How can I get more involved in stamp collecting?

Stamp collecting is usually seen as a solitary hobby, but it can be very sociable. Local stamp clubs and stamp shows attract others who share your passion for collecting stamps. While at these stamp shows see other collectors competing for the medals by exhibiting their collections. National societies and national and international stamp shows increase the opportunities to meet collectors from all over the world. Some stamp collectors write and publish about the stamps they have in their collections. Others lecture and present educational seminars. Make new friends and learn more about your hobby by becoming involved in these activities.

A. Where is there a stamp show that I can attend?

  1. Local & regional stamp shows – the American Philatelic Society’s list of local and regional stamp shows http://stamps.org/directories/dir_showcalendar.htm
  2. National stamp shows – the American Philatelic Society’s list of national stamp shows http://stamps.org/directories/dir_showcalendar.htm
  3. International stamp shows – The American Philatelic Society’s list of international stamp shows http://stamps.org/directories/dir_IntlShows.htm
    FIP (Fédération International de Philatélie) http://www.f-i-p.ch
    London 2010 Festival of Stamps – http://www.London2010.org.uk
    New York 2016 http://www.ny2016.org/

B. Can I participate in other kinds of stamp events?

There is more to stamp collecting than just sticking stamps in a book. Attend a “birthday” of a new stamp. Go to a stamp auction. Join a club. Take a course or go on a vacation. Have fun and make new friends.

  1. First day of issue ceremonies – the official ceremony that launches a new stamp http://linns.com/howto/refresher/20090427/refreshercourse.aspx
    For a list of upcoming U.S. stamps that may have first day of issue ceremonies http://shop.usps.com
  2. Stamp auctions – list of upcoming auctions http://www.cwiakala.com/auctioncalendar.html
  3. Summer seminar – renowned week-long seminars by American Philatelic Society http://www.stamps.org
  4. Programs & activities at the National Postal Museum – check out what’s happening at the Smithsonian’s museum for stamps and postal history. It’s free! http://www.postalmuseum.si.edu/museum/1b_calendar.html
  5. Maynard Sundman Lecture – annual lecture given at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum. It’s free! http://www.postalmuseum.si.edu/Sundman
  6. Postal History Symposium – annual presentation of papers about stamps and postal history co-sponsored by the Smithsonian National Postal Museum and the American Philatelic Society http://www.postalmuseum.si.edu/symposiums
  7. Stamp Camp USA – an educational program for children ages 8 to 14 and their teachers http://www.stamps.org

C. What other social activities are available in stamp collecting?

  1. American Philatelic Society Stamp Cruise – stamp collecting with friends on the high seas! http://www.stamps.org
  2. Smithsonian Philatelic Achievement Award – honors outstanding stamp collectors. All are welcome to attend the black tie gala dinner. http://www.postalmuseum.si.edu/museum/1h_awards.html
  3. Other stamp collecting events
    • Collectors Club Lichtenstein Award Dinner – annual award dinner to honor a collector who has served the hobby. Held in New York, all are welcome to attend. http://www.collectorsclub.org/

D. Where can I find some stamp collecting organizations?

  1. American Philatelic Society http://www.stamps.org
  2. American Stamp Dealers Association http://www.asdaonline.com
  3. American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors http://www.aape.org
  4. National Postal Museum – links http://www.postalmuseum.si.edu/resources/6f_links.html
  5. National Stamp Dealers Association http://www.nsdainc.org/
  6. Societies http://stamps.org/directories/dir_specialtysocieties.htm
  7. Stamp Clubs