By Rick Miller
Are you looking for a new collecting area? Do you need more information about an area that you already collect? Would you like to make contact with other collectors who are interested in the same collecting areas as you are?
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, chances are that there is a specialty society to assist you.
Specialty societies often publish journals or newsletters, sponsor research and publication, maintain web sites, provide speakers or slide or video presentations, offer expertization and translation services, conduct auctions, offer sales circuits, and provide other services and benefits to assist the collector in the enjoyment of the stamp hobby.
In this week's Refresher Course, we will look at a few specialty societies dedicated to collecting foreign countries or regions.
The Brazil Philatelic Association is unit No. 32 of the American Philatelic Society. The society is dedicated to the postage stamps and covers and revenue stamps of Brazil.
The society publishes a quarterly journal, Bull's Eyes. The journal takes its name from the nickname for the classic 1843 stamps of Brazil.
A 60-reis black Bull's Eye stamp, Brazil Scott 2, is shown in Figure 1. An annual membership in the society is $15. Write to William Kriebel, 1923 Manning St., Philadelphia, PA 19103. You can learn more online at www.brazilphilatelic.org.
The Society of Costa Rica Collectors is an international group of stamp collectors interested primarily in the study of stamps and postal history of Costa Rica.
The society was organized in 1963, and it publishes a quarterly journal, Oxcart. The society maintains a web site at www.socorico.org.
Annual membership in the society is $12. Write to Raul Hernandez, 4204 Haring Road, Metairie, LA 70006
A 20-centimo ultramarine Mail Plane airmail stamp, Costa Rica Scott C1, is shown in Figure 2.
The China Stamp Society, established in 1945, began life in 1932 as the China Unit of the APS. The society maintains a web site at www.chinastampsociety.org.
China Clipper, the society's journal, is published six times a year.
The society has a number of regional chapters located throughout the United States as well as international chapters in China and Taiwan.
Annual membership in the society is $18. Write to Paul Gault, Box 20711, Columbus, OH 43220 or download a membership application from the web site.
A $2 brown, red and yellow Wild Duck stamp, China Scott 108, is shown in Figure 3.
The Society for Czechoslovak Philately is an international organization founded in 1939.
Its journal, Czechoslovak Specialist, has been in continuous publication since 1939 and is published six times a year.
The society maintains a web site at www.czechoslovakphilately.com.
Membership in the society is $18 a year. Write to R.T. Cossaboom, Box 25332, Scott AFB, IL 62225-0332 or download an application from the web site.
A 50-kopek green Armored Railroad Car, Czechoslovak Legion Post Scott 2, is shown in Figure 4.
The Ethiopian Philatelic Society is open to anyone interested in collecting postage stamps, covers, and related material of Ethiopia.
The society maintains a web site at http://home.comcast.net/~fbheiser/ethiopia5.htm.
Menelik's Journal is published quarterly by the society. Annual membership is an incredibly reasonable $7.50. Write to Floyd Heiser, 5710 S.E. Garnet Way, Milwaukie, OR 97267 or download an application from the web site.
A 6-guerche light blue and orange Cathedral of St. George stamp, Ethiopia Scott 126, is shown in Figure 5.
The International Society of Guatemala Collectors is an APS affiliate founded in 1948. Membership is open to anyone interested in stamps and covers of colonial and modern Guatemala and adjacent regions of Central America.
The society publishes the quarterly journal El Quetzal and maintains a web site at www.guatemalastamps.com.
Membership in the society is $18 annually. Write to H. Mae Vignola, 105-22nd Ave., San Francisco, CA 94121-1216 or download an application from the web site.
A 5-centavo-de-quetzal buff and dark blue Railroad Station stamp, Guatemala Scott 254, is shown in Figure 6.
The Haiti Philatelic Society, founded in 1975, is dedicated to informing interested persons about all aspects of the Haitian postal system from the mid-1700s to the present. The society is APS affiliate No. 81.
The society maintains a web site at www.haitiphilately.org.
The society publishes a quarterly journal, Haiti Philately.
Annual membership is $15. Write to Ubaldo Deltoro, 5709 Marble Archway, Alexandria, VA 22315 or download an application from the web site.
A 50-centime brown Christophe's Chapel at Malot stamp, Haiti Scott 332, is shown in Figure 7.
The Germany Philatelic Society is dedicated to the generation and distribution of knowledge covering all aspects of stamps and covers of Germany and related areas.
The society has more than 30 chapters located throughout the United States and Canada.
Additionally, the society has 13 study groups dedicated to specialized areas of German philately.
The society maintains a web site at www.gps.nu.
The society publishes a monthly journal, German Postal Specialist.
Annual membership in the society is $25 plus a $2.50 admission fee for new members. Write to Germany Philatelic Society, Box 799, Arnold, MD 21012-4779 or download an application from the web site.
A 1-schilling dull blue and greenish-blue Coat of Arms stamp, Schleswig-Holstein Scott 1, is shown in Figure 8.
The Great Britain Collectors Club is dedicated to bringing together collectors of Great Britain who wish to progress beyond casual collecting.
The club maintains a web site at www.gbstamps.com/gbcc.
The club publishes the quarterly journal G.B.C.C. Chronicle.
Membership is $25 annually. Write to Parker A. Bailey Jr., Box 773, Merrimack, NH 03054-0773 or download an application from the web site.
A £5 bright orange Queen Victoria stamp, Great Britain Scott 93, bearing a West Hartlepool bull's-eye cancel dated Feb. 22, 1902, is shown in Figure 9.
The International Society for Japanese Philately exists to promote interest in the stamps and covers of Japan and former Japanese colonies (Korea, Sakhalin, and Taiwan); territories (Kwantung, the South Manchurian Railway Zone, and the mandated Caroline, Mariana, and Marshall Islands); occupied areas of China and Southeast Asia including Manchoukuo and the Ryukyu Islands; Japanese seapost offices and other civilian and military post offices abroad; and foreign post offices in Japan.
The society maintains a web site at www.isjp.org/isjp.html.
The society publishes a journal, Japanese Philately, four to six times a year.
Membership is $12 annually. Write to Kenneth Kamholz, Box 1283, Haddonfield, NJ 08033 or download an application from the web site.
A 15-fen vermilion Emperor Kang Teh stamp, Manchoukuo Scott 50, is shown in Figure 10.
The Mexico Elmhurst Philatelic Society International is unique among specialized philatelic societies in that it was begun not by a group of specialists but by members of a local stamp club.
The Elmhurst (Illinois) Philatelic Society, founded in 1935, evolved from a small town general club for stamp collectors into an international specialist society dedicated to the stamps and covers of Mexico.
The society's web site is located at www.mepsi.org.
The society's journal, Mexicana, is published quarterly.
Annual membership is $25. Write to Michael D. Roberts, 5881 W. 75th St., Los Angeles, CA 90045-1706 or send a membership information request from the society's web site.
A 25-centavo orange Emperor Maximilian stamp, Mexico Scott 29, is shown in Figure 11.
The Ukrainian Philatelic and Numismatic Society, founded in 1951, seeks to unite all collectors of Ukrainian material. It is particularly dedicated to the promotion of Ukrainian stamp, coin and medal collecting.
All fields, from prestamp mailings to post-Soviet provisionals, and from ancient coins to current banknotes, are encouraged.
The society maintains a web site at www.upns.org.
The society publishes its journal, Ukrainian Philatelist, twice a year. It also publishes a newsletter, Trident Visnyk, six times a year.
Annual membership in the society is $25 plus a one-time $2 registration fee. Write to George Slusarczuk, Box 303, Southfields, NY 10975-0303 or request membership information via the society web site.
A 20-hryvnia red and green stamp, Ukraine Scott 48, is shown in Figure 12.
Don't despair if a specialty society for your area of interest is not discussed here. We've barely scratched the surface of what is available.
The APS has 198 affiliated specialty societies. For a complete listing, go to its web site at www.stamps.org. or write to the APS Affiliate Coordinator, Box 8000, State College, PA 16803.
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