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What's New?

The Jan/Feb issue of Topical Time was mailed on Feb 7. Domestic members can expect to receive it within 9 business days after mailing. Please keep the ATA Office supplied with your current email address.

Excerpts from NTSS 2014 exhibits are now available for viewing on the exhibiting page.

New Membership Incentives

The American Topical
Association is an IRS
501(c)(3) nonprofit
organization. Donations
are fully tax deductible
under the US IRS Code,
and are greatly appreciated

ATA Membership Directory 2015-2017 is now available.

NEW! Basic Guide to Topical Stamp
Collecting -PDF or doc

NTSS 2017 event postcards. Click on the images above for an enlarged version.

Discover "Laura Ingalls Wilder" in the winter edition of Topical Tidbits.

An example from the free Candy on Stamps checklist available this holiday season. Click here to download the list.

Support the ATA on AmazonShop on Amazon and support the ATA at the same time. Click here

Topical Time, November/December 2016, edition 400
Cover of the Nov/Dec 2016 edition of
Topical Time. Click the cover for an enlarged image.

Robert E. Lamb, 2016 Distinguished Topical Philatelis
Robert E Lamb,
2016 Distinguished Topical Philatelist

New Checklist Update

The March 2017 checklist updates, including the February Linn's new issue listings, contain more than 595 added items. If you don't find your topic listed, ATA can customize a checklist for you. Contact the ATA Office,, for information. Click here to view updated checklists.

Checklists marked with an asterisk(*) in the ATA listings contain Beyond the Catalogue (BTC) items: Basic types of common philatelic items issued by governments but not usually listed in Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue, e.g., booklet covers, meter stamps, postal cards, postal stationery, postmarks. These items can add special meaning to a collection or an exhibit--and often their existence is unknown to a collector. ATA checklists are one of the few sources of this type of information.

Membership Directory
2017 Price Reduction

ATA has published a triennial directory since the early 1950s. Members may order the 2015-2017 directory at a 2017 reduced cost of $5 plus postage ($3 US, $6 Canada, $13 international). New member price at time of application to ATA is $4 with free postage to US and Canada. Payment by check or mixed mint US postage—or PayPal or debit/credit card through Only ATA members may purchase a Directory, and it cannot be used for commercial purposes. Learn more here.

Printable album pages

New Album Pages: Archaeology, Europa, French Colonies, Gems & Minerals, Turtles & Laura Ingalls Wilder. For a full list of printable album pages click here, or visit the album pages section of the website.

Call for Exhibits for National Topical Stamp Show 2017
pdf version
The American Topical Association is accepting exhibit entries for the National Topical Stamp Show (NTSS), to be held June 23-25, 2017, at Crowne Plaza Milwaukee Airport. The prospectus, entry form, and list of judges are posted on the ATA website at

This World Series of Philately show is unique in the exhibiting world, as all exhibits must develop a theme or story line based on the image or wording of the material shown. Exhibits are not limited to traditional thematic treatment, and include conventional categories or other exhibits treated thematically. In other words, they tell a story.

New this year is the topical exhibits category included in the revised APS Manual of Judging and Exhibiting (available for download at Topical exhibits are composed of a variety of philatelic items to illustrate a topic or subject. More information is included in the manual. The new category was developed to encourage topical collectors to exhibit.

Exhibits and judging chair is Rob Henak, a collector, exhibitor, and APS judge from the Milwaukee area.

Deadline for exhibit entries is April 22, 2017, or until all frames have been subscribed.

The show will feature dealers with stamps for topical and country collectors, as well as covers, ephemera and postcards.  Speakers, study unit meetings, silent auction, ATA annual meeting and many other events are on the schedule.

Updates on the show will be posted on line as plans progress.

Fall 2016 Edition of Topical Tidbits
Laura Ingalls Wilder

2017 marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Come learn about Laura in this issue of Topical Tidbits. You can design a quilt, play a timeline game, and learn about all the places Laura lived, along with a few other activities. Enjoy! Click here to view the Winter edition.

Free Holiday Checklist
ATA's annual holiday gift to the philatelic community is a free checklist. The 2016 holiday checklist highlights the topic of Candy on Stamps. It was produced from information in the ATA Checklist dATAbase created by member Karen Cartier. Gary Goodman supplied additional items for the list. The free holiday checklist will be available until Easter, April 16, 2017. Click here for information about this free list and other ATA checklists.

AmazonSmile and ATA
Click here to shop Amazon and Support the ATA
If you are an shopper, there is a simple way to support ATA, at no cost to you. Instead of logging into, go to On your first visit, specify American Topical Association as your preferred charity. Each purchase you make benefits ATA. Read on for details.
How does AmazonSmile work?
When you shop at, you’ll see the same products as on The difference is that Amazon will contribute to ATA 0.5% of the purchase price. You help ATA, without spending any additional money.
Can I use my existing account on AmazonSmile?
Yes, you use the same account on and Your shopping cart, wish list and other account settings are also the same.
It’s important to bookmark, so you remember to go there, instead of Once you’ve specified ATA as your charity, Amazon will remember your selection, and every purchase will result in a donation.
The donations that go to ATA are not tax deductible by you, as they are made by the AmazonSmile Foundation. But, this is a great way to help ATA while doing your holiday shopping.

Fall 2016 Edition of Topical Tidbits

Bonjour! Travel to beautiful France in this issue of Topical Tidbits. Learn fun facts about the country, its people and landmarks. You can also try your hand at reading French because this issue is written in both English and French. After playing the bingo game, head over to the youth page at for more fun and games with a French twist.  Click here to view the France edition.

Robert E Lamb Selected 2016
ATA Distinguished Topical Philatelist

Career diplomat and organizational leader in philately, Robert E. Lamb of State College, Pennsylvania, has been selected as 2016 American Topical Association (ATA) Distinguished Philatelist, according to DTP committee chair Donald W. Smith. The award was presented to Bob Lamb at the ATA Annual Meeting at 1 p.m. on June 3, 2016, in Room 1E06 of the Javits Center during World Stamp Show NY2016 in New York City.

Bob Lamb started collecting stamps in the fifth grade, and by the time he was in high school, he was an enthusiastic collector. In 1962, he graduated with a BA degree from the University of Pennsylvania. His collecting interests grew over the course of a 32-year career in the United States Foreign Service. He served as United States Assistant Secretary of State for Administration from 1983 to 1985 and then as Assistant Secretary of State of Diplomatic Security from 1987 to 1989. Bob moved into the area of organized philately as a member of the American Philatelic Society’s Board of Vice Presidents in 1989. However, he had to resign the APS position when appointed U.S. Ambassador to Cyprus from 1990 to 1993. Read more...

"Under The Big Top" Video

The ATA and the Rocky Mountain Philatelic Library have partnered to produce a 17-minute video highlighting stamps related to the circus. The video was based on a philatelic exhibit featuring the circus prepared by the late Roland Essig. It can be viewed or downloaded free here. This video would make an excellent program for your stamp club, youth group or even a civic or community group. Roland left his philatelic estate to the ATA and we are pleased to help promote his topical legacy. Watch for more partnership videos between ATA and the Rocky Mountain Philatelic Library in the future.