Moody Medical Library

Academic Resources | Blocker History of Medicine Collections


Postage Stamps Collection


The postage stamps collection of Dr. K. F. Meyer, a well known philatelist, was purchased in 1977. The Library continued with the acquisition of stamps until 1984. Morris M. Weiss, M.D. further enhanced the Meyer collection in 1993 with a very large donation of postage stamps.

The Postage Stamp Collection housed in the Moody Medical Library includes approximately 100,000 postage stamps and related items such as first day covers, artist's proofs, souvenir sheets, and postal cards. The scope of the collection is international, philatelic materials dating from the turn of the century to the late 1980s. The overall focus is "Medicine and the Red Cross," one of the topics accepted by the American Topical Association.


Background

Stamps cover different subjects, ranging from individual scientists and physicians to hospitals and other health-care organizations, from public health programs sponsored by various governments to important discoveries in the biomedical sciences. The Postage Stamp Collection dates from 1978, when the Library acquired 76 volumes of postage stamps and related philatelic materials from the estate of Dr. Karl F. Meyer (1884-1974). Trained as a veterinarian, Dr. Meyer spent more than 60 years studying a wide range of infectious diseases. He was also a well known stamp collector. His beautifully mounted and annotated collection is preserved in the Moody Medical Library. The Meyer Collection was further enhanced in 1993, when the Library received a large donation of postage stamps from Dr. Morris M. Weiss, a cardiologist in Louisville, KY.

Research Value

While philately remains a popular hobby throughout the world, the significance of the postage stamp reaches beyond its value as a collectible item: Stamps carry a visual image. Considered a form of popular art, these mass-produced miniature prints often carry a message and circulate among the millions. Governments issue stamps to commemorate an event, to honor an individual, to advocate new policies, and even to raise funds for charitable organizations such as the Red Cross. As popular art, stamps become valuable indicators of cultural development.

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