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Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to the new online home of the American Topical Association. This new website offers members, prospective members and casual collectors a new online resource for Association information, membership management, topical collecting conversations, online purchases and much more. 


This new site takes advantage of many modern enhancements in technology and is also linked securely to the ATA membership management system. This enables the ATA to merge the two previous websites into a single site that is easy to use AND easy to expand and maintain. But that also means that many things will function differently. We appreciate your patience in adjusting to the new site and we look forward to rolling out new features in the coming months.

Some of the key features of the new site include:

    • a single site where members can sign-on to manage their profile, easily renew, read the online version of Topical Time and make discounted purchased from the ATA online store.
    • a mobile-responsive site that will function well on computers, tablets and smart phones. Some links and documents will still be easier to use on a large screen, but the overall site will be much easier to navigate if you are on a device other than a computer.
    • an easy-to-use online store available to both members and non-members. This online store will be the easiest and fastest way to order handbooks, ATA-branded items, event and first day covers and much more. You can easily make your payment with a major credit card or a PayPal account. Customers can also place orders and request to be invoiced for their purchases. The order won't ship until payment is received, but if you prefer to pay with a check, this is an easy option to use.
To help you with the transition to the new site, we have created several how-to sections below. These will guide you through the most common questions regarding how to use the new site. If you encounter other issues, please feel free to contact us using the support form on the Help Request page.

START HERE: Setting Your Password

click here for details on how to set your password

Since this is a totally new website, logins for the site have been created anew as well. The email address that we have on file for you will be your new username and you will use the procedure below to set your password.

Please read through this procedure before beginning the process:

  1. Click once on the button RESET YOUR PASSWORD below. 
  2. This will take you to a page titled RESET YOUR PASSWORD.
  3. Enter your email address in the YOUR EMAIL field. Then, in the CODE field, enter the letters, numbers and symbols shown in the anti-spam image.
  4. Click the SUBMIT button. If your email address is not on file, you will see an error message. Otherwise the system will send you an email with a link to reset your password. Remember to check your JUNK/SPAM folders if the email does not appear in your mailbox shortly.
  5. In the email, you will see a link. Click on the link. If the link is not clickable, copy and paste the entire link into your web browser.
  6. This will take you to a page titled Reset Your Password.
  7. On this page, enter your desired password and then confirm the password in the second field. Click SUBMIT to finalize the process.
  8. Assuming both fields match, you will see a confirmation of the change. You can now login with your email address and the new password.


If we do not have an email on file for you, you will need to call the office to provide an email address for your membership.

Logging Into the Site

click here for details on how to log in

Many of the resources of the new ATA website are available without being logged in. However, members will want to log in to shop and when accessing Topical Time. Also, there are plans for future additions that will require members to log in for access.

Please Note IconBefore you can log in, you will need request your new login using the SETTING YOUR PASSWORD procedure documented on this page. Essentially this process is your way to set a password of your choosing. Please note that you will not be able to login until you have gone through that procedure.

After setting your password, you can log into the site using the procedure below. Please note, you can log in from ANY page in the site by clicking the LOG IN button that appears near the top left of every page in the website.

  1. To log in, click the LOG IN button below or at the top right of any page in the site.

    Log In

  2. The LOG IN page will have a field for your email address and your password. Enter both and then click LOG IN.

  3. If your entries are correct, you will be logged in. Otherwise the system will present an error message and you will need to try again.

Whenever you are on the ATA website, you can see if you are logged in by looking at the top right corner of any page. If you see your name, a CHANGE PASSWORD link and the LOG OUT link, you are currently logged in. If you see the LOG IN button, you are NOT logged into the site.

How to Search the Site

click here for information on using the site search tool

The new website includes a powerful search function. This tool will enable you to find resources even if you don't immediately know where to look on the new site. The search function is available from nearly every web page in the site. The following procedure should acquaint you with the basics of the function.
  1. The search tool is available in the top right corner of each website page.
    Site Search Field

  2. Type the text you want to search into the search field (see image below). For this example, we will search for the text "album pages" - a commonly requested resource from the ATA website.

  3. When you enter your search text, if a web resource exists that directly matches the text, the site will show you that resource as an immediate result. The example above shows a search for "album pages" returning a result for a matching page. This can also occur for events and news articles.

  4. You can click on that page, continue typing more text, or click the link to search the text you have entered, in this case 'album pages.'

  5. If you click SEARCH FOR 'ALBUM PAGES,' the site will search for and show you links for every page or resource that includes both of those words. For this search the site will show every occurrence with both words, even if the words are not together on the page.

  6. To search for only occurrences of "album pages" where the words appear together, type your search using the quotation marks as shown below.

Updating your Profile

click here to learn about editing your profile

Members can now update their profile online. This will enable you to keep your your mailing address current, add new topical interests, and much more. Because the membership profile is so extensive, the procedure below will cover only how to access and edit your profile.

Please note, certain fields in your profile are mandatory and must contain valid entries. If you delete information from mandatory files in your profile, you will not be able to save your profile updates until these fields have been corrected. Please ensure that address changes are complete and accurate so that we are able to reach you via mail, especially if you receive a printed copy of Topical Time.

In order to access your profile, you will need to be able to log into the site. Please see the process documented above for instructions on how to log in.

  1. The log in button is available in the top right corner of each website page. Click that button and complete the process of logging in to access your profile.

  2. Once you have successfully logged into the site, you will see your name above the search field toward the top right corner of each page of the site. In our example image below, the imaginary member, Jean Topicalist, is logged in. 

  3. To edit your profile, click once on your name. This will open the profile section of the site and will display the basic information on file for you as a member. The top portion of the profile page (shown below) includes links to each area of your information.

  4. Click once on EDIT PROFILE to change any of the member-accessible details. You will be able to update your contact information, your privacy settings and you choice of which emails to receive from ATA (see below).

  5. When you have finished editing your information. Click the SAVE button to store the changes.
Please note, changing your email address will also change your website login. For example, if your current email is and you edit your profile with a new email address, you will need to use the new email address for future logins.

By default, all members' profile information is set to fully private. No one can see any detail about you. You can change privacy settings in your profile, but please be aware that these settings can make your information available to members and/or any visitor to the website.

Ordering from the ATA Online Store

click here to learn about online ordering

The new incorporates a simple online store. This system is very simple compared to the complex and powerful stores that retailers and for-profit businesses use. Consequently, some of the advanced features to which savvy online shoppers are accustomed may not be available in the ATA Web Store. However, the site is secure and offers some advantages not available even in - like offline payments.

  1. To browse the store, click ATA Store in the main site menu or select one of the store departments (shown in the image below). Clicking on ATA Store will show you a small selection of the items in each category, click on the category name (like "Handbooks and Publications") will show you all of the products in that category.

  2. On either the main store page or a category page, click on any store item to see the full product details including descriptions, additional images and shipping information. Most items are listed with domestic (USA) shipping included. International customers can still order, but we will contact you to make arrangements for the actual shipping costs.

  3. Many items in the store have a member discount on the price. In order to take advantage of this membership benefit, you must log in BEFORE placing the item in your shopping cart. Click here for help with the login process.

  4. In the detail view, indicate a desired quantity to order and then click once on the ADD TO CART button. The store will add the item to your cart but will not change your page view. The VIEW CART button beside ADD TO CART will now show the number of items in your cart.

  5. Click once on the VIEW CART button. The cart page will display a list of all of the items you have added to your shopping cart with a summary of the price. You can adjust quantities and remove items from your cart here. To continue shopping, click once on the CONTINUE SHOPPING button. To checkout, click once on the PROCEED TO CHECKOUT button.

  6. If you are logged in, the information required for checkout will be auto-filled with the information from your profile. The first check out screen is for billing details, click CONTINUE to proceed.

  7. The next screen will require your shipping information. If you are shipping the product to a US address, the default shipping information ($0.00 |Domestic (USA) Shipping) does not need to be changed. If you are shipping to an address outside of the US, please select the International Shipping option. This will add the minimum additional charge for international addresses. If you enter an international address, we will contact you to discuss the additional shipping costs for your order. Enter the shipping address and then click once on the CONTINUE button to proceed.

  8. The next screen will be a confirmation of your order including the products, the billing information, and the shipping address. If you need to make any changes, click the BACK button near the bottom of the page to return to the previous checkout pages. You can add comments to your order if needed.

  9. To finalize your order, click the I'M NOT A ROBOT window to complete the anti-spam verification. You can then choose to pay securely online or have an invoice sent to you. PAY ONLINE will take you to PayPal where you can pay with a major credit card or your PayPal account. You are not required to have or create a PayPal account to pay online.

  10. If you choose the INVOICE ME option, you will immediately see a screen with the invoice details. Please print this screen and send the printout with your check for payment. If you change your mind and wish to pay online, the invoice screen will include a button to pay online. Please note, invoiced orders will ship only after payment is received.

You will receive an email confirmation of your order and another email when the orders has been fulfilled/shipped.

Viewing Topical Time on the Site

click here for details on how to access Topical Time on the website

Access to Topical Time, the bi-monthly journal of the ATA, is a benefit of membership. If you are a prospective member, we encourage you to preview Topical Time with this sample online issue. Access to the current issue and back issues to 2013 is restricted to current members. If you are an ATA member and would like to access Topical Time, please follow the procedure below to acquaint yourself with accessing the online journal.

  1. To access Topical Time, log in using your email and password. For help on this process, see "Logging Into the Site" above.

  2. Once you are successfully logged in, the site will include additional options under several menus. One of the affected menus is RESOURCES => TOPICAL TIME where you will now see menu items for TOPICAL TIME ONLINE and TOPICAL TIME ONLINE 2020 through 2013.

  3. To read the current issue of Topical Time, select TOPICAL TIME ONLINE from the menu (RESOURCES => TOPICAL TIME => TOPICAL TIME ONLINE). If you are logged in, you can also click here to go directly to the page. 

  4. The Topical Time current issue page will open with the current issue displayed in an online flipbook preview (see below) in the middle of the page.

  5. You can read the issue in the current web page by clicking the arrow on the right edge of the preview. You can also view the magazine in full screen mode. Click once on the READ NOW button in the middle of the magazine cover. The issue will open full screen on your computer or tablet (see below). Use the arrows on the left and right edge of your screen to flip through the pages. At the bottom of the screen are a number of icons that control other functions like magnification, saving a PDF version and more.

  6. To exit the full screen view, simply press the ESC key. On most tablets, an X will appear in the top left fo the screen since most tables lack a physical ESC key.

  7. At the bottom of the TOPICAL TIME ONLINE page are links to the various back issue years. Click on any of the year sets to see the available issues. When you reach the desired back issue year, the magazine icons will be smaller but will work the same way as described above.

  8. embers can download a PDF of the current edition from the link above the magazine preview. On the back issue pages, the PDF link is located under the Month and Year heading.

Thank you for consulting this help and how-to page. As we encountered more questions from site visitors, we will expand the subjects on this page. If you encounter an issue on the new site, please feel free to submit our Support Request form and someone will get back to you as quickly as possible.

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The American Topical Association is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
Post Office Box 2143, Greer, SC 29652-2143.

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