"The Benjamin K. Miller Collection" Stamps Its Mark Online

March 20, 2009
News Release
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The Benjamin K. Miller Collection of the New York Public Library had not been seen by collectors or the public since 1977 until it was displayed at the National Postal Museum from May 2006 to March 2009. “Rarity Revealed: The Benjamin K. Miller Collection” showcased U.S. stamps from before 1894, the year the Bureau of Engraving and Printing took over printing stamps into the 1920s. Now that the exhibit has closed, a new online featured collection of Miller’s great rarities and highlight treasures is available on the Arago Web site at www.arago.si.edu/flash/?eid=60[s1=6].

The Miller Collection was the first complete U.S. stamp collection. By the time he donated his collection to the library in 1925, Miller owned at least one copy of every U.S. stamp listed in the Scott postage-stamp catalog of his day. To a modern observer, the best-known example of its completeness would be the one-cent Z grill, the rarest U.S. stamp, of which there are only two known copies. Other highlights include classic rare stamps, errors in production, early vending-machine stamps, coils and perforation varieties and bluish papers. Miller’s “Inverted Jenny” airmail stamp, the purchase that inspired him to collect stamps, is one of the several stamps with inverted centers in the collection.

The National Postal Museum is devoted to presenting the colorful and engaging history of the nation’s mail service and showcasing one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of stamps and philatelic material in the world. It is located at 2 Massachusetts Avenue N.E., Washington, D.C., across from Union Station. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). For more information about the Smithsonian, please call (202) 633-1000 or TTY (202) 633-5285. Visit the museum Web site at www.postalmuseum.si.edu.

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