100 Greatest American Stamps

The 100 Greatest American Stamps presented by Janet Klug and Donald Sundman, The Sixth Annual Maynard Sundman Lecture, February 9, 2008, Smithsonian National Postal Museum. The museum’s Maynard Sundman Lecture Series was established in 2002 through a donation by his sons, David and Donald. The Sundman lectures feature talks by authors and expert philatelists on stamps and stamp collecting. Visit: http://www.postalmuseum.si.edu/Sundman

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USPS Priority Mail Delivery Map

The U.S. Postal Service has an online – Priority Mail Delivery Map.

Enter an origin ZIP Code™ to see 1, 2, or 3 day specific delivery times from that origin. Zoom in to see ZIP Code zones by first 3 digits. Exceptions apply for certain ZIP codes.

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Do You Prepare Your Exhibits on a Computer – Poll

Preparing a philatelic exhibit these days has become much easier through the use of a computer and printer. Although various software programs are available and can be used, hand lettered pages are still being prepared.

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Posted in design and layout, digital philately, exhibiting, poll

Collected Works – Stamps in the Classroom

An older article ‘Collected Works‘ in the New York Times education section by Sierra Prasada Millman and Javaid Khan presents a lesson plan that might still prove of value to teachers in their classrooms. Very interesting approach in studying and critiquing but then more valuable in the doing!

In this lesson, students consider why people collect stamps and other items and how the Internet has changed such hobbies. They work in small groups to review stamp collecting Web sites and brainstorm how the Web can serve another popular collectible. For homework, they design a homepages devoted to the collectible of their choice.

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Philatelic Books on Kindle – Part 5

Although Amazon is the easiest service to use, free philatelic book offerings are also available in various digital formats, including Kindle ebook format, through other sources. Project Gutenberg offers several titles for download and the Philatelic Digital Library Project offers one volume that is read online. In those cases where the format is other than for the Kindle, there are additional reader apps available for free. Be sure to check the format of these books before downloading to ensure you have the correct reader loaded onto your device.

(Get the free Kindle Reader app for your mobile device to read these Kindle books.)

hundred years cover image

A Hundred Years by Post

Project Gutenberg

  1. A Hundred Years by Post
  2. Canada: Its Postage Stamps and Postal Stationery
  3. Canadian Postal Guide
  4. Gambia
  5. General Instructions For The Guidance Of Post Office Inspectors In The Dominion
  6. The King’s Post
  7. The New York and Albany Post Road
  8. Ocean Steam Navigation and the Ocean Post
  9. Postal Service of the United States in Connection with the Local History of Buffalo

Philatelic Digital Library Project (read online only)

  1. Antigua

Previous posts – Philatelic Books on Kindle – Part 1, Philatelic Books on Kindle – Part 2, Philatelic Books on Kindle – Part 3 and Philatelic Books on Kindle – Part 4

If you know of other free philatelic books in digital format, please comment as everyone will benefit from your knowledge. End of article marker.

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Posted in education, literature, mobile apps, mobile devices

Enjoyment of Stamp Collecting Has Scientific Foundation

The Ask.com web site has an article on the science of stamp collecting – Enjoyment of Stamp Collecting Has Scientific Foundation by John Finch which also discusses specialty groups.

“Stamp Collecting is More Than a Child’s Pastime.” While the quote is a cute one, it is not as accurate as it may have been in that earlier day. Today stamp collecting — and it’s more seriously considered version, philately — are in some aspects akin to a scientific pursuit. And we have come a long way from the simple stamp and album mode of collecting, including physical study of a stamp using new technology and areas of postal history, including the study of routes and postal rates to find what sort of job our classic era stamps did when on cover.

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Posted in education, postal service, research

Stamp Software – How To Pick The Best Program To Suit Your Needs

A video describing many of the features stamp collecting software should have to make tracking of your collection easier.

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Happy New Year Digital Philatelists!

A very Happy New Year greeting to all our readers and followers. We wish you a healthy and successful 2014!

Posted in digital philately

Page Layout Software – Poll

Page Layout software is the most valuable tool in most exhibitors’ toolboxes. The ability to arrange text and image blocks in a freestyle manner allows for great flexibility when accommodating odd sized pieces or fitting text between items.

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Happy Holidays 2013

We wish to extend our most sincere hopes to all our readers for a wonderful holiday season. Thank you all for reading or following the blog (we’ve now 60 followers which is fantastic) and we hope something we published this year was of special interest to you and helped you in some way large or small. May you enjoy the best of health and joy this holiday season and throughout the coming year.

We’ll be back after the holidays with more Digital Philately.


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Wolf Collection of Irish Postage Stamps

The University of Notre Dame’s library has a special collection – The Charles Wolf Collection of Irish Postage Stamps. This is a nice introduction to the area and I found the information as well as the images, reasonably clear and informative. Not a lot of fluff, just good research. Perhaps one of the most valuable features of the site is the extensive bibliography which appears on its own page. Any collector of Ireland who’s not seen this site should visit.

This is the first in a series of pages on aspects of Irish philately, utilizing holdings in the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, University Libraries of Notre Dame. The material illustrated herein derives from the Ireland collection donated to the University Libraries in 1991 by Dr. Charles Wolf of Walled Lake, Michigan.

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A-B-C’s of Stamp Collecting

Going beyond the basics of stamp collecting, Janet Klug, past president of the American Philatelic Society and member of the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee, is your guide to topical stamp collecting in A-B-C’s of Stamp Collecting.

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Optimize Google Search – Part 2

Janet Klug, WE Think – Vol 3 No 4

Using Google’s search for images will frequently lead you to one or more images that would be useful for your research. Most of the time you can save the images you found to your computer.

An image of Burnet House would be a good addition to the reference material being collected for an exhibit.

burnet house image

Figure 1. Images of Burnet House.

Select the image you want to save and double click it to make it as large as it will go. This will enlarge the image to its maximum capacity. A new screen will appear with the image enlarged. Move your cursor over the image and click the right mouse button.

A drop-down menu appears.

saving an image

Figure 2. Saving the picture.

Click “Save picture as…”

A box pops up.

This will usually be your default image file (“My Pictures” on a PC, or whatever file you wish to save the picture).

saving to computer

Figure 3. Saving to your computer.

Select the file in which you want the image to be stored. In the box at the bottom of the pop-up menu key in the name you wish to give the image and select the file type. JPEG is a good choice if you are unsure. Click “Save.”

Saving a picture you have found on the Internet is not complicated and within a short period of time you can have a very nice reference file. However, there are some caveats.

Using the images for publication, or in an exhibit, or for any other purpose other than your own personal use, may violate copyright laws. Check the website to see if there is a Terms of Use or a copyright. If you are in doubt, send an e-mail to the webmaster of the website from which
you want an image and request permission for its use.

Sometimes this contact will have unintended consequences. For example, I have made contact regarding images from museums and historical societies that have not only allowed me to use their images, but have sent me the images I wanted in much higher resolution. You never know what will happen until you give it a try.

Continued from Optimize Google Search – Part 1. Part 3 – Using Google to search for historical people. End of article marker.

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Stamp Insider is a Fine Philatelic Publication

The Ask.com web site has an article on philatelic literature – Stamp Insider is a Fine Philatelic Publication by John Finch which publicizes the digital publication Stamp Insider.

If you haven’t checked out Stamp Insider yet, do it now. This is simply a good stamp club publication, covering a broad range of topics from eBay to youth philately to deltiology to patriotic covers and on and on. It is produced by the members of the Federation of N.Y. Philatelic Societies, Inc. Al Starkweather is editor. It is an entirely digital publication: there’s no print version.

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Optimize Google Search – Part 1

Janet Klug, WE Think – Vol 3 No 3

Google is more than just a search engine. It also contains:

  • Web content
  • Images
  • Scholarly papers
  • Book search (searches full text)
  • Video
  • More is being added all the time!

Most Google users just use the Google search box to search the web. Unfortunately, this frequently brings thousands of suggested “hits,” only a few of which may actually have the information you are seeking.

Look at the item shown in Figure 1. What can we learn about this item as quickly as possible?

advertising cover from burnet house

Figure 1. Advertising cover from Burnet House in Cincinnati.

Enter “Burnet House” in the Google search bar, but instead of clicking “Search,” click on the word “Images.” The search will return images that relate to your search terms. Click on any of the images that appear to be what you are seeking.

searching for images

Figure 2. Instead of searching the web, click “Images” and look for images of Burnet House.

Figure 3 shows a website containing much information about Burnet House as well as images of the structure. By searching images, we were able to go directly to the information we wanted. Searching images expedites a search!

searching images

Figure 3. Searching images finds what you are seeking a LOT faster.

Need more information? This time click “More” above the search bar. A dropdown menu appears. Click “Books.”

searching books

Figure 4. Instead of searching the web or searching images, you can also search “books.” Click “More” and then when the drop-down menu, click “Books.”

google books

Figure 5. Google houses thousands of books online, available for you to search, read and download. Did I mention the magic word? Free!

Enter your search term into the Google search box and click “Search.”

burnet house book

Figure 6. The Burnet House search in Google books suggests a title published in 1855…just the period we seek. Click that title.

Google books will return a number of suggestions. The first one sounds great, so click on that. Figure 7 shows what Google returns. It is a page from the book, with the search terms highlighted in yellow.

book results

Figure 7. Google returns a page from the book in which the search terms are highlighted in yellow.

Notice the links on the right side (Figure 8). Many of the Google books can be downloaded as pdf files for free. You can also search the entire book or just the table of contents. You can click a link to purchase the book from various vendors.

free book download

Figure 8. Many of the books resident in Google books may be downloaded for free.

Museums and historical societies are good places to seek help for historical subjects. First you have to find them. Our Burnet House cover came from Cincinnati, so I Googled “Cincinnati Historical Society” (Figure 9).

Cincinnati Historical Society.

Figure 9. Searching the web for the Cincinnati Historical Society.

When you find a historical society or museum, click around the website and see what exhibits and archives they have available for viewing. You may be surprised at what you can find.

website archives

Figure 10. Check the website and see if there are archives you can access on the Internet.

The Cincinnati Historical Society has many printed publications archived on its website, and they have made it easy to search them all by subject. I entered the search “Cincinnati hotels.”

That search netted several good suggestions.

The first one was an article about Inns and Hotels in Cincinnati, published in the Cincinnati Historical Society Bulletin.

Click on that, and it takes you to a pdf file of the entire article that you can read page by page or download onto your computer’s hard drive or removable storage device. (Figure 11). Once again, it’s free!

society journals

Figure 11. The Cincinnati Historical Society has archived the full run of several journals.

It is easy to scroll through the article, read it online, or download it for later use.

thumbnails of journals

Figure 12. A quick scroll through the thumbnails of each page enables a quick find of an illustration of Burnet House.

Part 2 of this article will discuss collecting images from the web. End of article marker.

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Which Search Engines do You Use – Poll

When performing a search for information to use in our hobby, we all want relevant results that are simple to use. Which general purpose web search engine do you find valuable when using one?

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Get More out of Stamp Collecting with Philatelic Literature

The Ask.com web site has an article on philatelic literature – Get More out of Stamp Collecting with Philatelic Literature by John Finch which talks about digital publishing.

Over the years philatelic publications have come and gone. The early newsletters that the likes of the Stanley Gibbons stamp company put out grew to glossy magazines; their price lists large authoritative catalogs. Recent progress in digital publishing has allowed at least one club to turn out an impressive publication.


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Challenges in Literature Exhibiting and Judging

American Philatelic Society AmeriStamp Expo 2013 seminar video – Challenges in Literature Exhibiting and Judging by Richard Drews.

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Philatelic Books on Kindle – Part 4

Amazon has yielded several additions to our previous lists of philatelic books in Kindle ebook format and they follow. I’m sure the list can be updated again in the future and we look forward to comments on this post with additional suggestions for the list. In part 5 of this post, we’ll present a list of digital books available from Project Gutenberg and the Philatelic Digital Library Project.

(Get the free Kindle Reader app for your mobile device to read these Kindle books.)

G.H. Kaestlin collection bookcover

Imperial Russian and Zemstvo Stamps

  1. Flaked Out: The Story of Cod and Newfoundland
  2. G.H. Kaestlin Collection of Imperial Russian and Zemstvo Stamps
  3. George V’s Obsession – a King and his Stamps
  4. A History of Britain in Thirty-six Postage Stamps
  5. Miniature Messages: Semiotics & Politics of Latin American Postage Stamps
  6. Phila-Italy Americana : Italian Themes on US Stamps
  7. Stamp Collecting as Pastime – Illustrated

Previous posts – Philatelic Books on Kindle – Part 1 and Philatelic Books on Kindle – Part 2, Philatelic Books on Kindle – Part 3

If you know of other free philatelic books in digital format, please comment as everyone will benefit from your knowledge. End of article marker.

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Posted in digital philately, education, literature, mobile apps, mobile devices

Philatelic Information and Knowledge: Pass It on

The Ask.com web site has an article on philatelic literature – Philatelic Information and Knowledge: Pass It on by John Finch which publicizes the American Philatelic Research Library (APRL).

The free exchange of information in the philatelic world is free only insofar as one may not have to make an expenditure for specific knowledge. That is, one can take advantage of fine philatelic libraries owned by the American Philatelic Society, but only after membership dues is paid. No one would question this. And the amount of information available to one for the price paid for all the organization’s benefits makes the dues a bargain.

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Fotopedia App

The app Fotopedia Heritage is quite amazing. Built in cooperation with UNESCO World Heritage Centre, we have access to a myriad of images reflecting human culture. Highly recommended!

This app was recently selected as one of the top 50 apps of all time in Apple’s new Hall of Fame. With 30,000 awe-inspiring photos, this much loved app has been called the world’s largest photo book, an inspiring travel guide, an entertaining teaching device and even a bed-time relaxation tool.

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Word Processing Software – Poll

Word Processing software is a mainstay of exhibiting. Gathering notes into a single document for reference, accessing articles or even laying out exhibit pages if one does not have a page layout program are all possible with a word processor.

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Incorporating QR Codes in Exhibits

Kristin Patterson, WE Expressions – Vol 6 No 4

Quick Response Code or QR code for short is the trademark for a type of two-dimensional code which was first designed in Japan for the automotive industry. Recently, the system has become popular outside the industry due to its fast readability and large storage capacity compared to the standard UPC barcode.

The QR code consists of small square dots arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded can be made up of numeric and alphanumeric characters.

Today, these QR codes are seen everywhere on printed advertisements, the side of a soda cup, and packaged goods. The smart phone has put a QR code reader in everyone’s hands. As a result, the QR code has become a focus of advertising strategy, since it provides quick and effortless access to a brand’s website, surveys, coupons, and product details.

Now how does this relate to exhibits? First, many exhibitors are too verbose for the judges and are penalized for attempting to give non-philatelic information to the general viewer. The QR code takes a small amount of space and does not look like text.

QR code example

QR code example

A sample QR code is shown here. It contains the following text: “Women Exhibitors (WE) provides a vehicle through which women exhibitors can encourage each other through sharing information, ideas, experience, advice, problems, and solutions.”

You can simply make this code by visiting a QR code generator website. Enter the text you want, generate the code, and then download the image. End of article marker.

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How to Organize and Maintain your Personal Library

During the American Philatelic Society’s Summer Seminar 2013, Tara Murray presented an elective on organizing and maintaining personal libraries. It was recorded for YouTube, but you can watch “How to Organize and Maintain your Personal Library” right here.

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Electronics in Exhibits

Kristin Patterson, WE Expressions – Vol 6 No 4

When we hear the term electronics, we think of recent inventions such as the iPad and cell phone. These items that we cannot live without seem to have no connection with philatelic exhibiting, but be assured that after you read this article and two other related articles, you will have a philatelic appreciation for electronics.

Most exhibit divisions allow for only philatelic material and penalize  for non-philatelic elements. But the “Display Division exhibits combine philatelic elements from any or all of the General Class Divisions with a significant number, range and diversity of non-philatelic elements to tell a unified, cohesive story.” Phrases in quotes are taken directly from the 2012 APS Judging Manual.

The judging manual goes on to mention “Non-philatelic elements normally encountered include paper ephemera, photographs, physical objects and the addressee and/or content of mailed letters.” This is not an inclusive list but rather gives exhibitors a starting point. It does require that “The non-philatelic collateral material must be directly related to and form part of the subject story.”

In the Display Division, it would appear that an audio or a video tape would be perfectly suitable if it was related to the exhibit subject matter. Video Used in Exhibit is discussed.

But what about the other divisions? I have heard many judges say that exhibitors need to keep the number of words on their pages to a minimum. Yet, most exhibits want to tell a more complete story than just the philatelic aspect. Now that can be done with QR codes, read the coming article, Incorporating QR Codes in Exhibits. End of article marker.

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