada Stamp and Postal Collectibles (2000), Annual catalog lists singles, plate blocks, sheets, first day covers,
USPS year sets. Panels and more. A complete pricing guide.

Brookman, Lester G. The United States Postage Stamps of the 19th Century (3 vols, 1967 edition)

Bruns, James H. Collection and distribution wagon service, 1896-1904

Byne, Richard H. Confederate States of America philatelic subject index and bibliography, 1862-1984

Castenholz, Bill J. Field guide to revenue stamped paper : being a priced catalog of Civil War and Spanish American War checks, drafts, receipts, stocks, bonds and other documents bearing imprinted revenue stamps.  Part 1, The Western States covers AZ, CA, CO HI, ID MT, NV, NM, OR, UT, WA, WY, and British Columbia and Chihuahua, Mexico.  Part 2, The Southern States covers AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, OK, SC, TN, TX, VA, and WV.  Part 3, The Central States covers IL, IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD and WI.  Part 4, The Eastern Central States  covers IN, MI, OH, and PA.  Part 5, The Eastern States covers CT, DE, ME, MD, MA, NH, NJ, RI, VT, Washington, DC, and Ontario, Canada.  Part 6, New York State covers New York State. Part 7, Stocks, Bonds, Railroad Tickets covers documents from all states.

Chase, Carroll The 3 Cent Stamp of the United States 1851-1857 Issue

Chase, Carroll Cabeen, Richard McP. The first hundred years of United States territorial postmarks, 1787/1887

Collectors Institute, Ltd. / Marzulla, Elena Pictorial treasury of U.S. Stamps

Collectors Institute, Ltd. Marzulla, Elena [Pictorial treasury of U.S. stamps. Supplement]

Eds: Cosentini, George Gruenzer, Norman  United States Numbered Military Post Offices - Assignments and Locations 1941-1994

Datz, Stephen R. Catalogue of errors on U.S. postage stamp previously Errors : inverts, imperforates, colors omitted on United States postage stamps / U.S. errors : inverts, imperforates, colors omitted

Deaton, Charles Philatelic guide to the 1936 Texas Centennial Celebration (A)

Dietz, August Skinner, Hubert C. Dietz Confederate States catalog and handbook, The new (1986 edition)

Dougherty, Jim Collector's Guide to 1936 Texas Independence and 1945 Statehood Centennial Cachets (The)

Durland, C. B. et al Durland standard plate number catalog

Evans, Don L. (Donald L.) The United States One Cent Franklin 1861-1867 and an introduction to the postal history of the period

Forte, Jim Helbock, Richard W. A price guide to U.S. A.P.O. cancels of the Second World War

Garrett, Eugene A. Postal history of the Japanese occupation of the Philippines, 1941-1945 (A)

Griffith, Gary United States Stamps 1922-26

Gilman, Kenneth L. Ed. The New Herst-Sampson Catalog: A Guide to 19th Century United States Postmarks and Cancellations

Gruenzner, Norman Postal history of American POWs : World War II, Korea, Vietnam

Hale, Joseph M. Emerson, Charles A. Handbook of Naval postmarks

Hanmer, Russell E. A collector's guide to U. S. Machine Postmarks 1871-1925 with examples of later types

Harrison, Galen D. Prisoners' mail from the American Civil War

Helbock, R. W. Combat Infantry Mail - A Catalog of Postmarks Used by WWII U.S. Infantry Divisions

Hill, Henry W. The United States Five Cent Stamps of 1856-1861

Holcombe, Henry W. Patent medicine tax stamps : a history of firms using United States private die proprietary medicine stamp

Hoover Brothers Hoover Brothers' official precancel stamp catalog

Jensen, Jerry The German handbook : philatelic information for collectors of the German area / The German handbook : a guide for
the English reading collector

Jersey, Stanley C. Postal History of United States Forces in British Solomon Islands Protectorate During WWII

Jersey, Stanley C. New Hebrides Islands - Military Postal History of the United States Forces - 1942-1946

Johl, Max G. The United States commemorative stamps of the twentieth century (2 vols.)

Johl, Max G. King, Beverly The United States postage stamps of the twentieth century (4 vols. -- good for Franklin-Washingtons)

Lane, Maryette B. Harry F. Allen Collection of Black Jacks; A study of the stamp and its use (The)

Leutzinger, John F. The Handstamps of Wells, Fargo & Co. - 1852-1895

Lyons, Larry The identifier for carriers, locals, fakes, forgeries & bogus posts of the United States : a study of the identification of the local stamp adhesive from the forgeries and bogus posts

Markovits, Robert L. United States, the 10 Registry Stamp of 1911

Mehrer, Jim Cross-reference Guide to US Railway Post Office Postmarks

Mehrer, Jim Abbreviations & Misspellings in US Railway Post Office Postmarks

Mellone, Michael A. Planty, Earl Gerald Mellone's Planty photo encyclopedia of cacheted first day covers Contents: Vol. I - 1901-1928 (includes Scott 294 - 645; C3 - C10; E15) -- Vol. II - 1928-1929 (includes Scott 646 - 681; C10A - C11; QE1 -QE3; U522a & UC1) -- Vol. III - 1930-1932 (includes Scott 682 - 715; C12 - C16) -- Vol. IV - 1932 (includes Scott 716 - 724; C17; U436, U437a, U439a, U523-531) -- Vol. V - 1932-1933 (includes Scott 725-731 & UC7) -- Vol. VI - 1933-1934 (includes Scott 732-738 & C18) -- Vol. VII - 1934-1935 (includes Scott 739-771, C19, CE1 & UC3) -- Vol. VIII - 1935-1936 (includes Scott 772-775, C20 & CE2) -- Vol. IX - 1936 (includes Scott 776-778) -- Vol. X - 1936 (includes Scott 782-784).

Micarelli, Charles N. The Micarelli identification guide to U.S. stamps : Regular Issues, 1847-1934

Murphy, Robert T. A Postal History/Cancellation Study of the U.S. Pacific Islands (Including Trust Territories

Nathan, Mel C. Franks of Western expresses

National Postal Museum, ed. Lidman, Centennial Exposition of the 1851 to 1857 Issue  Contains official program for first convention of 3 1851-57 unit of the APS; also 14 articles on the issues.

National Postal Museum, ed. Lidman, U.S. Perforation Centennial 1857-1957 Contains official program for the 1957 of convention of 3 1851-57 unit of the APS; also 22 articles on the perforated issues.

Neil, Randy L. United States of America - The Trans-Mississippi Issue of 1898 / The United States Trans-Mississippi Issue of 1898

Neinken, Mortimer L. Ashbrook, Stanley B. The United States One Cent Stamp of 1851 to 1861

Neinken, Mortimer L. The United States Ten Cent Stamps of 1855-1859 : the plate reconstructions, some postal history and postal markings of the stamps

Neinken, Mortimer L. United States, the 1851-57 Twelve Cent Stamp

Perry, Elliott Pat paragraphs

Petschel, H K Spurious stamps : a history of U.S. postal counterfeits

The Philatelic Foundation. The Philatelic Foundation Seminar series. Textbook no. 3. U.S. postmarks and cancellations  A guide to 19th Century US Postmarks and Cancellations

Piller, Stanley M. New York Postmaster's Provisional (The)

Post Office Department: United States official postal guide, Postal laws and regulations of the United States of America (The), Postal Manual (These volumes have been printed periodically.  Pick one from the era of your interest.)

Precancel Stamp Society, Inc. The Precancel Stamp Society's town and type catalog of the United States and Territories (6th ed)

Richow, Harold E. Encyclopedia of RFD Cancels, 2nd Edition

Rose, Jonathan W. United States postage stamps of 1869 Linn's United States postage stamps of 1869

Rustad, Roland E. Prexies (The)

Schmid, Paul W. The expert's book : a practical guide to the authentication of United States stamps ; Washington/Franklin issues 1908-1923

Schmid, Paul W. How to detect damaged, altered and repaired stamps

Scott Publishing Co. Scott specialized catalogue of United States stamps

Sloane, George B. Sloane's column, a compilation of the subjects arranged by George T. Turner

Sloat, Ralph L. The airmail special delivery stamps of the United States

Skinner, Hubert C. Eno, Amos United States cancellations, 1845-1869 : unusual and representative markings

Starnes, Charles J. United States letter rates to foreign destinations, 1847 to 1876 GPU -- UPU  (more hard to find information than Beecher)

Thorp, Prescott Holden / Bartels, J. Murray Thorp-Bartels catalogue of the stamped envelopes and wrappers of the United States (1954 Edition)

Toppan, George L. / Boston Philatelic Society / Sargent, Roger W. Revenue stamps of the United States, 1862-1899 / An historical reference list of the revenue stamps of the United States, including the private die proprietary stamps / The Boston revenue book

Towle, C. L. U.S. Route and Station Agent Postmarks

Van Dam, Theo. The Postal History of the AEF, 1917-1923

Various Editors, American stampless cover catalog  1st ed. 1965 [xi], 178 p. 2nd ed. 1971 [viii], 225 p. 3rd ed.
1978 [v], 280 p. 4th ed. c1985 - vol. I 396 p., c1987 - vol. II 306 p., c1993 - vol. III xvi, 336 p., c1993 5th ed. c1997 (with reservations about pricing)

United Postal Stationery Society UPSS catalog of the 19th century stamped envelopes and wrappers of the United States (1 of 2 vols, with reservations about pricing)

United Postal Stationery Society / Haller, Austin P. Catalog of the 20th century stamped envelopes supplement 1985-1990 (1 of 2 vols, with reservations about pricing)

United Postal Stationery Society United States postal card catalog ; with special appendix features : exposition postal cards, exposition cancels, machine cancels

United States. Post Office Department. List of post offices in the United States, 1862, including various postal laws and instructions of 1861, 1863, 1864, and 1865 Editor: Theron Wierenga 1981

United States. Post Office Department Description of United States postage stamps, issued by the Post Office Department from July 1, 1847 to [date] (A) Postage stamps of the United States, issued by the Post Office Department from July 1, 1847 to [date] Postage stamps of the United States : an illustrated description of all United States postage and special service stamps issued by the Post Office Department from July 1, 1847 to [date] POD Publication ; 9 (revised)

Universal Ship Cancellation Society Catalog of United States Naval Postmarks Fifth Edition, 1997

Universal Ship Cancellation Society Covers of the United States Rigid Dirigibles

Universal Ship Cancellation Society Naval Cover Cachet Makers Catalog

Wawrukiewicz, Anthony S. / Beecher, Henry W. U.S. international postal rates, 1872-1996

Weiss, William R., Jr. Collecting United States covers and postal history

Weiss, William R. Jr. United States 15 Stamp of 1870 – 1890 (The)

West, Christopher (Elliott Perry) Private Die Match Stamps

West, Christopher (Elliott Perry) Revenue stamps of the United States (The)

West, Christopher (Elliott Perry) United States match and medicine stamps

White, R.H. / Bower, W.R. Encyclopedia of the colors of United States postage stamps Contents: Vol. 1. Issues of 1847-1868 -- Vol. 2. Issues of 1869-1893 -- Vol. 3. Issues of 1894-1907 -- Vol. 4. Issues of 1908-1918 & selected issues -- Supplement to Vol. 3 and 4 : Preservation of United States stamps, 1894-1918 -- Vol. 5. The postage due issues, 1879-1916.

White, R.H. The papers and gums of United States postage stamps, 1847-1909

Willard, Edward L. United States two cent red brown of 1883-1887 (The)


Harradine, Peter W.A. Philippine postage stamps. Handbook,  Section one, - Spanish period, 1854-1898/9

Harradine, Peter W.A. Philippine postage stamps - handbook,  Section two: American period, 1899-1946, & incorporating the Japanese occupation period, 1940-1944/5

Harradine, Peter W.A. Philippine postage stamps - Handbook, Section three: Republican period, 1946-1977 inclusive

Harradine, Peter W.A. Philippine postage stamp handbook, 1854-1982


Birch, J. Alfred Postal history of the United States Virgin Islands (formerly the Danish West Indies)


Baker, J. David Postal history of Indiana (The) (2 volumes)

Bauer, William H. Ozment, James L. Willard, John H. Colorado postal history : the post offices

Bauer, William H. Ozment, James L. Willard, John H. Colorado post offices, 1859-1989 : a comprehensive listing of post offices, stations and branches

Coburn, Jesse L. Letters of Gold - California Postal History through 1869

Gamett, James Paher, Stanley W. Nevada post offices : an illustrated history

Helbock, Richard W. Oregon Post Offices

Slawson, George C. Bingham, Arthur W. Drenan, Sprague W. The postal history of Vermont

Williams, John Ed. California Town Postmarks - 1849-1935 (2 Vols.)


Corbett, Leo Imperial Eagles of Mexico

Chapman, Samuel / Garcia-Larranaga, Roberto The postage stamps of Mexico, 1856-1868, and Additions to "The postage stamps of
Mexico" a book by S. Chapman

Follansbee, Nicholas A catalogue of the stamps of Mexico, 1856-1900

Follansbee, Nicholas The stamps of the Mexican Revolution, 1913-1916

Herrasti, Salvador Relaciones de valor y estudio sobre los precios de los timbres de Mexico en los diversos distritos que usaron cantidades de timbres conocidos = Relations of value and study of prices of all stamps in Mexico pertaining to the various districts that used quantities of known stamps

Pulver, Dale Introduction to the stamps of Mexico

Schatzkes, Joseph Cancellations of Mexico, 1856-1874 (The) updated by W. E. Shelton in 1983

Schimmer, Karl Heath, John Mexican Maritime Mail

de Smeth & Fayolle, Las Primeras Emisiones de Mexico, 1856-74 originally done in French in 1935 but redone in Spanish by Amexfil in 1990

Yag, Otto Bash, John K. The pre-stamp postal markings of Mexico (plus supplement)

End of Part I

Click Here for Part II