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What�s New in the Library
gives you:

  • Recent Additions to the Library click here for a listing of both new and older publications that have been added to the National Philatelic Society Library in recent months

  • Philatelic Books � Taken from reviews that have appeared in the Society�s magazine, Stamp Lover, this section seeks to give an idea of the wide range of subjects covered by philately and philatelic literature, as represented by some of the additions to National PS Library of late.

The books listed here are only a small proportion of the philatelic books contained in the National PS Library - to search and browse the listings of over 7,500 philatelic books, plus a wide range of philatelic journals from around the world, click here to visit the National PS Library Books and Periodicals Search Page.

If you would like to donate any philatelic titles our Hon Librarian, Michael Bramwell, would be very pleased to hear from you via email  

Updated: 7th December 2006


The Dublin Find (subtitled The Most Important Stamp Find in GB Philately) by Don Madden and Karl Louis. 45 pages. Published in 2006 by Mike Jackson Publications. Saddle stitched. The find comprises the very first issues of GB postage stamps and the Mulreadys for the years 1840 to 1841 and the 10d and 1s embossed issues of 1847/48. lt includes notices, proofs, specimens, VR officials and issued; mostly in large blocks and (almost full) sheets. In this book, two very experienced philatelic experts review the find. The book is very roughly split 50/50 between the background to find (Madden) and the stamps themselves (Louis), with slightly more space devoted to the stamps. The book is fully illustrated throughout. The first section includes people, places and documents and the second covers the philatelic items, with excellent research information given for both sections. 

The Postal Markings of the Gambia, 1858-2000 by Stewart P Duncan and Oliver Andrew. Published by The West Africa Study Circle, 2005. This scholarly and up-to-date work is a companion to The Stamps and Postal History of the Gambia, edited by Oliver Andrew and published in 1985. The format adopted gathers together for the first time every mark known so far, and shows them in alphabetical order of office of use with illustrations and a flexible decimal numbering system.  

The chapters deal with the handstamps of Post Offices and Agencies; machine datestamps and obliterators; town and village registration labels; the Travelling Post Office - in this case not on trains but on the Government boats which travel up and down the Gambia River; official franks and seals; instructional markings and labels, including airmail cachets and labels; military postmarks, cachets and labels; slogans, first day cancels, other labels and cachets; and forged postmarks. There are 12 colour plates and numerous black and white illustrations showing the use of the marks on cover. This book is thus of interest not only to Gambia collectors but also to those who specialise in registered mail, airmail etiquettes and many other fields. In the world of philately, there is always more information out there, and the authors have appealed to anyone with information that extends the data in the book to contact them. It is to be hoped that anyone with Gambia covers in their collection will check them against the book and see if they provide additional data, so that the second edition can be even more complete.  

The Royal Marines Home and Abroad a Postal History 1664 - 1994 by Bob Swarbrick 162 pages. Published 2006 by The Stuart Rossiter Trust. This is a book about postal history without tabulated lists of places, postmarks and dates. It comprises a selected assortment of mail connected with or originating from Royal Marine deployments throughout the world. While the postal markings on the mail are of interest the letters and explanations of the circumstances of their posting are fascinating and in many cases poignant. Sadly, the stories behind the fronts of the letters written during military operations are rarely mentioned in collections but this work seeks to bring them to light. This is postal history with a difference.  

Blue Mauritius The Hunt for the World�s Most Valuable Stamps by Helen Morgan, 320 pages. The book belies its title as it deals with the both the one-penny and the two-penny �Post Office� stamps of Mauritius. Their history begins with the ball held in 1847 by Lady Gomm the wife of the Governor when the one-penny orange stamp was used for the despatch of admission cards. 

The stamps were not differentiated by collectors from the 1848 �Post Paid� issues until 1865 and the hunt was then on. No more than 27 copies were eventually to be found and the nineteenth century philatelists with deep enough pockets were to make philatelic headlines by their competing efforts to add a copy to their collections. The author has given the reader a fascinating and detailed insight into this early era of philately and has shown that the stamps hold their attraction to the present day. A description of the stamps believed by some not to be genuine closes the story told in this volume in which, for the first time, facts, legends and mysteries are joined together. The account is supported by biographies of each of the surviving copies of the �Post Office� stamps, and the extensive lists of notes and sources should delight any reader with an enquiring mind.  

Privatganzsachenkatalog 2005, Band 1. 244 pages, A4 paperback. It is good to see a catalogue dealing with modem issues, the amount of which can be rather overwhelming. Indeed this second edition was necessitated by the number of new discoveries following the first edition of 2002. This catalogue covers the post-1950 issues of Berlin and the DDR and will be of interest to thematic collectors and aerophilatelists as well as postal stationery collectors, as it provides large clear illustrations of each item and includes first flight covers and cards issued by Lufthansa and Interflug. Although there is no subject index, each section (Berlin covers, Berlin aerogrammes and wrappers, Berlin postcards, DDR covers, DDR postcards) is arranged in order of the stamp issues, which are listed at the front, and the illustrations make it easy to use by those with minimal German.  

British Squared Circle Postmarks 2nd edition by S F Cohen, M Barette, J Hine and A M Williams. Part 1 The Provincial Offices 415 pages. Part 2 The London Offices 215 pages. Collectors of �squared circles� will welcome this new edition of what is regarded as the definitive work. The discoveries listed in the four supplements to the first edition have been added to extensively and every hammer is now illustrated, largely reproduced from the proof impressions in documents held in the Post Office Archives. Many revisions have been made to the type scarcity values and, most usefully, a rarity factor has been given to every hammer listed. 

Incorporated in Part 2 is a section on the Fancy Geometric postmarks which were used concurrently with Squared Circles in a few of the London offices; this is an updated summary of an study by Maurice Barette which appeared in 1994 and fits well into the subject of the current work. 

A New Postal Stationery Catalogue. Latin America by Hans Eriksson. 140 A4 pages. In English. This is a postal stationery catalogue of Latin American countries containing stationery with railway and tramway motives is available. There are 550 different items from 22 countries listed with more than 400 illustrations.  

British Stamp Printers by Glenn Morgan FRPSL. 19 A5 pages. Full colour. This is the 12th in a series of Bulletin Publications from Royal Mail. The booklet starts with a brief, but very welcome introduction on how a stamp is conceived and the methods of printing. It then covers a wide variety of printers of British postage stamps from the pioneers of 1840 through to the current leaders in the field. A potted history of each printer is given. The list also includes British printers of overseas stamps. This brief listing aims to alert collectors of the vast range of stamp printers.  

Bibliography of Philatelic Armenia by S. Arakelov and M. Arakelyan. 260 pages in a limited edition of 300 copies (issued in softback or in hardback with CD). A bibliographical description of philatelic books, catalogues, brochures and handbooks, as well as articles and information in periodical press, devoted or connected with Armenian themes in philately. More than 1100 bibliographical descriptions of documents, published in Armenia, Soviet Union, Russia, United Kingdom, USA, Germany, France, Canada, Argentina and other countries for the last 90 years are included in this really original encyclopaedia of Armenian philately. 

Don Beuthel�s Topical Helpline - Collecting and Exhibiting Tips. Printed in USA March 2006, with an Introduction by Ray E. Cartier, Executive Director of the American Topical Association. Don Beuthel, a former President of the American Topical Association (ATA), wrote a series of articles from 1996 - 2001, which were featured in Topical Time, the journal of the ATA. These articles have been retyped and collated by Karen Cartier, an officer of the ATA, to form a handy 72-page reference book for Thematic/Topical collectors. 

Although the author states there is no right or wrong way to form a Topical (Thematic) collection, this little book provides helpful guidelines and hints for the novice on the best way to start collecting, and how to avoid some of the pitfalls that can frustrate the delights of forming a pleasing and satisfying collection. The author touches on virtually every aspect of Topical collecting and exhibiting, including Getting Started; Conducting Research; Acquiring Material; Preparing Pages for the Collection; & Writing up the Theme. There does not appear to be much disparity between Topical (American) and Thematic Collecting (Rest of the World), and so it should be of interest to anyone thinking of forming a collection of stamps and other philatelic material based on their design rather than the country of issue. 

Stanley Gibbons Great Britain Concise Stamp Catalogue. 2006 edition.  Published by Stanley Gibbons Publications. 372 pages. This is probably the catalogue that appeals to the majority of Great Britain collectors, for it provides the right balance, not too specialised but equally not too simplistic. It also has the advantage of a listing that is relatively easy to follow. The use of �relatively� is deliberate, since these days unravelling the issues from Royal Mail is far from easy. Not the fault of Stanley Gibbons, more the fact that issues are becoming far more complicated as a particular designed stamp might turn up in normal sheets, miniature sheets and booklets, each with different technical specifications, over a period of months, even years. 

The fact that all the illustrations are in colour, with every design-different stamp illustrated, is of great benefit. This is especially so in the comprehensive section on stamp booklets, where the various cover types are illustrated, again in colour. Very helpful are the page headers, as they do make finding a particular stamp, if you know the year of issue, that much easier. This was not a problem a few years ago, but bearing in mind that the Queen Elizabeth II section alone occupies nearly 300 pages, is now very useful. 

Steamship Lines to the Caribbean Volume One by Michael R. Rego. British West Indies Study Circle, 2005. A4 paperback. 228 pages, 20 colour plates. This first volume deals with the two largest companies - the Royal Mail Line and the Hamburg�America Line (HAPAG). For each one the author gives a general history and fleet list down to 1980 (not confined to West Indian operations), a list of company agents, a catalogue of the markings applied to mail by both ships and agents, and an account of the stamps issued in the nineteenth century for inter-island mail. The numerous illustrations also show advertisements, ships, company offices, and covers. The bibliography covers both postal and maritime history, together with early guides to the islands. The index covers ships, companies, and places. 

Die Jesuiten in der Philatelie by Waiter Nissel and Wilhelm Remes. Although written in German, this work is a useful checklist, even for those who do not speak the language. It covers nearly 800 items relating to the Jesuit Order - stamps, postal stationery, postmarks and metermarks, all illustrated in colour. Most commemorate members of the Order, but stamps depicting the work of Jesuit artists and architects are also included. The items are arranged by the person commemorated, with 143 short biographies, and there is an index of issuing countries. Stamps are identified with Michel catalogue numbers.


Discovering Seahorses by Brian Kearsley. Approximately 300 pages and over 380 illustrations (some in colour). Published Great Britain Philatelic Society. Claimed to be the first comprehensive study of the King George V Seahorses stamps, the book describes the creation and printing of these popular stamps which were issued by the British Post Office about 90 years ago. The research took about six years and explains why and how the many changes occurred. The plates are identified, the quantities printed and the numerous varieties are disclosed, many of which are expected to be listed in the next Specialist Catalogue to be published. In addition a whole section is devoted to the overseas overprints. Checklists devoted to shades and varieties are also included. 

The Early Postcards of Zanzibar. Published by the East Africa Study Circle. 230 pages A4, perfect bound. Profusely illustrated and a fascinating book to those interested in these islands and this part of East Africa. The earliest card Listed illustrates a drawing of the Sultan�s palace and was posted from Dar es Salaam on 27th April 1897. Over 1,000 postcards are listed from 1897 onwards. These have been categorised with serial numbers, which in turn indicates that many cards have still to be traced and identified. It is hoped that readers who have collections of their own which contain any items not listed will be able to provide the author with information on these. Over the years the island was served by many shipping lines and was a stop�over anchorage where passengers often went ashore and acquired a selection of postcards for souvenirs or to post to friends and families.  

Postal arrangements following the Liberation of Prague in May 1945 by Robert J Hill. Published by Czechoslovak Philatelic Society of Great Britain.  An interesting book, written 60 years after the liberation. Covers, stamps and cancellations are generously illustrated and the events of the liberation are very well described, with a Forward by Peter Kleskovic who was present in Prague at the time. 

Johannes Paul II by Hans G Schoen. 240 pages in colour. Hardback. This colourful book reproduces the very wide range of stamps and miniature sheets, which depict the late Pope and were issued between 16th October 1976 and 2nd April 2005. There are many superb illustrations. Text in German. 

Insects on Stamps by Donald Wright Jr (American Topical Association Handbook No 150). The latest in this series of topical handbooks. This huge 460-page work covers insects on stamps issued from the beginning of 1992 until the end of 2002 with most of the issues of 2003. It picks up where ATA Handbook 123 left off. Part one of the new book is a listing by country and part two lists these small life forms by Taxonomic Order and Family. The book covers stylised, unidentified and implied insects in addition to those that are identifiable. All legitimate stamps and US postal stationery are included, but because many collectors have shown an interest in knowing about so-called �stamps� from some parts of the former Soviet Union and other illegal issues from various countries, these labels are also included �for the record�. Not listed are locals, revenues, cinderellas non-USA postal stationery or seals. Insects that are depicted in the areas surrounding stamps are identified with the word �border� to indicate the marginal� area within the perforations and �margin� to indicate areas lying outside the individual stamp(s).

0SS Hitler Stamps - A philatelic study on a disputed stamp issue by Wolfgang Baldus. This study deals with the American forgeries and parodies of the German 6 and 12 pfennig Hitler head stamps that were produced for propaganda purposes during World War II.  Written in English this work looks at all sides of the arguments in an attempt to discover the truth behind the �fakes� and the �authentic stamps� Incontestably genuine stamps and copies from the disputed issue are compared in enlarged illustrations, having been scanned under the same conditions. 

The Ideal Stamp and The Ideal Postcards. Two booklets by Tim Rusden. When the first one-penny stamp was issued for the reign of King George V it received much public criticism. The Junior (now National) Philatelic Society decided to organise a competition to give the public, especially artists, the opportunity to design what was known as the �Ideal� stamp (or label). The winning design was printed in considerable quantities for the 1912 Jubilee International Exhibition as a souvenir of the Exhibition and for a recruiting campaign for the Junior Philatelic Society. This stamp (or label) has fascinated many collectors of Great Britain stamps for nearly a century and this year two new booklets or catalogues have been produced entitled �The Ideal Stamp� (16 pages) and The Ideal Stamp Postcard (8 pages). The main booklet lists all the different colours in which this stamp was printed,  together with cylinder numbers. The Postcards catalogue reports that these were sold at 1d each or seven for six pence. They were on sale at the International exhibition, but were unlikely to have been printed on location. They advertised the Show and included a two colour enlargement of the �Ideal stamp' This booklet also lists the colours used for printing.  

Stanley Gibbons How to Identify Stamps. 40 pages, card cover with coloured illustrations. A most useful book for the novice or less experienced collector, as it aims to assist those who need help in identifying the inscriptions on some of the stamps in Gibbons Stamps of the World Catalogue. There is also information on recognising unfamiliar script used by some countries. 

A Postal History of the Prisoners of War and Civilian Internees in East Asia during the Second World War (Volume 3 - Burma, Thailand, and Indochina, 1942-46 � The railway, the river and the bridge). By David Tett. Published by B.E A.Publishing, Wheathampstead, Herts. With a Forward by Terry Waite CBE, the book contains 380 pages of text and is very well illustrated, mainly in colour. This volume concentrates on the postal history of the POW�s and civilian internees in Burma, Thailand and Indochina, most of whom were British, Dutch, Australian or American. There are numerous reproductions of covers and cards. In addition lists are included of cards sent by POW�s, while POW �Letter� parties in Singapore and Malaya in 1945, are also mentioned. A massive bibliography of published books and articles is another feature.  

Togo Overprints on Stamps of the Gold Coast 1915-1920 By Peter Duggan. Published by West Africa Study Circle. 136 pages, A4 size, hardback, with some illustrations in colour. This is an in depth study of a dozen Gold Coast stamps bearing the head of King George V which were overprinted Togo Anglo-French Occupation in 1915 after French and British troops had occupied the German colony in World war I. The overprints were produced 1915 at Accra, Gold Coast, by the Government Printing Press. The printer made many variations in the style and position of the overprints and this book is a detailed study of the typefaces used for the overprints and the varying positions of the overprint on each stamp. A full set of the current Gold Coast stamps overprinted �Togo Anglo�-French Occupation� was also ordered from the well-known London printer Dc La Rue. There were fewer problems with this supply and the book contains data on how to distinguish between the stamps produced in London and those in Accra. 

The Aerogrammes of the Union of South Africa 1942-1961 by Eddie Bridges. Published by the South African Collectors Society. 96 A4 pages, card cover with many colour illustrations. In addition to the Introduction, the book contains eight chapters packed full of information on the origins of the Air Mail letter cards; stampless Air Mail letter cards; special Air Mail letter cards; the Springbok letter card; Military Air Letters; Civilian Air Letters; Inland Air Letters and unfranked commercial Air Letters. There is also a Bibliography plus Checklist and Cross Reference Listing.  

Medicine and Stamps � Volume 3 edited by Mark A. Shamp, Ph D. and Robert Kyle, M.A. Published jointly by Mayo Proceedings and Dowden Health Media Inc. 216 pages, hardback. An interesting volume containing over 200 pen-portraits of well known personalities who have appeared on stamps from many countries worldwide This book will form a very handy reference guide for collectors specialising in stamps issued to record achievements in medicine. 

The Victorian Era of British Stamps. An interesting 8-page paper published by the Postal Heritage Trust which provides basic notes on the reform of the postal system by Rowland Hill from 1837, the first stamps (1d Black and 2d Blue); perforations; a unified system; recess and letterpress stamp printing. 

The Stamps and Postal History of Nineteenth Century Samoa by Robert P Olldenweller RDP, FRPSL. Published by The Royal Philatelic Society, London and RPS, New Zealand. 416 pages, case bound with over 225 illustrations in colour. A mine of information covering the pre-post era (1836-1877); the Samoa Express and the Palm Trees issues; postage rates; manipulated and otherwise altered covers; two different catalogues; challenges for future students; Appendices; plus bibliography and a very thorough index.

Collect Motor Vehicles on Stamps, 1st edition. 212 pages, black and white illustrations. An interesting  thematic catalogue.  

The Mail Road Across Land & Sea by Bo Andersson & others. 123-pages. An English language historical travel guide through three regions in Sweden. The book covers the postal history of three mail routes from the founding of the Swedish Post Office about 1636. The routes comprise the mail road between Stockholm and Grisslehamm, the mail road over Aland, and along the mail road to Turku/Abas.


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Last updated 31st March 2007

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