World Stamps

Websites of Stamporama and ATA have won several APS awards: Computers and Stamps

May 20, 2016, 6 AM

By William F. Sharpe

One way of finding well-designed stamp websites is to look at the list of award winners from the 2015 American Philatelic Society’s chapter and affiliate website competition.

The APS has evaluated websites since 2012. You can view the winners for all four years, and there are links to all 40 sites.

Two websites, Stamporama and the American Topical Association, have received awards each year. 

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The APS also has provided awards for websites of chapters and affiliates since 1999. 

The Mid-Cities Stamp Club of Plano, Texas, has been a consistent winter since 2001. You can find recent issues of this club’s newsletter, Stamping Around.

Stamporama was founded in 1996 for the trading of duplicates among members. Today, it has more than 3,000 members.

The group offers two publications, both of which are available to read online. The Rambler is a quarterly newsletter, and the Stamporama Gazette is an electronic newsletter that provides old philatelic books in a serial format, with one longer chapter or several shorter chapters in each edition.

Vol. 1 offers The Stamp Collector, A Guide to the World’s Postage Stamps by Stanley C. Johnson, published in 1920. Vol. 2 presents John N. Luff’s “What Philately Teaches,” a lecture given in 1899.

You can join the group at no cost but you need to complete an online application in order to do so.

The site offers an interesting discussion board with a variety of topics, auctions, and approval books. Anyone can visit these pages but only members can post messages, bid on auctions, or buy approvals. You can buy stamps in the approval section. However, rather than being mailed to you, these approvals are examined online.

Founded in 1949, the ATA, which can be found online here, has approximately 3,000 members. 

The association’s journal Topical Time covers virtually all varieties of topical stamps. It is published six times per year.

You can view a sample copy at the site, although it’s from 1959. Click on “Topical Time Archive” on the left side of the home page. Then click on PDF or “Flipping Book” under “Sample Issue” on the right side of that page.

In addition, there is an indexed list of more than 18,000 articles published in Topical Time from 1949 through 2013. I found 49 articles about mathematics and 37 about computers. 

You can purchase an archive of all these issues of Topical Time on a flash drive usable on Windows and Macintosh computers for $99.

The 52 study groups that are associated with the ATA are listed on the site, along with website links, email contacts, and brief membership information about each group.

Membership information is provided at the site. Members can view and/or download electronic versions of Topical Time from 2013 to date as well as order checklists on a variety of topics. 

Membership rates including the digital version of Topical Time range from $25 for one year to $100 for five years, and, to receive both the print and digital edition, rates are $30 per year or $125 for five.

More Computers and Stamps columns:

APS website offers information about the society and collecting

Two computer programs that can measure stamp perforations

Graphics Philately Association’s website includes articles, stamp gallery