One of the challenges for non-U.S. worldwide postal stationery collectors is finding a reliable catalog for all types of postal cards, letter cards, envelopes, letter sheets and other stationery items officially produced by worldwide postal entities. Often postal stationery listings and values can only be found in specialized catalogs for a specific country meaning that for the worldwide collector a fair number of specialized catalogs would need to be consulted when researching a collection. There are just very few resources that include in one place listings and catalog information for worldwide postal stationery.
One of the resources I was first introduced to when starting here at the American Philatelic Research Library (APRL) as the Reference Assistant was what is referred to as the Higgins and Gage Priced Catalog of Postal Stationery of the World. In one place and in one resource a collector of postal stationery can find all of the various philatelic items that constitute the official stationery issued by a given country.
First produced in 1966 and edited by noted postal stationery collector Edward Fladung, the catalog in organized alphabetically by country in various sections (A-G, G-L, etc.). Beginning in 1970 a second updated edition was produced and then a final installment of the catalog, a series of revised price supplements, appeared in 1986. The catalog provides a goodly amount of information for collectors and researchers alike and includes listings for postal cards, letter cards, envelopes, registered envelopes, letter sheets, money orders, pneumatic post, local stationery, postal receipts, ration cards and postal checks to name only a few of the items listed.
Listings include black and white illustrations, a Higgins and Gage reference number, year of issue, denomination, color, varieties and new and used pricing information. Many times the Higgins and Gage catalog is the only resource that lists and depicts certain rare variety of a postal stationery item and on certain occasions includes a brief description and explanation for a given variety.
Although the Higgins and Gage catalog may be a bit dated (rumors in the philatelic press suggest that a German philatelic publisher is interested in resurrecting and updating the catalog) the information contain therein for given countries often provides a useful starting point for postal stationery collectors and researchers. The catalog is located in the first floor public space of the APRL right near the Reference Desk. If you would like to borrow or receive copies of certain pages from the Higgins and Gage catalog contact the APRL today at firstname.lastname@example.org .