How To Mount and Save Booklets

Stamps issued in booklet form present a challenge to collectors, and it's one of those areas where people split up on opposing sides. You will have to decide for yourself which side you're on, and arrange your collection accordingly!

The purist side thinks that a stamp booklet should be kept in mint condition, exactly as it is purchased from the post office. Now, since the traditional paper-cover stamp booklet of more recent years is sealed on the edge where the user opens it, keeping it mint means not opening that side. The purist might not even do this, but a collector could gently squeeze the still-sealed booklet until it bows open, and peer in at the stamps. A booklet that is intact--still has all its stamps inside--is called an "unexploded" booklet. The term was created before booklets started being sealed on the edge opposite the binding, so unexploded doesn't tell you anything about whether it's still sealed or not, it just says all the stamps are there.

If you want to store an intact booklet, there are several possibilities. You can get a small file drawer and put the booklets in there, separating them by dividers marked according to year date, catalogue number(s), etc. The booklets could be stored as is, or in glassines or plastic protectors.

There also are commercial albums for booklets. The largest size of corner mount (a plastic-and-paper triangle with glue on the back) will work for a booklet; use a mount on each of two opposite corners of the booklet.

If you want to keep your booklets in a binder, there are plastic sheets available divided into pockets, and the booklets can be inserted intact in the pockets.

If you'd like to be able to see the stamps inside the booklet, then you're on the opposite side from the purists, but you're not the only booklet collector who feels this way.

Once you open the booklet flat, you can place it on the album page using corner mounts, or use a regular stamp mount of the correct height and length. There also are plastic pages with slots that will accommodate an opened booklet.

However you store your booklets, treat them gently to avoid creases and dog-eared corners, because the condition of the booklet itself is important, as well as the stamps inside it.