US Stamps

Learning with stamps: the APS Summer Seminar June 21-26

April 15, 2015 11:00 AM

It’s your chance to take an “educational philatelic vacation.”

The American Philatelic Society is sponsoring its 36th annual Summer Seminar on Philately June 21-26 at the American Philatelic Center in picturesque Bellefonte, Pa.

The seminar is unique in the hobby, offering instruction in specific philatelic areas through a combination of lectures and hands-on workshops. Many students return year after year to learn more about the hobby while enjoying the social benefits.

The 2015 Summer Seminar begins with a Sunday evening reception.

The rest of the week, Monday through Thursday, features 4½ hours of class time each day. Students can also enjoy afternoon elective workshops, a student auction and two dinners.

The week ends with a Friday breakfast session with the staff of the American Philatelic Center, and one last opportunity to use the library, sales division, expertizing reference library and other resources at the center.

Four-day class choices

The 2015 four-day and two-day courses benefit collectors at every level of experience. Advanced courses will list prerequisites, while other course instructors can tailor the class to meet multiple needs.

A popular course in its second year is Fundamentals of Expertizing, taught by Clark Frazier, Irv Miller and Bill Weiss. The course is so popular, however, that it is already filled.

All of the remaining four-day courses have openings, but some are nearing capacity.

Collecting Revenues: U.S and Beyond, taught by Ron Lesher, is tailored to meet the needs of U.S. and worldwide collectors.

Robert Dalton Harris and Diane DeBlois have designed another significant course for postal history enthusiasts, Postal History Research: Brainstorming with the Pros. The instructors enlist the participation of postal history “pros” from around the world to be in the classroom via a live Internet connection.

Wayne Youngblood’s Stamp Technology course has been offered for more than 20 years and remains a bedrock course for all stamp collectors.

Steven Zwillinger, currently serving on the APS board of directors, is offering a new and flexible way to learn exhibiting. While teaching four-day students, he has organized the course to accommodate beginners for the first two days, and exhibitors in need of honing their exhibit for the last two days.

Two-day courses

The two-day courses allow attendees to spend all four days of Summer Seminar in class, or to spend two days learning in a structured class and the other two days enjoying the benefits and services of the American Philatelic Center’s Sales Division, the American Philatelic Research Library, the Stamp and Cover Shop, and meeting individually with directors and staff of their choice.

The two-day courses include Steven Zwillinger’s two exhibiting courses; Modern U.S. Postal History: 50 Years of Automation and Change with Douglas Quine; Research How To’s with Tara Murray; British Commonwealth: Postal History of Great Britain 1657-1840 with Pat Stilwell Walker; and Mexico on a Budget with Tad Mackie (a staffing change announced this month).

The highlight of the week is the Distinguished Philatelist dinner and recognition of instructors and graduates. The Distinguished Philatelist honoree this year is Robert (Bob) Lamb, former APS executive director, a regular volunteer, and a contributor to the APS monthly magazine, American Philatelist.

For fees, registration information, full course descriptions and more, visit APS online at; or contact program coordinator Janet Houser at 814-833-3820, or e-mail

The American Philatelic Society is the largest nonprofit organization for stamp collectors in the world.

For information about APS membership benefits, visit the APS website, or write to American Philatelic Society, 100 Match Factory Place, Bellefonte, PA 16823.

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