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MS Am 2601

Churchill, S. Garton, collector. S. Garton Churchill family-Lester L. Hoffman stamp collection, 1949-1952: Guide.

Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University


Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 USA

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Location: Harvard Depository
Call No.: MS Am 2601
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Creator: Churchill, S. Garton, collector.
Title: S. Garton Churchill family-Lester L. Hoffman stamp collection,
Date(s): 1949-1952.
Quantity: 1 collection (4 linear feet (25 volumes)
Language of materials: Collection materials are in English.
Abstract: Collection of postage and air mail stamps issued to commemorate the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Universal Postal Union in 1949. This collection was assembled by S. Garton Churchill and Lester L. Hoffman.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

52-357. Gift of S. Garton Churchill, 11 Broadway, New York, New York; received: 1952 November 8.

Processing Information:

Processed by: Bonnie B. Salt

Conditions Governing Access:

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.
This collection is not housed at the Houghton Library but is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. Retrieval requires advance notice. Readers should check with Houghton Public Services staff to determine what material is offsite and retrieval policies and times.

Preferred Citation for Publication:

S. Garton Churchill family-Lester L. Hoffman Stamp Collection, 1949-1952 (MS Am 2601). Houghton Library, Harvard University.

Related Materials

Papers relating to the appraisal and donation of this stamp collection is cataloged as: S. Garton Churchill papers on Churchill-Hoffman U.P.U. Stamp Collection (MS Am 2599).

Biographical / Historical

The Universal Postal Union (Union générale de postes or U.P.U.) was founded in 1874. It became a specialized agency of the United Nations in 1947. U.P.U. stamps were issued in 1949 to commemorate the seventy-fifth anniversary of the formation of the U.P.U.
Seymour Garton Churchill was born in Bellefontaine, Ohio in 1900 and graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University (B.A. 1922) and Harvard Law School (1926). He spent most of his legal career at the firm of Loeb, Churchill & Lawther in Manhattan. He began playing competitive bridge in 1928 and became one of the great American bridge players and bridge theorists. He wrote Contract bidding tactics at match-point play (1937) and Churchill natural bidding style at contract bridge (1979). He died of pneumonia in Fairview, North Carolina, at age 92 in 1992. His wife was Mary Ellen Peck Churchill (d.1973), and they had two children, James Garton Churchill and Barbara Faurot Churchill Thompson.
In the introduction to the papers in bMS Am 2599, Churchill states that for over twenty years he had been collecting United States commemorative stamps for his two children, through an invalid friend of his, Lester Lee Hoffman of Brooklyn, New York. In 1949, at Hoffman's urging, Churchill began collecting foreign Universal Postal Union stamps issued to commemorate the seventy-fifth anniversary of the forming of the U.P.U. Churchill gifted this stamp collection to Houghton in November of 1952.


Organized into two series:

Scope and Contents

Collection consists of the Universal Postal Union stamps issued by all the countries in the Union, most of them on first-day covers and many in blocks of four. Volumes of the British Empire U.P.U. stamps, the Lester L. Hoffman series of the collection, contain plate and imprint blocks (either 6, 8, 10 or 12 stamps to the block) of all the mint U.P.U. stamps issued by the British Empire and a few covers containing blocks of such stamps. The collection contains many specialities, and the Haiti section contains proofs of stamps never issued.
Also includes clippings, a few photographs, and letters from stamp dealers and others concerning problems with the issuing of these stamps.
The collector has put the stamps and covers into clear sleeves then fixed the sleeves onto pages. Pages have been arranged into loose-leaf volumes.


This collection is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. See access restrictions below for additional information.

Container List