The American Topical Association, founded in 1949, is the oldest and largest organization in the world for topical stamp collectors. Topical collecting is so popular that ATA has attracted members in 43 countries. ATA staff and hundreds of volunteers work to provide services topical collectors need and enjoy. Let’s look at some of the benefits your ATA membership will provide.
Your membership includes a subscription to Topical Time, our colorful 92-page journal, issued six times a year. It features news of the association, articles on many different topics, how-to articles about collecting and exhibiting, and much more. If you have a print membership, the journal is mailed to you, otherwise you can access the journal here on the website. For all members, including those who choose a print membership, Topical Time is available on the ATA website. Back issues are indexed and searchable. View a sample issue here...
Members can also purchase an indexed, search archive of Topical Time on a convenient flash drive. This unique resource makes the entire library available to you at the click of a mouse.
Topical checklists provide you with a shopping list for your topic, as well as a way to keep an inventory. They are available for more than 1500 topics, and we can even make a customized list if your topic is not yet included. There is a small charge for checklists, but as long as you maintain your membership, you may request a free annual update. We can email your checklist in Excel or PDF format. If you prefer, we can print and mail your list for an additional charge.
Our topical stamp dATAbase is constantly updated, with thousands of stamps added each month. New topics are also added throughout the year. Here is a sample of how your checklist will look...
ATA Handbooks & Publications
ATA handbooks offer in-depth information on specific topics. Over the years, ATA has published 167 handbooks. The current ones are for sale at a discount to members. We also offer What’s First?, a fascinating book that pictures and describes the first stamp issued for over 800 topics.
Most handbooks are available printed and in digital format.
ATA Mentors: Philatelic Phriends
Are you new to topical collecting? We invite you to request a Philatelic Phriend. An experienced topical collector will be delighted to offer help with ways to acquire, store and display your stamps and other philatelic items.
Timely Topical News
Because You Belong, our digital newsletter, provides brief updates on the latest ATA news and member benefits. It takes just a few minutes to read, and includes a link to the latest issue of Topical Time.
Chat Online with Topicalists
Join in the topical fun at the ATA Facebook page (American Topical Association) and on Instagram (@americantopicalassociation). You’re invited to post a favorite stamp each week on Topical Tuesday. There’s always lively conversation!
Great American Stamp Show
That is the name of the large collaborative show of the American Topical Association, American Philatelic Society and American First Day Cover Society. The show, held in August, is the largest stamp show in the country, with exhibits, dealers, meetings and seminars and society booths. In addition, ATA offers social events and countless opportunities for getting to know fellow topical collectors. Show information is included in Topical Time and on the ATA website. This is the stamp show you won’t want to miss!
ATA Around the Country
ATA members staff association booths at many national, regional and local stamp shows. Stop by to chat and see what’s new at ATA. You may choose to help represent ATA and tell others about the fun of topical collecting.
Resources for Youth Collectors
Do you know a young person who would be interested in fun activities related to stamps? The youth section of this site has more than 500 pages of hands-on activities that can be printed and shared. Although they are designed for youths, collectors of all ages enjoy them!
If You Want to Know More About Your Topic…
…you’ll want to consider joining an ATA-affiliated study unit. Those who share a specific topic have formed study units to promote their specific topic, encourage research and share information. The study units are listed on the ATA website.
Any stamp club that has three or more ATA members may apply to become an affiliated chapter. Chapters benefit from topical information, help in holding topical programs and a subscription to Topical Time. To check if a stamp club near you is an ATA chapter, see the list on our website.
Click here to join the ATA. You will receive a welcoming email with information so you can access the members-only section of the website. We want you to use and enjoy ATA services. If you have questions or need help, contact our congenial executive director Jennifer Miller online or by calling 618-985-5100.