These pages provide the most comprehensive overview of Latin American philatelic societies and specialized catalogues on the web.
Let me qualify that: ‘overview’ is the operative word here.
I have subjectively chosen the key resources that a collector may want to consider as their first ‘port of call’ in philatelicly exploring Latin American countries in depth.
The objective is to help you identify the primary sources of information that really ought to be towards the top of any Central and South American collector’s list.
If there is one thing stamp collectors are not short of, it’s information. There is no other hobby with such a wealth of knowledge to support it.
The APS Philatelic Library in Pennsylvania holds more than 23,000 books and 5,700 journals. In the UK, the Royal Philatelic Society is heading towards 550,000 record entries with a further 420,000 entries accessible from other libraries worldwide.
And these are but two of the many philatelic libraries found around the world.
As if this wasn’t sufficient to keep you occupied, the internet has spawned a dizzying array of websites from societies, organisations and enthusiasts on every philatelic subject imaginable. And it increases day by day.
It’s a maze.
Finding your way through can be a daunting task. If you are looking for something specific you may, in the first instance, want to stop by at the Global Philatelic Library website to get an idea of the key institutional resources and see where your searches lead.
Latin America is catered for as well as any other geographic area but to ‘go deep’ and really understand a country, joining one or more of the national societies will prove rewarding.
Wherever possible, I have included a link to the web address of each active society.
Society website quality ranges from the utilitarian, functional ‘members only’ types through to those that provide an incredible depth of knowledge for free. Non-organisational websites are purposely limited to those few enthusiast sites that add significant value to a particular country and are worth taking the time to explore. You’ll find many more with a bit of casual web browsing.
There are also two dealer associations in South America: one in Argentina and the other in Brazil (details shown under the respective country listing).
Promoting and binding together the multiple associations and federations within Latin America is FIAF Federación Inter-Americana de Filatelia (ES). Based in Costa Rica, FIAF supports and offers sponsorship to philatelic events across the continent.
Specialized catalogues have been produced for nearly every one of the twenty republics.
Availability of these catalogues is another matter.
Some continue to be published on a regular basis, others will be long out of print and you will need to scour eBay or Mercado Libre (ES) for your best chance of finding a copy. Each listing gives details of the most current version of each catalogue, where known.
Very few newly released catalogues are distributed beyond the country in which they are published. In most cases, for catalogues printed within the past few years, an enquiring email to the predominant in-country society is your best bet in ascertaining whether stocks are still available and at what cost.
Lastly, a request.
Information changes, links go dead and new resources emerge. If you notice anything that doesn’t look right or you have any suggestions for improvements, please drop me a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know.
Note: ES, EN etc denotes the predominant language in which each website or publication is written. If you don’t speak Spanish or Portuguese, accessing websites via Google Chrome will offer instant, very workable translations if required.