General Helpful Resources for the researcher, philatelic and non-philatelic
Dates of State Secession and their Admission to the Confederacy All important table to the collector of Confederates. Print it out and keep it. Patricia A. Kaufmann
Provenance: Tracing Philatelic Ownership Through Owner and Expert Markings - extensive compendium of markings found on Confederate stamps and covers. An original article illustrating known markings and including detailed vignettes on the collectors, dealers and experts who produced them. Provenance helps establish pedigree and authenticity. Covers or stamps with demonstrable pedigree are more coveted than their mundane brethren. Original online Kaufmann article.
Special Feature regarding Detrimental Gum on Confederate Stamps As of the 2019 Scott's Specialized Catalogue, Confederate stamps are now valued differently than in the past. With the exception of CSA 6, produced by Thomas De La Rue & Co. in London, and CSA 7-L, printed in Richmond on London paper with London ink and gum, Confederate issues are valued the same regardless of whether they have original gum or no gum.
List of Post Offices in the United States 1862, Including Various Postal Laws and Instructions of 1861-1865. An indespensible reprint for philatelic researchers, Theron Wierenga, 1981.
Global Philatelic Library - a centralized information gateway to the world’s greatest philatelic research. Founding partners include the Smithsonian National Postal Museum and Smithsonian Libraries in Washington, D.C.; the Royal Philatelic Society London and the American Philatelic Research Library in Bellefonte, Pa. The website establishes a single destination - a responsive centralized gateway - by which philatelists around the world can search, locate and access philatelic research from partner libraries in real time, from any computer. Searchable listings of books and publications, as well as resource locations and access, are now just a click away, providing invaluable resources to those doing philatelic research.
Library of Congress - This link is directly to the Civil War section, an essential resource for the researcher with a very deep range of every kind of information - from books and photographs to video, movie and audio history. See Mike Ludeman's PORTALS.
U.S. National Archives - (NARA) Online access to art works, census data, US legal manuscripts, the Federal Register and so much more. See Mike Ludeman's PORTALS.
In-depth Guide to Collection Care - David Beech's treatise, written while he was Curator and Head of the Philatelic Collections at the British Library.
Mike Ludeman's PORTALS - a fantastic resource which is so much more useful than just stumbling around in the Library of Congress and National Archives (NARA) entry points. Mike has documented official Confederate post office related records and publications which are present on the internet in digital format and kindly shared them with fellow researchers, for which we are most grateful. There are three Portal files: one focuses strictly on NARA records, the second is Library of Congress records, and the third is a reorganized group of the foregoing. Links to PDF files may be found at NARA Portals, Library of Congress Portals, and Portals by State (and more). A fourth portal is also provided to the USPOD Postal Laws and Regulations. All are highly recommended for passionate researchers. Thanks so much to Mike for sharing these valuable resources.
Mike Ludeman is preparing a census of CSAPOD Postmaster Commission documents issued by John Reagan and Jefferson Davis, as well as the related Appointment Notification letters (Form No. 6). Information about these documents together with a high resolution scan (300 dpi) is requested, as well as those in institutional archives. The object is to document as many as have survived. Contact Mike Ludeman for more details.
Chronicling America - a Website providing access to information about historic newspapers and select digitized newspaper pages, and is produced by the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP). NDNP, a partnership between the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Library of Congress (LC), is a long-term effort to develop an Internet-based, searchable database of U.S. newspapers with descriptive information and select digitization of historic pages. Supported by NEH, this rich digital resource will be developed and permanently maintained at the Library of Congress. An NEH award program will fund the contribution of content from, eventually, all U.S. states and territories.
Arago - People, Postage and the Post - the Confederate section of the Smithsonian National Postal Museum. A resource for the study of philately and postal operations. One of the many research projects with which I have been involved. This is an outstanding and continually evolving resource. Lucky for Confederate specialists that this was one of the first sections to be included. It was unveiled at the Washington 2006 international exhibition.
Soldiers & Sailors System website is a cooperative project of the National Archives and the National Park Service and puts Civil War Service Records online.
U.S. Postal Laws & Regulations The U.S. Postal Laws and Regulations, also known as the PL&Rs, are periodic publications produced from 1794 to 1948 that contained the laws and regulations that governed the U.S. Post Office Department. They have been recently made available in a searchable digitized format. While this may not be Confederate, it is very relevant to many aspects of Confederate postal history. It is an important resource.
In the Valley of the Shadow was created by the Virginia Center for Digital History; it has the history of Franklin County, Pennsylvania and Augusta County, Virginia including newspaper articles, census data, photographs, service records, diaries and much more.
Ancestry.com - where Civil War era documents live on. Some of the most riveting Civil War stories aren't in the history books. While this is a subscription site, it may be worth your while if you do a lot of research. Military records, census records and more.
Genealogy and the Law - A layman's guide to legalese, on the Just Great Lawyers website. Extremely helpful.
PaperlessArchives.com - provides historical documents (not just Civil War), primary source material, early secondary sources and histories that allow access to historical and often once secret documents and more. While some are free, many do have a charge. Nonetheless, a fascinating site for any history buff.
SCRAP - The Stamp & Cover Repository & Analysis Program (SCRAP) of the U.S. Philatelic Classics Society is an effort to get philatelic fakes, frauds, and forgeries off the market while retaining them for study and reference. For a primer on SCRAP, who John A. Fox was and the types of marking devices and fake covers he created, download the outstanding article by Varro Tyler and Michael Laurence that appeared in Chronicle 218 (May 2008, Vol. 60, No. 2, pp. 147-163).
Stamp Forgery Guide - Worldwide sources of information on forged stamps and stamp expertizing searchable by country or expert, past and present, with over 1700 listings.
CBS This Morning - The Passions of Stamp Collectors - a wonderfully entertaining presentation by Rita Braver who begins by interviewing David Robinson who discovered one of the 2013 right-side up Jenny sheets and sold it at auction for $45,000 to the buyer of that item, billionaire Bill Gross, as well as the story of the Inverted Jenny, a look into the Smithsonian National Postal Museum and more. A 7-minute presentation presented on YouTube. January 2015
2-Clicks Stamps - a stamp collecting directory that provides collectors an online philatelic guide with a database of 3,500 classified philatelic web pages, all under a specific category - an excellent resource.
Joe Luft's Philatelic Research Page - An extensive selection of worldwide philatelic links.
Virtual Stamp Club - An on-line philatelic newspaper or magazine, with a very active "Letters to the Editor" section. In the forum, you'll find news, information, opinions and advice.
Stamp Link - "Your on-ramp to the hottest sites in stamp collecting"
Collector Cafe - This online community guide sponsored by Stanley Gibbons, provides articles and news on more than 90 collecting interests. Visitors can contact other collectors and post free advertisements in the classified section. Collector Cafe contains links to hundreds of specialist dealer sites and is a valuable source of information for every collector.
General Civil War Websites of Special Interest
American Civil War Newspapers - Searchable newspaper archive sponsored by the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies based at Virginia Tech. The site is available free of charge, as one of the continuing projects of the center to further awareness and understanding of the Civil War era. It was begun by honored author William C. (Jack) Davis. The ultimate goal of the website, said Davis, is to index up to 10 or more newspapers from the Civil War era -- Northern and Southern, Eastern and Western, urban and rural, white and black -- in order to offer a balanced cross-section of opinion, observation, and experience, from all across America. As each journal is completed, its index will be consolidated with the master index, so that in the end a user will be able to call up references from all of the newspapers in a single search.
Online Civil War Indexes, Records, and Rosters - A genealogy guide and list of Civil War general resources as well as sources listed by state. An excellent resource.
Jim Stanley & Associates - Jim is a collector and purveyor of museum quality investment grade Civil War artifacts, images and documents. If your interests go beyond "paper," you may want to visit Jim's site.
Museum Quality Americana - This is a division of Cal Packard, LLC. Cal and his daughter Sarah sell quality historical artifacts and documents. A nicely done and most interesting site that specializes in Civil War materials with emphasis on "paper".
Confederate Railroads - David L. Bright's excellent resource. You will find each railroad, its location and length, its type and size of rail, the number of cars and locomotives it had when the war started, and the names and technical data of each locomotive. There are also lists of stations on each road and comments about most Confederate cities, taken from a Confederate railroad guide. There are well over 7,500 transcriptions of the railroad issues-related documents that he continues to find and post.
Confederate Texas and the Reconstruction - A Texas Civil War history lesson and over two dozen links to excellent resources on Texas during and just after the Civil War.
Confederate Physicians at Find A Grave - A virtual cemetery with biographies of those who served the Confederacy in a medical capacity. Over 800 listings. Biographical sketches by F. Terry Hambrecht, M.D. and Jodi L. Koste from unpublished database.
Biographies of Philatelists and Dealers - Brian J. Birch. Amazing amount of information in this source--even on me.
Civil War Philatelic Society - The Confederate Stamp Alliance was founded in 1935 as a non-political organization dedicated to fraternity, research, and cooperation among collectors of Confederate stamps and postal history. On November 21, 2020, the Alliance membership voted to change the name to the Civil War Philatelic Society to encompass the full scope of postal history during the war, both North and South. Advantages of membership include an authentication service and an award winning quarterly journal, Civil War Philatelist (CWP). Click here to download a CWPS membership application in PDF format. In August 2019, the website was completely revamped in an effort to be the go-to site for all things Civil War postal history. It will continue to be added to and kept current with quality content. There is a members only section which allows searchable access to all back issues of the former Confederate Philatelist, a valuable tool for researchers and, coupled with the quarterly journal, well worth the annual dues.
American Philatelic Society - The APS was founded in 1887 and is the world's largest collector organization with members in 110 countries. It is supported entirely by membership dues, gifts and the sale of publications and services. Founded in 1886, the APS is now in its third century of service to stamp collectors and postal historians. Click here to download an APS membership application in PDF format.
Young Philatelic Leaders Fellowship - This is the dynamic youth program of the APS. The vision of the YPLF is to allow youth, who have already shown an interest in stamp collecting, an enriching and dynamic experience with a specific aspect of the hobby. See Trish with the young ladies of YPLF at StampShow 2013.
U.S. Philatelic Classics Society - The USPCS is the successor of "The Three Cent 1851-57 Unit" (Unit Number 11) of the American Philatelic Society. It was originally founded by a group of '51 to '57 specialists that included Dr. Carroll Chase, Stanley B. Ashbrook, and Leo J. Shaughnessy. Since its founding, the Classics Society has broadened its scope to include postal issues and postal history from the stampless era up to the Bureau Issues, as well as the occasional Confederate. Membership advantages include the award winning quarterly magazine, The Chronicle, and an outstanding website.
Confederate Stamp and Postal History Projects
CSA Catalog and Handbook - In October 2006, the Confederate Stamp Alliance (now CWPS) announced acquisition of the rights to the New Dietz Confederate States Catalog and Handbook, last published in 1986. The 21st century edition of the Confederate States of America Catalog and Handbook of Stamps and Postal History (CSA Catalog) was long overdue and in much demand by collectors, serious students and dealers. The new catalog takes advantage of all of the marvelous changes in technology that have occurred in the past three decades, including a color catalog and a complete rework of content from the ground up, using primary sources. Consequently, it sold out from the publisher in less than three months. Winner of the Grand Award for Literature at APS StampShow 2013. Only the deluxe edition is still available from the CWPS for $350.
For an illustrated more in depth look at both the history of prior catalogs and the marvelous changes in this 2012 edition, see A 21st Century Confederate Catalog
Virginia Postal History Society - Founded in 1972, VPHS is dedicated to the study and preservation of Virginia's rich postal history from all time periods. It maintains and upgrades a digital version their important catalog of Virginia Postal Markings and Postmasters - Colonial-1865. Their website was launched in May 2019 so is in its infancy. More good things are coming.
North Carolina Postal History Society - In 1982, NCPHS was founded to promote, study, and educate the public about North Carolina Postal History. The society maintains extensive records of North Carolina postmarks from colonial to modern times collected from numerous sources since the society was formed, and is the leading authority on these postmarks. In the mid-1990s the society published a four volume set of books titled Post Offices and Postmasters of North Carolina, Colonial to USPS, documenting not only the post offices and postmasters but all the known postmarks of the nineteenth century for North Carolina. NCPHS is a mini but mighty state society.
Philatelic Retail Dealers - Respected Competitors
John L. Kimbrough - My esteemed competitor. John and I both have a passion for Confederates. His site also has articles and an in depth section on Confederate fakes. John is a respected author as well as a fellow member of the CSA Authentication Service.
Richard Frajola - A knowledgeable U.S. student and dealer, also a former postal history auctioneer. While his specialty is mostly quality U.S., he also knows and handles Confederates. He maintains a popular message board for collectors and dealers on his site as well.
Philatelic Bibliopole - Leonard H. Hartmann, under the business name of Philatelic Bibliopole, has dealt in authoritative philatelic books and literature since 1965. He has a strong stock of Confederate States titles. His website contains a searchable listing of all Confederate auctions of which he is aware, not just those for sale. Leonard is recognized as the leading authority on Confederate lithograph issues, having collected and studied them actively since the mid-1950s. He also offers a Confederate lithograph plating service.
Auction Houses that regularly offer quality Confederate collections
Philatelic Exhibition Websites
APS Show Calendar - lists all the major national shows
Boston 2026 - the next big international stamp show in the U.S.
NAPEX - Washington, DC area - the premier East coast show
WESTPEX - San Francisco area - the premier West coast show
Philatelic Expertizing Services
Civil War Philatelic Authentication Service - This is the premier expertizing body for Confederate stamps and postal history. It was founded in 1945 as the CSA Authentication Committee. In 2006, the name was changed to the CSA Authentication Service and, in 2020 to the Civil War Philatelic Authentication Service, although it will doubtless take time to incoroporate the Northern side of things into expertizing over time. Meanwhile, I recommend certification for U.S. items by the Philatelic Foundation. The purpose of the Authentication Service is to determine the authenticity of Confederate stamps and covers as well as the validity of Civil War period postal usages that passed through the Confederate mails. I am a member emeritus of this group.
The Philatelic Foundation (PF) - The Philatelic Foundation was granted a charter in 1945 by the University of the State of New York as a Nonprofit Educational Institution. This is the go-to expertizing body for United States and general foreign material in the U.S. The PF has over 5,000 reference works including research notes and correspondence of Stanley Ashbrook, photographic records of major specialized collections and auction catalogs from around the world as well as a photographic record of each of the over 500,000 items that they have certified over the years.
American Philatelic Expertizing Service (APEX) - APEX offers opinions on the genuineness of philatelic material at moderate cost. APEX utilizes the services of more than 120 specialists and a variety of high-tech equipment to provide guaranteed opinions. It is a good service for moderately priced general material.
Philatelic Stamp Authentication and Grading (PSAG) - stamp grading and authentication services, specializing in United States and Canada. They do not specialize in Confederate material.
Professional Stamp Experts (PSE) - stamp grading and authentication services, stamps of the world. They do not specialize in Confederate material.