Smithsonian offers famous and extraordinary stamps from around the world

The Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum is a treasure trove for philatelists and curious visitors alike, boasting an extraordinary collection where international stamps make up more than half of its vast holdings.

Guests can immerse themselves in the world of stamps through interactive displays flanking a grand globe, exploring how these tiny works of art reflect the unique characteristics of their countries of origin and connect people, places, and cultures worldwide.

One of the museum’s standout exhibits features some of the rarest and most famous stamps from 24 countries across six continents. Nearby, 50 pullout frames showcase an impressive array of over 800 stamps, representing every country that has ever issued stamps, including many nations that no longer exist.

Adding to the excitement, other pullout frames feature rotating selections from the museum’s extensive international vaults, ensuring that each visit offers a fresh and diverse experience. The exhibit “A Stamp for Every Country” particularly highlights the breadth of the collection, showcasing nearly 800 stamps from every stamp-issuing entity throughout history.

Located in the historic City Post Office Building, constructed in 1914, the National Postal Museum offers a captivating journey through postal history in a setting that once served as Washington, D.C.’s post office from 1914 to 1986. This dynamic museum invites visitors to return again and again to discover the ever-changing diversity and rich history of its vast stamp collections.



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Although we cover the entire world of philatelics, the majority of our readers are Canadian, and we concentrate on the unique circumstances surrounding collecting in our native land.

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