top of page

Thematic Collecting

What is Thematic Philately?

Thematic philately is collecting stamps and other philatelic items that illustrate a theme: aviation, ships, trains, royalty, entertainers, animals and birds, soccer, baseball, hockey, history, art, trees, etc. The sky is the limit! The term "theme" has a dynamic meaning implying the personal elaboration by the collector, who develops a full story around it.

Once upon a time stamp collections consisted of stamps from one country or group of countries.  The stamps were usually displayed in date of issue order, usually in specially designed albums. Although this type of collection still abounds in the stamp collecting world, thematic collecting is now a very popular alternative. Click on the images below to get an idea of just a fraction of the many topics or themes that are collected.


A thematic collection consists of the widest possible range of philatelic material - and even non-philatelic material such as coins or postcards - from the widest possible range of postal authorities and other sources, without any time constraint. Every item selected should be relevant to the theme and arranged in the most suitable order to tell a story. This is when thematic collecting becomes really interesting - once it has reached a point where there is a good story that begs to be told outside of the collector's private collection. This is where exhibiting comes in and it is here that thematic collecting has really taken off (see the page on Exhibiting).

bottom of page