US Stamps

By William F. Sharpe

APS website offers information about the society and collecting

July 15, 2015 10:59 AM

  • A section of the main page of the American Philatelic Society’s website.
  • Cover page of the “A Stamp for Every Country” album, which includes one space for every stamp-producing country. The National Postal Museum created this album, which is available on the APS website.
  • An Ecuador stamp comparison from the “Forged or Genuine?” feature on the APS website.

By William F. Sharpe

The American Philatelic Society’s website has been updated significantly since my last column about the site in the Jan. 2, 2012, issue of Linn’s.

You can visit the web update page to find a listing of the latest additions to the site.

APS members can access older issues of the American Philatelist from January 2007 to the present at the archives page.

The first issue of the American Philatelist, Jan. 10, 1887, is available to members as an online bonus article with the January 2012 issue.

Other online extras also are available for members to read or download. As an example, the June 2015 issue’s extra items include three articles by Charles Posner about 1950 stamp issues, an additional page of Haitian stamps from the “World in a Nutshell” feature, and further details about five new United States issues.

Nonmembers can view the table of contents or one feature article from the archived issues of American Philatelist.

A new addition to the website is a list of Articles of Distinction. These are articles selected from APS chapters and affiliates publications. When I viewed the page, 32 articles were listed. All can be read or downloaded.

One interesting article, “Collecting the World,” explains how Stan Cornyn and Murray Geller managed to collect all 195,219 stamps to fill the 11 volumes of Scott’s 1977 International Album.

The drop-down list that appears when you move your mouse over the “Stamp Collecting” heading near the top left of the APS page offers a wealth of information about many aspects of collecting.

The “Tips and Links” page includes answers to many frequently asked questions, an article and video about soaking self-adhesive stamps, website tips, auction tips, detailed information about preservation and care of stamps, and useful links for other philatelic sites.

Under “US New Issues,” you can link to pages displaying United States stamps from 2010 to date. Each stamp listing includes an illustration, issue date, issue location, denomination, format, printer, Scott number (if available) and a notation about the soakability of the stamp.

Another page shows a reverse chronological listing of the first-class mail rates from 1845 to date.

The “Features and Freebies” page provides a monthly listing of special features, including free cachets, computer wallpaper, and specialty album pages for countries, states and topical issues.

You can download and print the album “A Stamp for Every Country” created by the National Postal Museum in 2013. This 132-page album provides a space for one stamp for each country that has produced stamps.

Online exhibits and stamp-related YouTube videos also can be viewed from the “Features and Freebies” page.

The feature “Forged or Genuine?” shows comparisons of genuine and forged stamps. A comparison of Ecuador Scott 68, the 1896 50-centavo General Juan Francisco Elizalde stamp, is pictured nearby.

The website includes a brief history of the APS, as well as membership information.

The various services provided by APS — including buying and selling stamps, learning opportunities, estate advice, insurance, and stamp identification and translations, to name a few — are found under the “Services” heading.

An events and shows calendar provides a search by category, date, event name and location.

The APS also publishes a Pinterest page.