National Topical Stamp Show

Topical Time

Electronic Topical Time


Study Units


News & Press Releases

What's New?

The March-April issue of Topical Time will be mailed on March 27. You should receive it within 9 business days after that date. Until your member copy arrives, do access the Electronic Topical Time via the link above using the password emailed to you. Please keep the ATA Office supplied with your current email address.

Excerpts from NTSS 2013 exhibits are now available for viewing on the exhibiting page.

New Membership Incentives

NTSS 2014 Gateway to Topicals
NTSS 2014 'Gateway to Topicals' show postcard in recognition of St. Louis' most prominent landmark. June 27 - 29, 2014.

Inverted Jenny, US Scott C3
The first airmail series in 1918 featured a Curtiss Biplane, an army airplane, as the carrying of mail by air at that time was entrusted to army pilots. The planes were nicknamed “Jennies” as the official designation for the plane began with the letters JN.

Topical Time March / April 2014Cover of the new March/April edition of Topical Time.

APS web competition 2013 Gold award
The ATA website was selected as a Gold award winner in the 2013 APS Web Competition.

Watercraft on Stamps handbook cover
The cover of the Watercraft on Stamps handbook reissued in 2013.

Jean C Stout, 2013 Distinguished Topical Philatelist
Jean C Stout, 2013 Distinguished Topical Philatelist.

Press release - National Topical Stamp Show 2014

The American Topical Association has announced its 65th annual National Topical Stamp Show (NTSS) to be held June 27-29 at the Renaissance St. Louis Airport Hotel.

The show’s theme is Gateway to Topicals, in recognition of the city's most prominent landmark, the Gateway Arch. The location was chosen for its easy access, with free airport shuttle to the combined hotel and convention center, according to show chair, Gary Hendren. Parking will also be free.

Exhibit entries are being accepted for the all-thematic show of 170 frames. A thematic exhibit is one that develops a theme or story line based on the images or wording of the material shown. The exhibition prospectus is online at Read more...

March-April 2014 Topical Tidbits

Learn about the early days of airmail on these Topical Tidbit pages. Find activities that relate to and help to tell the story of those early airmail pioneers. Start your very own airmail collection with the free album page. Download the March-April issue now.

Press release - ATA's TopicalsOnline Website

Topical stamp collectors have a new website that makes it easy to purchase stamps by topic.

The American Topical Association (ATA) has launched, which offers stamps for more than 600 topics.

Topics, from airplanes to zebras, represent a popular, growing area of philately, according to ATA president Jack André Denys.  "This new website provides an easy and affordable way to purchase topical stamps."

Anyone can make purchases on the easy-to-navigate website.  ATA members receive a 10 percent discount, and the ATA earns 10 percent of purchases.  Only ATA members can sell on the site.  There is a link to purchase an ATA membership, at $30, or an Electronic membership, at $25.

TopicalsOnLine features several ways to look for stamps:  by topic, by keyword, by topic cross-referenced to a country, and by country with Scott's number. "We urge collectors to check the site often, as items are being added all the time," Denys said. Read more...

Announcing: Electronic Topical Time (ETT)

All ATA members can now access the electronic version of our journal from the this internet site. To view the Jan-Feb 2014 issue, and all 2013 issues of Topical Time, CLICK HERE.

Contents of the current issue include a feature on Montenegro Coat of Arms by Miloje Chastven. The Study Unit Spotlight article is from the Chess on Stamps Study Unit, by Joram Lubianeker. A new and interesting column written by Dawn Hamman appears: the first “My Topic” features our own Spiderwoman, Bea Vogel. You’ll find the prospectus and exhibit application for National Topical Stamp Show (NTSS) in St. Louis. The exhibition jury and awards are also announced. Gary Hendren highlights the first information about NTSS tours. And Dottie Smith has performed her indexing magic; this issue includes a helpful index of all the 2013 Topical Time issues.

If you would like to join ATA and access the new Electronic Topical Time, see the Membership area of this website.

ATA website receives Gold Award in the 2013 APS Chapter and Affiliates Web Site Competition

For the second year in a row, the ATA website has received a Gold Award in the APS Chapter and Affiliates Web Site Competition. The scoring is based on a number of factors including content, structure and navigation, visual design, functionality and interactivity. Nine ATA study units also participated in the competition and received awards at various levels. Complete results are available at the APS website, and the awards were presented at APS StampShow in Milwaukee.

Press release - ATA Reissues Watercraft on Stamps Handbook

The American Topical Association (ATA) has released a second printing of its popular Watercraft on Stamps handbook. The first (smaller) edition of the book has been out of print for several years. To honor multiple requests for the book, a second printing in an expanded size format has been made.

Watercraft on Stamps was edited by Katherine A. Kirk of ATA's Ships on Stamps Unit. Contributors include Bjoern Moritz, Wolf Spille and Myron Molnau. The handbook was designed by Amanda Morgenstern and printed by Minuteman Press. Read more...

Press release - Jean C Stout Selected as 2013 ATA Distinguished Topical Philatelist

Topical collector Jean C. Stout of Jackson, Mississippi, has been selected as the American Topical Association 2013 Distinguished Topical Philatelist, according to an announcement by DTP committee chairman Donald W. Smith. The award will be presented May 18, 2013, during the ATA National Topical Stamp Show in Rochester, New York. Read more...

Press release - ATA "Topical Tidbits" Wins Medal in International Competition

The American Topical Association won Second Place/Honorary Award Silver, with Special Prize, for its new series of philatelic youth materials, "Topical Tidbits," in an international philatelic literature competition. Palmares have been posted for PROMO4YOUTH, a special division of the International Philatelic Literature Exhibition (IPHLA) held in Mainz, Germany, Nov. 2-4.

"Topical Tidbits," ATA's online resource for youth, teachers and philatelic youth leaders, was one of eleven entries in the noncommercial division of the IPHLA PROMO4YOUTH. First Place/Gold was awarded to BdPH (Germany) Department of Education and Youth; Stamp Camp USA received Third Place/Bronze. Read more...

Press release - ATA Creates Stamp Collecting Module for Educators and Youths

The American Topical Association (ATA) is producing colorful and interesting modules especially for youth collectors and educators. In recognition of National Stamp Collecting Month in October, the latest 20-page Topical Tidbits module is available at

A wide variety of free interesting and educational material for youth is found on the ATA website. Creation of the Topical Tidbits modules supports the "Stamps Teach" project being carried out by the National Postal Museum and the American Philatelic Society.

The Topical Tidbits module on stamp collecting features creative and colorful games, puzzles and quizzes in areas such as Branches of Philately, Other Ways of Collecting, Stamp Collecting Tools, Caring for Stamps, Parts of a Stamp, Types of Stamps, Special Service Stamps, Perfins, U.S. "Firsts," Stamp Oddities, Stamp Nicknames, Famous Stamp Collectors, and a Stamp Fortune Teller. The last page of the module is an answer key to nine different activities presented.