About this Site

DCStamps.com is a website based on collecting stamps and currency from countries which no longer exist — often defined as a “dead country”. According to Linn’s Stamp News, the definition of a dead country is “any area that has ceased existence and no longer produces postage stamps”. Although my definition is somewhat different (see my definitions page), the spirit remains the same, a focus on collecting postage stamps and/or banknotes from countries, colonies, revolutionary entities or occupational forces which no longer exist (in my case, ending before 1956).

My name is Michael Adkins, and as an avid collector in this area, I have a fairly broad collection and knowledge of the subject. The purpose of this site is to share my interest in this specialty and begin documenting what can be a daunting area for collectors. While I enjoy the organizing and collecting aspect of the hobby, I find that understanding the people, the historical context, and the political situation of the country from where it came, provides huge insight into the individual pieces of history we collect.

Another purpose for this site is to begin organizing and sharing my personal collection. I read on a blog a while back about building a digital stamp album. This concept intrigued me as I can organize and display my collection where it can be viewed it in a meaningful fashion, while the actual items remain safely in my stockbook, without hinges, albums or over handling the specimens.Making these digital albums involves 4 simple steps. 1) Designing a country by country album using PowerPoint, 2) Scanning the items in my collection into a .jpg format, 3) “Pasting” the scans digitally into the album, and 4) Converting the album into a .pdf format for easy display.

This site will always be “under construction”. It will take quite a while to put together album pages for my entire collection, I plan to continually adding to my collection, and of course I am always learning new things about the history of a region or country.

Please feel free to explore the site, offer suggestions, ask questions, let me know of countries not on my list, or even debate my definitions of a “dead country”.

Thank you for visiting.

Your comments are encouraged.


29 Responses to About this Site

  1. Jim Jackson says:

    Hi Michael
    Hope things are going O.K. for you.
    I am looking forward to any new posts, as you are one of the “must reads” for us “Dead County” lovers.

    All the best!
    Jim Jackson

  2. Hi! Great work you are doing! i introduce myself. I am Juan, from Argentina, and even thoughI focus my collection in the German Area (using Michel Catalogue), I also started a side collection of Dead Countries and even ongoing ones until 1940. The spark for this was inheriting a 1939 Schaubek album from a neighbour with space for several (but not all) stamps from all countries issued until that date. So I am evaluating options, and considering using the Schaubek, rendering honours to the philatelist behind me, but expanding it with explanations and descriptions in blank pages between the pre-printed album…. Looking for info I came across your site. I am following you in Twitter. I am writing now from Somaliland, since my job is travel writer and I am right now overlanding from Egypt to SouthAfrica. On the way I also try to visit historic Post Ofices or premises that used to house them even though they serve other ends nowadays. I was short ago in Suajin, Egypt’s first Post Office (1865), but all I found was a pile of rubble. OK, hope to be in touch!

    • Michael says:

      Hola Juan Pablo
      Bienvenidos a DCStamps
      Thank you for visiting the site, and I always love to hear from others interested in the history and stamps of interesting places from around the world. I checked your site, and was VERY impressed. We also love to travel, experience other cultures and meet people from around the world. While we don’t travel by backpack and certainly not full time, we do love to go off the beaten path and experience things far beyond the typical tourist places. We just got back from India and Bhutan a couple of months ago and will be in Japan in November, following the autumn colors with a rail pass.

      I will definitely be following you on your travels and would love to keep in touch (both on stamps and your adventures).

  3. Keith S. Chambers says:

    Hi Michael,
    I’ve been a longtime admirer and reader of your website, and I might blame you for my interests in dead countries . . . thank you for that.
    I recently came across the term, Necrophilately. I was pretty sure what it meant when I saw it, and have since confirmed it is the philatelic study of by-gone governments (dead countries past colonies and other short lived regimes that were around long enough to produce currency and stamps).
    I haven’t come across this term on your site. Is it my oversight, or do you avoid the term altogether. It does sound very much like studying dead folks on stamps, which would be a huge category. (!!!)

  4. Chris Whitehouse says:

    Hi Michael,

    Great site! I collect 1840-1940, but have been looking at various options to narrow my focus a bit, for one to better use my limited stamp budget, but also wanting to move over from Scott Internationals to Steiner pages and not wanting to have to have a whole room to hold the binders.

    The idea of collecting ‘dead countries’ is intriging as, like you, I’m interested in the historical aspects of the various counties I collect. I also suspect collecting dead countries could significantly reduce the total number of stamps (and binders) needed to collect as compared to a classic whole WW collection.

    One technical question on your album pages. Are the numbers below each stamp box Scott Cat. numbers? I just ask because I was thinking about adding Scott# to my Steiner pages, but was concerned about copyright issues (if later me or my family were to sell the collection).


    • Michael says:

      Hi Chris, welcome to DC Stamps. If you want to narrow your collection then Dead countries would definitely do that. Generally the numbers are Scott numbers, but in some cases, I have albums/stamps which are lot listed in Scott, so I use what is most appropriate. (sometimes Michel or SG). From my understanding (I am not a lawyer), copyright is not an issue for personal collections, unless you are planning on selling pages with the numbers.

      If you want to collect Dead Countries, Steiner album pages can be quite limiting. However, there isn’t anything around which fits my criteria, that is why I end up making my own.

      Good Luck and stay in touch.


  5. Mike Bates says:

    I do enjoy your site.

  6. Kenneth Clark says:

    Found out about your virtual albums on Stampboards and came to your site looking for a Demo on how to do the same – but can’t find it. I have a thematic collection on Marx and Communist revolution which has stamps which can be displayed in different ways – hence my interest. Please tell me is there somewhere i can learn how to create the excellent page types you have created?


  7. Mike Bayed says:

    I have not received a post in months.

    • Michael says:

      Hi Mike
      Glad that someone is watching. Have been taking a break for a few months as my wife had some difficult health issues. Good news is all is well and she is doing just fine now. Will be putting together some new posts soon.

      Thanks for asking

  8. Jim Jackson says:

    Hi Michael
    Are you taking a break? I suspect, Life (and work) are taking precedence at the moment.

    But just to let you know I miss reading your posts.

    Take care!

    Jim Jackson

    • Michael says:

      Hi Jim
      Nice to have you visit. I have indeed been taking a break. Lots of life indeed happened. My wife had some tough health issues over the last few months, but now she is doing well and has a clean bill of health. Our move to Florida is almost complete, and am getting used to a different lifestyle. I am looking forward to getting back into working on my stamps and the site, as well as continue travelling to some wonderful places around the world. So, stay tuned.
      Thanks for asking

  9. Brian Denham says:

    My apologies Michael. In a previous post I asked about Confederate States as a.. dead country and of course straight after found your listing. As far as I am aware , you have everything covered here. A most entertaining and infomative site.

  10. Hi Michael,

    I’ve looked at your site a few times and always find something to educate me and tempt me into new collecting areas!

    I’m really looking forward to seeing you write about the Australian colonies at some stage, including Queensland, where I live.

    All the best .


    • Michael says:

      Hi Peter
      Thank you for visiting DCStamps. At the moment, my write ups are based on organizing my collection, and what albums I am in the progress of making. Regarding you area of the world, I do have an album for Western Australia, and am in the early planning phase for Tasmania. Will try and do these within the next months. Not sure I have enough stamps in Queensland yet to make an album. Speaking of Queensland, some years back we visited your state and had a great time. In the north, we went to the rainforest, enjoyed the culture and I was able to go diving in the reef. In the south we stayed out at a ranch, rode horses and just relaxed. All highly recommended.
      By the way, you have very nice Blog, I will check it out more.

  11. Jerry says:

    I enjoy looking at your website. You have put a tremendous amount of work into it. I started collecting many years ago when I inherited a fairly large accumulation. Just now, decades later, I am beginning to organize it. Some of the stamps are indeed from dead countries. Out of curiosity, how many dead countries do you count at this point by your definition? Thank you.

    • Michael says:

      Hi Jerry, thank you for visiting DCStamps, and I am glad you enjoy the site. As you are just beginning to organize your collection, if you are a bit computer literate, I would suggest you consider putting together “digital albums” such as I have. I am in the process of writing a tutorial at Stamp Bears. The thread can be found at: http://stampbears.net/thread/1940/creating-custom-digital-stamp-albums, take a look.

      To answer your question, at the moment I have identified 658 “countries” that fit my definition. And that only includes countries that ceased to exist before the end of 1955. You can find the full list under my “DEAD COUNTRY LIST” page. Please note that this list changes somewhat frequently, especially as I better understand the history of a particular region.

  12. John Apfelbaum says:

    Hi Michael: I just came across your wonderful site and would love to talk with you. I see you are in the Philadelphia area. Could you please email me as i would like to reach out to you about some ideas I have

  13. Michael Bates says:

    Wonderful….are these pages something I can capture as a pdf and then print them out an mount my stamps over the pictures of yours? This would make a beautiful addition to my growing interest in this area. Mike

    • Michael says:


      I am so glad you found DCStamps useful. Not sure what your area if interest is, but would love to hear about it.

      If you want to obtain a pdf of a page (or pages), the best way I can recommend is the following:
      1. If you don’t use Google Chrome, I would recommend you load it because it has a great feature of creating a pdf from a webpage. If you don’t have it, just search Google chrome and you can find the download site.
      2. Go to the webpage you want to obtain the pdf.
      3. Click on the upper right corner (the one with three lines) and choose “print”
      4. Change the destination to “Save as PDF”
      5. Press “save” and it creates a pretty nice pdf copy of the page.

      I tried it and it made a great copy which you can easily cut up to place in your album. I just might do this myself to have a record of my pages.

      Hope this helps and thank you for visiting DCStamps.

  14. Stephen A. Haggard says:

    Michael – I must compliment you on an outstanding site. The scope and quality of this Project is outstanding and very informative and useful. I’ve been away from stamp collecting fir many years and your graphic presentation has helped me immensely in getting a good picture of the ins and out of the German World War I Occupation and German Offices Abroad issues once again. I’ll close by saying that I’m most impressed with the Transition Charts. I find them very helpful also and hope to many more as time goes by. Keep up the good work………………………….Steve Haggard

    • Michael says:

      Thank you for your encouragement and interest. I work on it as I have time, but over the years I hope to build it as a valuable resource for collectors or anyone interested in history. Hope you check back from time to time to see what is new. Any suggestions for improvement are welcome and encouraged.
      Thanks again

  15. James says:

    Great site Micheal. Its very informative and helpful.

    I’m also just starting to use wordpress, but my blog is nowhere near structured as yours.

    Good job!

    • Michael says:

      Thanks James. Actually WordPress is quite versatile, and not too hard for novices. Good luck on learning the tool.

      As for the site, I try to add one or two countries per week. This time next year, the site should start becoming a good tool for collectors. Plus, I have started putting together Regional Transition Charts, which I am finding really helpful.


  16. Michael says:

    Hi Matt.
    Thank you for your kind words. I will contact you shortly, but I am more than happy to have you (or any site with similar interests) link to the site. I am in the midst of fully revamping, updating, and adding content to the site, and didn’t even notice that I hadn’t introduced myself. I fixed that on the WELCOME PAGE (along with cleaning up some typos), and will add an “ABOUT ME” page in a few days.

  17. Matthew Hill says:


    I am the Editor of Stamp & Coin Mart magazine and wondered if you would be able to help me.

    We have a brief article on ‘dead’ countries in our next issue and I would like to mention your website. Would it be possible to have your name, so we can credit you with the brilliant website?

    I also wondered if you would be interested in writing about dead countries for the magazine in the future, and so would be very grateful if you could get in touch.

    Many thanks,

    Matthew Hill
    Editor, Stamp & Coin Mart

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