Postal Heritage and Philately

The philatelic collections, which bring together nearly a million items, include stamps and other philatelic materials as well as archival documents on all aspects of the design and production of postage stamps and on the Canadian postal service. Library and Archives Canada (LAC) also holds numerous philatelic works, including material about philately and the history of postal service in Canada.

The collections include monographs, philatelic periodicals, serials, publications, stamp-club bulletins, specialized catalogues, and brochures and series on philately.

Collection Search

There is a general description of each fonds and collection containing its provenance, scope and content. These descriptions are generally written in the language of the creator or donor, and English largely predominates. They can be accessed by consulting Collection Search. This database includes specific search aids for some fonds. In addition to complete collections and fonds, the database can also be used to find specific documents such as stamps or photographs.

Note: Records related to stamps recently issued may not have been described yet at the item level.

  • Search Help

    On the Search Help page, you will find some general tips; combined with the information below, these will help you to obtain specific and relevant results.

    In Collection Search:

    1. Switch to Advanced search, and select Collections and Fonds from the Database menu
    2. Enter your terms in the All these words search bar
    3. If you are searching using a date, enter the date in the All these words or Any of these words field. This will allow for a broader search than using the Date field.
    4. In the Type of material field, select Stamps and stamp products.
    5. In the Available online field, select Only if you just want digitized material.
    6. Click Search.

    Several types of documents may be searched for in LAC's philatelic documentation. They can be used as keywords in Collection Search.

    Types of documents:

    • Essay (essai)
    • Die-Proof (Épreuve de poinçon)
    • Plate-Proof (Épreuve de planche)
    • Booklet (Carnet)
    • First-Day Cover (Pli premier jour)
    Screen capture of Collection Search showing which fields to select
    Screen capture of Collection Search showing which fields to select


Reference Services


Date modified: