Online Help - Philatelic Library - ArchiviaNet - Library and Archives Canada
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Philatelic Library - Help

The philatelic library is an integral part of the National Archives library. It houses the collection of philatelic publications held by the institution’s library.

A collection of publications on philately was first assembled by the National Postal Museum in 1977. The National Library of Canada then transferred its international collection of books about philately to the museum. In 1988, Canada Post Corporation transferred philatelic documents and the museum’s library to the National Archives. These greatly enriched the collections of printed material about the Canadian postal service already held by this institution’s library. The collection has since been considerably expanded through judicious acquisitions, transfers from Canadian libraries and gifts from authors, publishers and collectors.



The philatelic library consists of some 20 000 publications including nearly all the printed material available about philately and the history of postal service in Canada, as well as an important international collection.

The Works

The library includes historical works published by the Post Office Department, annual reports from the Minister responsible for Canada Post, official postal guides, special reports, etc. It also includes an extensive collection of works from the Universal Postal Union, in particular, special reports, agreements for postal rates and exchanges of mail between countries, as well as books about stamps and postal service from around the world.


The library has copies of more than 1 500 periodicals, including the complete series of Canadian Philatelist/Philatéliste canadien, BNA Topics, Maple Leaves, Canadian Stamp News and Philatélie Québec. Altogether, the library receives about 150 magazines on a regular basis.

Auction Catalogues

Auction catalogues provide a record of sales of important philatelic material both in Canada and abroad. Catalogues from the main auction houses in Canada and abroad are among the many works found in the philatelic library’s collection. 



1. Select the desired index from the list provided.

  • NAME
  • AMICUS No.

2. Type in the phrase you are looking for in the text box.

  • Name of an author for NAME
  • Title of a work for TITLE
  • Search term for SUBJECT
  • Any word for ANY KEYWORD (the search includes all indexes)
  • Registration number for AMICUS No.

3. Click on the SUBMIT button to obtain the results.


Search Syntax

" "    Quotation marks are used to search a specific phrase. 

Example: "stamp catalogue" 

To search for the two words together rather than each one separately.

?    A question mark is used to replace several characters.

Example: post? 

To find post or postal.

#    A number symbol is used to replace one character.

Example: canadi#n 

To find Canadian and canadien (English and French).

Search Feature

To find other items on the same subject:
Use the links provided in the “Subject” section of the catalogue record for a specific work.

For example, for the following record: 

Title(s): La Poste, lien universel entre les hommes / Gottfried North ... [et al.]; preface by A.H. Ridge

Publisher: Lausanne: Vie, art, cité, 1974.

Description: 188 p. : ill.; 25 cm.

Subject(s): Universal Postal Union -- History 

Postal Service -- International Cooperation -- History

Click on “Universal Postal Union -- History”.

The results will show all works relating to the Universal Postal Union found in the catalogue of the philatelic library. 



The search results will appear in the form of a list providing summary information such as the name of the principal author, the title (underlined), edition, place of publication, publisher and year of publication.

The list can be sorted by various criteria.

You may choose from the following: 

  • NAME

To access the full catalogue data for a specific work, click on the work’s title.

If the search submitted yields only one result, you will have immediate access to the catalogue record for that work.




National Archives of Canada
Reading Room
395 Wellington Street, 3rd Floor
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0N3

Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Requests to consult documents must be made weekdays between 
8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., and the documents must be consulted on-site. For research outside of weekday hours, Archives staff can place the documents in a special document locker, for the exclusive use of the researcher.

Interlibrary loans

With the exception of rare books, reference items and recent issues of periodicals, the library’s holdings are accessible through the interlibrary loan service.

Item Consultation of the database