Rather commonplace in modern usage, stamps served a number of purposes well before the twentieth century. Aside from their use by postal services to indicate the payment of postage fees, stamps have been used for tax collection, food rationing, publicity, and other purposes. Often printed in color and with a wide variety of styles, designs, and artwork, these small forms of media were utilized extensively during the Spanish Civil War.
The Republicans made use of stamps during the war to serve all of the purposes listed above. Stamps included in this collection shed light on life in Spain during the Civil War. The wide variety of publishers they represent and the causes they support characterize the marketplace of ideas that dominated life during the Spanish Civil War. Among other things, they highlight the relative strengths of the various levels of government during the war and the competing crowd of political parties, unions, and aid initiatives active during the war.
The materials included in this website were taken from the holdings of the Southworth Spanish Civil War Collection from the Special Collections & Archives at the University of California, San Diego. This digital exhibition is meant to serve as a complement to other electronic exhibitions organized by the library and as a companion to the public and researchers interested to learn more regarding the use of diverse forms of media in one of the major episodes in the history of modern political propaganda.
The navigation above leads the viewer to several small collections of assorted stamps. Each page includes a number of stamps organized in thematic fashion with comments regarding their significance on each page. Originals are on file in Special Collections & Archives.