American Philatelic Society

Start Spreading the News …

About Stamp Collecting and the APS

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"Start spreading the news, “I’m leaving today. I want to be a part of it."
— Frank Sinatra, Ol’ Blue Eyes.

     Frank Sinatra’s classic song, “New York, New York” should have particular meaning for stamp collectors all over the world this month as the World Stamp Show-NY 2016 opens in New York City.
     Ten years ago, the United States hosted a great show in Washington, D.C., which by all accounts was a success. Since then, things have been tough on the global economy and the stamp collecting world, with the Great Recession hitting the hobby hard.
There are, however, some positive trends for us to celebrate. Stamp sales on eBay remain strong and sales on our own StampStore have been stronger than at any point since before 2008 and climbing. New member applications and returning American Philatelic Society members in recent months have been higher than years past. So, after years of planning, WSS-NY 2016 looks to be the beginning of a great summer for the APS and collectors everywhere.
     The American Philatelic Society presence at the show will be strong as ever. Details on APS items related to the show are included in the special show section of this issue. Make sure you stop by our booth at the front with a friend to sign up as a member, check out our specialty items on sale at the show, or thank the hardworking staff of the APS for all they do.

Summer Seminar on Philately
      After WSS-NY 2016, the APS will host the annual summer seminar in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. There is still time to join fellow members at the American Philatelic Center for a week of friendship and philately starting on June 19. To register, please go online at

Volunteer Work Week
     July 18 through 22, members will join us for what has become a memorable annual event, Volunteer Work Week. This is particular notable in 2016 because we will be finalizing all of the details for the new library, gearing up for the big show in Portland, organizing the headquarters for a big fall and beyond. There is no limit to the work that can be done this year and, while I may be biased, the weather in Bellefonte in July cannot be beat. If you can make plans to join us, please visit and register today.

StampShow in Portland, Oregon
     In August, you can head to the West Coast for our annual StampShow in Portland, Oregon. With 150 dealers, registrations are starting to add up and you won’t want to miss out on celebrating Northwest postal history and the 100th anniversary of the Oregon Stamp Society. We are trying out some new member benefits for preregistering for the show, August 4 to 7, so make plans to join us by going to:

Celebrating 130 Years
      There are two more events before the end of the year that will be big occasions for our membership. On September 13, the APS will mark 130 years in existence.
      I will talk more about this occasion in the September column, but our commitment remains the same today as it did then, making sure collectors have a safe place to buy and sell stamps.

Library Grand Opening
      On October 29, we will have the grand opening of the new library in Bellefonte. The American Philatelic Research Library was first chartered on October 28, 1968 — and 48 years later, almost to the day, we will open the finest and largest philatelic library in the world. The event is open to all members of the APS and we will be talking in more detail about it as we get closer. So, save up your energy, because 2016 is going to be a marathon, not a sprint for stamp collectors and the APS. Thankfully, our members have enthusiasm, patience, and endurance in great supply.

There’s Always a Stamp Club Meeting – Part II
      Last month, I talked briefly about visiting some of the local APS chapters in Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Ohio. Along the way, we recruited some new members and reclaimed some old members who have been gone for several years. I am pleased to report, some of the local clubs added members while I was there — including yours truly. Those visits were a great help to see and hear not only what’s happening in some of your neighborhoods, but how the APS can help.
      Word has spread and more clubs have invited us to come by and we will be there. April’s schedule is packed full. At both the St. Louis Stamp Expo and Kazoopex in Kalamazoo, Michigan, APS staff was on hand to represent and recruit.

      At the invitation of the Outer Banks Stamp Club and the West Suburban Stamp Club, I was the guest speaker at their annual banquets and was able to visit clubs in Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Richmond, Virginia (home of StampShow 2017); Cumberland, Maryland; Ann Arbor, Michigan; and the Collectors Club of Akron. By the time you read this article, I will have also just returned from Westpex in San Francisco. None of this would be possible without the kind invitations of local leaders and financial support of their members (thanks to those who let us sleep on their couches, beds, and so much more).
      We will continue to be out there meeting members and recruiting more, while getting some great ideas for what we can do to make the APS continue to be the advocate for collectors around the world. We hope to see you very soon.

It’s Your Election, Vote!

     Winston Churchill once remarked, “It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.” While not always pretty, elections benefit from an engaged and active participation.
     In 2016, most APS members have two opportunities to make their voices heard and I encourage you to do it. In this issue, you will receive the ballot for the APS and APRL board elections. Enclosed also are statements by all of the candidates running for office. You may also go to our website at to learn even more about the candidates. Since arriving at the APS last August, I have seen the energy and enthusiasm among our members and the stamp collecting community grow. Participating in this election takes a few moments, but will matter for years.
     The same is true for our national elections, in November. Every four years, we elect our president and the hallmark of our government has been the peaceful transition of power even in the toughest races. Over the years, some people, in frustration, stay home because they don’t believe their vote matters. While it’s rare that a single vote has decided the outcome of any election, let alone the presidential election, remember that we are electing a president, not an individual person. Regardless of how one might feel about the outcome of a particular race, it is that one unifying moment where people who agree and disagree come together and make their voices heard. We need you to be a part of these elections.
     As always, thanks to the members who provided insight and support through phone calls, letters, and e-mails. It is my honor to be a part of such a great community. If there is ever anything we can do, please feel free to contact me at

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