It is believed that people have been collecting paper money for as long as it has been in use. While people began collecting paper currency more systematically in the 1940s, the turning point occurred in the 1970s when notaphily was established as a separate area by collectors. The term was devised in this decade by a group of employees working for the collectors and investements firm Stanley Gibbons, in a successful attempt to formalize and encourage interest in the area.
At the same time, some developed countries such as the USA, Germany and France began publishing their respective national catalogs of paper money, which represented major points of reference literature.
In 1961, The International Bank Note Society, (IBNS), was formed as an international association of banknote collectors. Nowadays it has thousands of members from around the world. The IBNS publishes the quarterly IBNS Journal, holds regular mail bid auctions, and promotes lectures at congresses.