Before getting into the catalogs, new philatelic materials are described in philatelic journals. Covers of the magazine "Philately of the USSR" and "Philately" with images of philatelic materials of the USSR and Russia in different years.
Philatelic materials - rare stamps, couplings, blocks, small sheets, whole things, whole things, prints of postmarks, postal stickers and other signs of postal payment, which are objects of philatelists' collecting.
New philatelic materials published in a particular country are often described first in philatelic journals and then in philatelic catalogs.
Collectors usually store philatelic materials in albums and classers. Collected and systematized philatelic materials form philatelic collections  and are objects of philatelic exhibitions. Their exposition at exhibitions is regulated by special rules  , and for their design and placement  on the album sheets  and exhibits (exhibition stands) various fastening systems are used (terminals, transparent pockets ), some of which even patented .
To establish the authenticity of philatelic materials, philatelic expertise is resorted to .
A uniform and clear classification of philatelic materials has not yet been formed. Philatelists of different countries traditionally have somewhat different views on this matter, over time, however, undergoing some refinements and changes.
Based on the initiative of publishing, all philatelic materials are classified as follows :
Official philatelic materials issued by the state mail.
Signs of postage (postage stamps of different types, whole things, frankotypes, lump-sum payment stamps).
Postal documents, postal receipts, postal stickers.
Semi-official and unofficial philatelic materials issued by other government agencies with or without permission of the postal department (special stamps, service stamps allowing free sending of correspondence, stamps of colonial companies, city mail stamps, stamps of airline and shipping companies for additional payment for mail, postmaster stamps ).
Philatelic materials issued by private mail (postage marks, stamps, stickers).
In separate groups also stand out :
Revolutionary stamps and stamps of anti-colonial struggle.
In individual countries, specialized organizations (philatelic bureaus) are involved in the trade and distribution of philatelic materials. Examples of such are the Russian Philately Bureau, the Soviet Philatelic Association and the Central Philatelic Agency "Soyuzpechat"  in the RSFSR and the USSR, the company "Pofis"  in Czechoslovakia and the present Czech Republic, etc.
In various countries, systems for acquiring philatelic materials on subscriptions , the “Stamps by mail” service , with the help of mancolists  and approval sheets can be established.
Philatelic materials and collections can be publicly sold at auction .
Another form of replenishing collections of philatelic materials is the exchange , including foreign exchange . In this case, as a rule, duplicates of philatelic materials are available from collectors .
Exchanges are also arranged for the sale and exchange of philatelic materials during meetings of a large number of collectors, often at philatelic exhibitions .
In Russian legislation, the term "philatelic materials" is used in Art. 7 of the Law of the Russian Federation of April 15, 1993 No. 4804-01 “On the export and import of cultural property”, which states that “postage stamps, other philatelic materials, separately or in collections” are subject to this law, as well as in a number of other regulatory legal acts, in particular, orders of the Ministry of Communications dated May 26, 1994 No. 115 (“collection philatelic material”) and dated August 2, 1993 No. 184, order of the Rossvyazokhrankultury on October 5, 2007 No. 286.
According to clause 5.6 of the Regulations on Signs of Postal Payment and Special Postmarks of the Russian Federation, approved by Order No. 115 of the Ministry of Communications dated May 26, 1994, collection philatelic material is “withdrawn from the Federal Postal Service or withdrawn from postal circulation of postal payment ".