Philatelic Bibliopole

Leonard H. Hartmann


This section is devoted to books of philatelic origin, for the most part, that cover the basic postage rates. Additional works relating to rates are listed under various sections such as MARITIME TRANSPORT, POSTAL RECORDS & PRIMARY SOURCES and the various specific collecting and country headings.

A section on the U.P.U. can be found at the end of this file.

The Franco -Sardinian Route

In International Relations

Conventions, regulations, tariffs

1818 - 1851

by Robert Abensur

The title saying International Relatons is perhaps a bit confusing, the book is purely philatelic as to covers, rates and markings. 2017, From the Academie de Philatelie, 359 pages, well illustrated in full color, hard bound, in English and French, in most cases the two languages are adjacent, line for line, thus a good way to learn or refresh the other language, at present 4 copies in stock, $80.00

Parity of Currencies in Postal History 1700 - 1875, by Leonard H.J.Janssen

2001, 501 pages, well printed and cloth bound but the binding is not up to par, In Dutch but with some English translations, autographed, large format, mostly tables, only one copy avaialble, $245.00

How the Post Office Created America


Winfred Gallagher

This interesting book was reviewed in the June 28th, 2016 issue of the WSJ, How the Post Office Created America by Winifred Gallagher, published by Penguin, 326 pages at $19.00 for paper bound and $28.00 for cloth. Despite a decent index and 287 end notes I do not consider is an authorative study but as it covers over 200 years it is an enjoyable read and with the current interest in "the story" one will probably pick up some good insights into the background, limited stock, cloth edition with dj, $17.50

The Story of our Post-Office by Marshall Cushings, 1893, 1034 pages, A tremendous amount of diverse information, well illustrated and indexed, pages sound, rebinding justified, enquire before ordering, $135.00

U.S. Railroad Contract Mail Routes


Hugh V. Feldman

This book this book is of much value to any collector for towns on or near the rail roads, it presents the development of the early railroads in a historical context focusing on the establishment, routes and the cities and towns served as it relates the philatelic information.

The mail contract route information is presented in a well-organized manner including dates, route numbers, contract agreement and cost per mile. The arrangement is by state accompanied by charts, copies of detailed maps locating town and a detailed list of the stations served on the various mail contracts. The mail contracts normally have the individual stops and dates thus one may be able to bracket in time when a specific station was in use.

This book runs 1,096 pages. in full color, hard bound, dust jacket, illustrates 242 covers, 582 maps and 360 other images. A DVD is included containing over 800 covers many are not illustrated in the book, PMG annual reports and other reports to Congress between 1817 and 1878, these run about 10,000 pages. Also included are images of the manuscript Railroad Contracts by States, 6,773 in all. We think these contracts have never been reproduced before. Additional philatelic information is presented through the many covers included in the text that were carried by railroads in each respective states. These are described in detail and the appropriate references are included to assist philatelists in their research.

Published at $97.50 plus postage, postpaid to a U.S. mailing address, $107.50

Spreading the News, The American Postal System from Franklin to Morse by Richard R. John A scholarly study of the American Postal System and it's effect on the development of our country from 1775 to 1844. Not a philatelic work but one of considerable enjoyment and value to the student of postal history. Our collecting frenzy often overshadows the historical significance which is another source to enjoy. 1995, 369 pages, cloth, Harvard University Press, limited stock, $32.50

The Travers Papers

Official Records United States Postal History and Postage Stamps, 1834-1851

Compiled by
Thomas J. Alexander, George Brett, Wilson Hulme II
Edited by Barbara Mueller

The previously never published story of the 1847 stamps from official records, postal reform, postal conventions, etc.. A deluxe publication in two volumes, cloth, slip case, dust jackets, edition of 405 sets, 1,300+ pages, $225.00 plus $15.00 The Travers Papers

Blindman's Mail
or How the Blind have been served by the Post by Garvin Fryer
, Details of the correspondence between institutions for the blind and the Post Office 1894-1939, 42 tables of postage rates, details on the postal rates and regulations from 1898 to date. 2010, etc, 184 pages, full color, cloth, 2010, 165+12 pages, dedication page in Braille, cloth with dj, in color, limited stock, price, $70.00

Morality and the Mail in Nineteenth Century America by Wayne E. Fuller, 2003, 264 pages, cloth with dj, from the University of Illinois Press, a scholarly treatment, Fuller's last book, detailed coverage on the delivery of mail on Sunday, the Paperback rate controversy, Lottery and morality aspects, a most enjoyable and informative book to read for the postal historian, limited edition, $39.95.

The Development of Rates of Postage (1635-1915) by A. D. Smith The basic study on the evolution of postal rates, the political and economic basis, not rate tables but rates are mentioned. We regret that copyright restrictions prevent us from sending this book to Europe. 1979 reprint of 1917 book, 443 pages, cloth, edition of 400, $125.00

The Development of Rates of Postage (France) by A. D. Smith revised and abridged by C. S. Holder, The French material abstracter and updated from A. D. Smith's 1917 work, 1980, 65 pages, card, in English, $22.50

Postal Rates 1789-1930 by US Post Office Department An excellent source for the basic Domestic US rates and the free regulations, unfortunately otherwise inferior to the 1956 edition.

History of the US Post Office to the Year 1829 by Wesley E. Rich A fine history prepared as a 1917 doctoral thesis for Harvard.

Reports of the Postmaster Generaloriginals

Navy Department (some War) Executive Congressional Reports, a 15 inch stack From circa 1830 to circa 1870, as torn from the printed reports, paper is VF but the original Leather bindings had disintegrated and was removed, the lot $310.00

The Postal Laws and Regulations, used contions

US Official Postal Guides, the Yearly volumes, worn condition

U.S. Domestic Postal Card Regulations 1874 to 1885 by Robert Stendel rd Regulations 1874 to 1885 by Robert Stendel A most welcome book, the rates and usages are much more complex than one would expect 2010, 98 pages, in color with many cards illustrated, card bound, an edition of only 200 copies, the society journal states the book is hard bound but this is an error, $45.00

International Postal Rates

United States Letter Rates to Foreign Destinations, 1847 to GPU-UPU by Charles J. Starnes Detailed rate tables from the U.S. to every country in the World for all mail systems with appendices covering British Treaty Mail via Marseilles, French postal charges, Bremen transit charges, UPU entrance dates, etc. The basic work on US postal rates to foreign destinations.

Understanding Transatlantic Mail

Volumes 1 & 2

by Richard F. Winter

Volume 1, U.S. postal conventions with the Free City of Bremen, United Kingdom, Prussia and France are covered in considerable detail. A major work on maritime rates and markings, the first since our Starnes, United States Letter Rates to Foreign Destinations 1847 to GPU-UPU last published in 1989. We think the Starnes is the first place to look in figuring out a foreign rate cover as it will give the basic direction for further study and then go to Winter's Understanding. 2006, 482+13 pages, 531 covers illustrated, also a CD having the covers reproduced in full color.Our of print and a limited stock, cloth with dj and cd, $210.00, sold only with Vol 2

Volume 2, Maritime postal rate markings for mail to/from Hamburg, the Netherlands, the North German Union and Switzerland. Includes CD. Available Dec. 2009. 500+ pages, CD, cloth, $95.00

U.S. International Postal Rates, 1872-1996 by Anthony S. Wawrukiewicz and Henry W. Beecher The companion volume to the Beecher and Wawrukiewicz U.S. Domestic Postal Rates, 1872-1993. and a fine continuation of Charles J. Starnes' U.S. Letter Rates to Foreign Destinations, 1847 to GPU-UPU.

An extremely useful book and considerably better produced than the US 1872-1993 edition. It is Mr. Wawrukiewicz's hope to issue a new and improved edition of his previous work in a few years, we hope it appears. As this is a major reference work of lasting value we do not recommend the card bound edition though it has sewn signatures. This work is Indispensable to any US collector interested in covers or postal history!

U.S. Domestic Postal Rates

U.S. Domestic Rates U.S. Domestic Postal Rates 1872-1999 by H. W. Beecher and A. S. Wawrukiewicz The definitive work on US Postage Rates for the period, tables with illustrations of numerous covers. Updates in the PDF format for the above two books by Anthony Wawrukiewicz's may be obtained on his website, or by selecting Updates.

The Forwarding of Mail by the U.S. Post Office Department, 1792-2001 by Anthony S. Wawrukiewicz, 2001, 230+8 pages+8 color plates, A fine study and well presented, cloth, $40.00

California, The Gold Rush Mail Agents to California and their Postal Markings, 1849-1852 by Theron Wierenga, This is a real book by Theron and not just a reprint of postal regulatins, it covers the sailings dates and ships, rates and much useful information on the voyages, it appeared in 1987 and seems to have been neglected, an excellent study and a good read, 1987, 288 pages, cloth $60.00

Domestic and International Postal Rates and Fees by Anthony S. Wawrukiewicz These books are arranged in the same manner as his US works, the format is a white three ring binder with an attractive spine and front cover insert.

On the GB we much prefer the Johnson & Peet work as it is much easier to use, the ability to look up a country and see the rates is quite nice, ie our Starnes work. Also when you refer to Zones it gets confusing as there composition changes from time to time.

Deutsche Vorphilatelie, Katalog der Grenzübergangs by Feuser and Münzberg

German Transit Markings applied in Germany when a cover crossed the border, 1727-1875; Disinfected Markings, 1814-1846. Introductions in English, French and German, arranged per above German Stampless, 1991, 118 pages, cloth $50.00

British Postal Rates 1937 to 2000 by Robert Johnson & Gordon Peet Covers all rates for the period and not just letter rates by service, country and date, postage due and Forces mail are not covered. A tabulation of adhesive stamps by value giving the intended service and period of main use, at first I said why but a quick scan makes this quite evident, can't figure out a rate, add up the stamps and see what it corresponds to, etc. Many of the UK stamps are still issued for a specific rate. 2000, 164 pages, spiral wire binding

Postal Jurisdictions of the World by K. L. Coyte a listing of the world postal districts, circa 1955, 70 pages, card, limited stock please enquire, $30.00

The Postal Tariffs of Cameroun under French Administration -- 1916-1961

by Marty Bratzel

All aspects of postal tariffs of the Cameroun under French administration. This is the most complete and best documented postal rate work that we know of; numerous rates are given along with other services such as money orders, C.O.D., postal cheques, reply coupons, debt collection, insurance, etc. Many covers are illustrated. 2007, 215+6 pages, searchable CD in pdf format having over 500 pages on the tariffs, spiral wire binding, $80.00

Table of French Postal Rates 1849 to 2011 by Derek Richardson.

The 4th edition and much expanded with better organization and presentation. It covers 1849 to 2011 for numerous classes of mail, domestic and overseas. An excellent expansion over the 66 page version that appeared in 1996.

French Colonial Airmail rates from 1920 to 1945 by Bob Picirilli Covers the letter rates and airmail surtax for French colonies from the start of commercial aviation to the end of WW2, and provides for the first time a comprehensive source of information to explain the postage rates applied to pre 1946 French colonial airmail covers. Published by the France & Colonies Philatelic Society (GB). 234 pages, card bound, and a CD having a 7,500 cover database, out of print.

French Postal Rates, Les Tarifs Postaux Fracais 1627 - 1988 by Dr. Joany, Alexandre, Barbey, Brun and Desarnaud. The new two volume edition of the classic 1981 book; it covers the letter rates, interior and colonies, pneumatic, air, military, etc. In French, most data tabular.

The Admiral Era (Canada): A Rate Study 1912-1928 by Allan L. Steinhar 1981, 166 pages, 180 illustrations, card, $10.00

Air Mail Routes and Rates in South America, 1928-1940 by Mario D. Kurchan Full text in both English and Spanish, well illustrated with maps and covers. These two volumes overlap only a little.

British West Indies Postal Rates up to 1900 by L. E. Britnor, 1977, 52 pages, limited stock, enquire before ordering, card $25.00

Postal Rate History of China and Hong Kong, the Pre-Adhesive Period to the Beginning of Packet Service from Hong Kong 1800-1845 by L. C. Scamp 1986, 304 pages, card, sold out

Letter rates in Sweden 1831-1855 by Lennart Ivarsson from the Swedish Postal Museum As this book is in Swedish except for a one page summary the first 46 pages on covers and forms is lost to most of us however the remainder of the book consist of tables of postage rates and should be of much value to those of us that are not linguist. 2005, 342 pages, a number of covers and forms are in full color, cloth with dj, $62.50

Swedish Postal Rates, What Does the Letter Cost?, Vad Kostade brevet? by Sven Carlin Swedish rates from 1636 to 1975, mostly domestic but some to Denmark, Norway, Finland, etc. In Swedish, much information is in tables. 1975, 137 pages, paper case binding $25.00

Foreign Rates of the South-German Postal Districts, Guilder Currency Handbuch der Auslandstaxen der süddeutschen Postgebiete, Gulden Währung 1850 - 1875 Dr. Karl Zangerle Covers Bavaria, Baden, Württemberg, Turn & Taxes, German - Austrian Postal Union. In German, data is mostly in tables and is accessible. 1990, 300 pages, cloth, $140.00

Postage Rates of Germany 1906 - 1923 edited by Diana Manchester A fine guide to the Inflation Period, covers most rates except foreign packages. 1991, 36 pages, card, sold out

The Hungarian Hyperinflation of 1945-1946, The Postage Rates and Postal History of History's Most Impressive Inflation by Robert B. Morgan, LC No. 2003-104997, ISBN 0-916675-14-9
An exceptional study of 27 rate changes over a two year period, excellent history and philately, well written. It covers all forms of postal service: Air Mail, Registered, Diplomatic Mail, Parcel Post, Express, Five-Word Greetings, Printed Matter, Matter for the Blind, Censored and many more.

Letter Mail from and to The Old Italian States 1850-1870 by Mario Mentaschi and Thomas Mathà. Arranged by the country with a detailed explanation on the applicable rates on mail going to and also from each. An important rate study and it is in English, plus CD with all illustrations in color, easy to use. Well indexed, even a listing of covers by the city of origin and the destination city. 2008, 320 pages, large format, 717 b/w illustrations, hardbound, published at € 59.00 plus transit, $125.00

British Postal Rates 1635-1839 by O.R. Sanford and Denis Salt Comprehensive, Domestic and International rates. 1990, 163 pages, card, £20, $57.50

British Postal Rates to Europe 1836-1876 by G. F. Oxley Well laid out by destination, seems easy to use. 1992, 130 pages, card, £30, $70.00

The Domestic Packets between GB & Ireland by Denis Salt Mostly the complex Irish postal rates and the four water routes. 1991, 50 pages, card, £12, $24.00

United Kingdom Letter Rates Inland and Overseas 1635 to 1900 by Colin Tabeart 2003, second edition, 264+8 pages, cloth, sold out

United Kingdom Letter Rates 1657-1900 Inland & Overseas by C. Tabeart

The Postage Rates of The North Atlantic Mails, 1635-1950 by M. B. Montgomery Magnificent break downs of the rates, well documented. We suggest you start by finding the overall rate in Starnes and then to this book for details. 1991, 242 pages, card, sold out

Australia New Zealand UK Mails, to 1900, Rates Routes and Ships Out and Home

by Colin Tabeart

Covers in detail the major and minor shipping lines and routes, bibliography plus general and ship indexes, a partial listing of Vol 1

Limited stock


This section is devoted to books of definite interest to the student and serious collector that contain basic information on postal operations which are not of philatelic origin and thus are not interpreted. In using such publications one must remember that just because it was first printed 100 years ago does not mean it is right; contemporary postal publications frequently contained typographical and other errors. The student must study such records from various sources to arrive at a meaning. One of the true joys of philately is to explain a mystery cover through errors in the contemporary publications. Clerks used such publications to direct and rate covers and may or may not have caught errors.

Ten Years Among The Mail Bags by J. Holbrook The 1874 and 1888 editions are in stock from time to time but the 1855 is the most common and the most useful for the 1851 period. 1855, 432 pages, cloth, limited stock, $75.00

Hugh Finlay Journal, Colonial Postal History, 1773-1774 This journal covers his trip through New England and the South as Surveyor of Post Roads for His Majesty's Post, Howes F 137. 1975 reprint of 1867 book, 124 pages, map set in, cloth $17.50

Post Office Papers of the Republic of Texas, 1836-1840 by J. M. Day An exceptional compilation of the original records and a prime study for philatelic interpretation, well indexed. 1966-67, two volumes, each 239 pages, cloth, edition of 500 sets, $95.00

Postal Operations in the United States 1794 by Robert J. Stets A list of Post Offices, Private Post Roads, and Post Office Law for 1794. 1991, 43 pages, card

American State Papers, Class VII, Post Office Department, 1789-1833 A compilation containing postal laws, regulations, routes, etc. with special reference to 1825, 1828, 1829 and 1831. 1981 reprint of 1834 book, 375 pages, small atlas size (one used copy in stock at $45) $90.00

Postmasters & Postoffices of the United States, 1782-1811 by R. J. Stets A most useful work covering the critical and poorly documented founding years of the United States, 3,000 PO & 6,200 PM listed.

Postal Laws and Regulations The P.L. & R. are one of the more useful original sources of postal rates and procedures as this is what most postmasters used. Reprinted by Theron Wierenga in editions of 300 each.

List of Post Offices of the United States, 1862 The 1862 U.S. list of post offices, the best listing of C.S.A. post offices published to date, also the Postal Laws and Instructions of 1861, 1863, 1864 and 1865. Reprinted by Wierenga. 1981 reprint of 1862 book, 374 pages, cloth, $65.00

Pratt's United States Post Office Directory, 1850 A Theron Wierenga reprint of Pratt's January, 1850 postal directory. 1981 reprint, 109 pages, cloth, $35.00

Colton's Post Office Directory, 1856 Reprinted by Theron Wierenga in an edition of 200 copies. Lists 25,000 post offices, postmasters and revenue for each office. 1985 reprint of 1856 book, 238 pages, cloth, $40.00

Appletons' United States Postal Guide - October 1863

More than a list of POs, also the laws and regulations along with a section on Local Post Office Regulations, operating data on major POs: New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, Cincinnati, Chicago, Detroit and St. Louis. This volume should prove to be most useful. Your Obedient Servant by Quincy Brooks, edited by Alan H. Patera A fascinating collection of letters from a Special Postal Agent operating in California, Washington and Oregon, 1865-67, well indexed. 1986, 227 pages, card, $15.00

Postmaster General Reports 1843 - 1860 Originals Bound in four volumes, matching stamping but two volumes are in brown, one each in blue and red buckram, sound but not fine binding. The 1844 PMG Report is a photostat, Rode 1854 PO Directory bound in. Provenance: Stanley B. Ashbrook, Lester L. Downing, Dave Jarrett, $1,150.00, sold

Postmaster General Reports, original, side sewn in new buckram

Reports of the Postmaster General Reprinted by Theron Wierenga in an edition of 300 sets between 1976 and 1978 covering 1841-1873. We stock the in-print issues at the published prices and the others as best we can. All are loose leaf and punched for small 5½ x 8½ inch binders, binders not supplied.

1868 Overland Mail Contract, Reprint of 1868 Letters from the Postmaster General, Executive Document, Circa 1990 reprint of 1868 document, 82 pages, card, $12.50

U.S. Mail and Post Office Assistant, 1860-1872 Holbrook's monthly newspaper for postmasters is devoted almost exclusively to rates and schedules plus the postal regulations. A basic work for the serious cover collector and student. 1975 reprint by the Collectors Club of Chicago, 577 pages in two volumes, slip case, edition of 300 sets, numbered, $275.00

The U.S. Postal Guide & Official Advertiser Reprinted by Theron Wierenga in an edition of 200 sets. An enjoyable publication running 24 monthly issues from July 1850 through June 1852 containing some postal information. 1982 reprint by Wierenga of 1852 book, 750 pages, two volumes, $100.00

Official Documents of the Post Office Department of the C.S.A. Reprint by Theron Wierenga of 13 C.S.A. postal documents including the 10 Postmaster General reports, instructions to postmasters and special agents and a list of post office establishments. One of the few recent reprints where both the contents and the rarity of the originals really justifies the reprint; the other being the U.S. Mail and Post-Office Assistant. 1979, 400 pages, two volumes, edition of 200, regular edition, $145.00

List of Post Offices of the United States, 1862 Reprinted by Theron Wierenga. The 1862 U.S. list of post offices, it contains the best listing of C.S.A. post offices published to date, also the Postal Laws and Instructions of 1861, 1863, 1864 and 1865. 1981 reprint of 1862 book, 374 pages, cloth $55.00

Western Postmaster Compensation in the 1880's by R. W. Helbock Records from Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming for the years 1881, 1883, 1885, 1887 and 1889 1982, 160 pages, card, $37.50

Oregon Postmaster Compensation, 1851-1911 by R. W. Helbock 1982, 130 pages, card, $22.50

Labor Struggle in the Post Office from Selective Lobbying to Collective Bargaining by John Walsh and Garth Mangum 1992, 271 pages, cloth with dj, limited stock, $32.50

The Express Mail of 1836-1839 by Dr. James W. Milgram An exceptional book on this intriguing service and the covers. 1977, 214 pages, cloth, slip case, enquire first, $185.00 1977, 214 pages, cloth, no slip case, enquire first $165.00

United States Registered Mail 1845-1870 by James W. Milgram Detailed coverage of unofficial registration from 1845 to 1855 and the official system to 1870, listing of 150 handstamped registered mail markings, a coverage of the relation of the US registered system to services in other countries.

Canadian Postal Guide, Chief Regulations, Rates of Postage, compilede by John Dewe 1966 reprint of 1863 booklet, 40 pages, card $17.50

Table D or Post Office Directory for Canada, 1835 1978 reprint of 1835 original pages, 30 pages, card $5.50

Universal Postal Union

Please see our opening page for a link to the U.P.U., this will give you access to the World Postal Servers for current postal information.

The Universal Postal Union by George A. Codding Jr. A fine book on the history of the UPU from its founding in 1878 until 1964. Major countries as China didn't join until 1914, the UPU still makes news today. 1964, 312 pages, cloth $25.00

UPU Specimen Stamps by James Bendon The story of the origin of the stamps and distribution along with a detailed and priced catalog covering the entire world. For a PDF file of updated for this book please go to UPU Specimen updates1988, 272 pages, cloth, $95.00

Souvenirs of the 1897 Universal Postal Congress by Bruns and Weimer A 21 page article in the 1988 APC book covering the meeting and the special overprinted specimen stamps. 1988, 232 pages, cloth, $22.50

New Zealand the UPU to 1907 by Colin Capill Rates, detailed postal regulations and much background as to why certain stamps were issued, etc. 1993, 133 pages, card, edition of 350, numbered, $45.00

The Universal Postal Union Members & Stamps 1874-1974 by M. William Tyrrell The first 98 pages are an excellent history of the UPU and listing of member countries, 1974, 354 pages, cloth

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Philatelic Bibliopole

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