WASHINGTON - Beatle John Lennon produced lots of popular albums in his career. The one that is probably least known is going on display Thursday. It's his stamp album.
The album, purchased in June by the Smithsonian's National Postal Museum, will remain on display at least until April 10.
"Somewhere along the line, people started thinking of stamp collecting as somewhat stodgy. That's what has made John Lennon's stamp album so much fun, John Lennon could never be described as stodgy," said the museum's curator, Wilson Hulme.
Lennon would have been 65 on Sunday. The museum plans an open house in the afternoon for people to view the album and celebrate the music of Lennon and the Beatles.
The collection was begun by Stanley Parkes, Lennon's older cousin, who later gave it to the future Beatle when Lennon was 9 years old.
Lennon replaced Parkes's name and address on the album's flyleaf with his own signature and the address of the home he shared with his aunt, Mary Smith, and her husband, George.
Expressing his budding artistic talent, Lennon drew beards and mustaches in blue ink on the likenesses of British monarchs, including Queen Victoria and King George VI, on the album's title page.
Museum officials say there is evidence throughout the album that Lennon added and removed stamps over the years. Lennon's handwritten notes on the flyleaf indicate the album may have contained as many as 800 stamps at some point. Currently, the album contains 565 stamps.
The museum purchased the album from a British stamp dealer but declined to disclose the price.