27 Volumes (approximately 6,900 p.; 1 index v., 29 cm. +)
The collection consists chiefly of hand-written notes made by Southgate on a wide range of postal history topics and related matters, generally on lined or graph paper measuring 25 x 15 cm. or smaller, for keeping in triple-post binders. Some of the notes were made in "Lefax" or other commercially-available notebooks. The collection includes numerous mounted newsclippings, brochures, and excerpted articles from philatelic journals, as well as statistical data, advertisements, copies of correspondence, and diagrams made by Southgate to illustrate plate variations, etc.
Hugh McLellan Southgate (b. Sept. 3, 1871; d. Oct. 23, 1940), a resident of Chevy Chase, Maryland, was an important postage stamp collector and an active member of several philatelic societies. He was a founder and the first president of the Philatelic Plate Number Association (1926-1928), as well as the first president and chairman of the board (1930-1940) of its successor, the Bureau Issues Association (now the United States Stamp Society). He was also an authority on the printing of stamps by the United States Bureau of Engraving and Printing.
Each leaf containing data has been photocopied from the original notebooks, with the exception of v. 5, which consists entirely of a printed checklist of Bureau of Engraving and Printing precancels and Presidential series for 1938-1940 (an index sheet noting the contents of v. 5 is present, only).
The presence of blank leaves in the original notebooks is noted in the index sheets and the finding aid.
The volumes are numbered 1 through 26, plus a miscellaneous compilation labelled "vol. xl" (or "HMS notebook prelim. no. 1" by G.W. Brett). There is also a separate index volume containing copies of all the index sheets that Brett created to serve as tables of contents for each volume in the collection.