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Perhaps the following might be of some help
Material from the Trust Territory period is often available on e-bay - material from the end of the Trust Territory to date is more common from the Marshalls and rarely seen from the Commonwealth of the Marianas which is not so much collected.
Commercial material from the Marshalls, Palau and Caroline Islands can often be found on the Zirinsky Stamps website & occasionally e-bay. You will also find lists of postmarks, and copies of the U.S. Pacific Islands Newsletter (complete run) and the U.S. Pacific Islands Bulletin currently published occasionally but using the index you can trace the developments at each of the post offices from at least 1993 with some information about earlier periods.
Obtaining current material from the Postal Administrations of the Marshalls, FSM & Palau is a bit hit and miss. Bear in mind the Pohnpei Post Office Philatelic Bureau has a set of cancellations for each office which are not always the same as those currently in use at the office concerned and they cancel any covers sent to the Pohnpei Post Offfice. The other three main post offices at Yap, Truk & Kosrea will provide current cancellations most of the time. It is difficult to find out which of the Branch Offices are currently open - The only one I have known to reply is Ulithi but I am not sure it is currently open. The Marshalls has become difficult in the last few years - if is difficult to get a request past Majuro where they appear to intercept mail and cancel with anything which happens to be to hand - usually Majuro. Palau when last I wrote some years ago, cancelled everything with a Philatelic Bureau handstamp.
Please do not hesitate to ask if you have further questions
What I meant by 'on paper' refers specifically to the US period. When purchasing, material is usually available as cancelled envelopes. A collection for the USTT would take up a lot of space. Taking my queue from Bob Murphy, I concluded that this is not the usual way of collecting, i.e., the stamps are not significant - it is the cancels. So I collect only the cancels and not the envelopes themselves (except for Kwajalein where you often have cachets).
So I guess my question was; is this an acceptable practice?
My collection has progressed from the German period where a lot of 'on paper' cancellations are available (whereas envelopes are both scarce and expensive) and I have continued this practice into the American period.