Our Story: A great summer at the American Philatelic Center

Our Story: A great summer at the American Philatelic Center

A great summer at the American Philatelic Center

By: Scott English, Executive Director, American Philatelic Society

We’ve had a very productive summer at the American Philatelic Center, from our historic 40th Summer Seminar to getting donated stamps back into circulation. Though we had temporarily suspended our stamp donation program, we can now begin accepting some donations again, as explained in greater detail below.

Summer Seminar Set Records

Summer Seminar 2019 was one of the most successful we’ve had in the 40-year history of the program. We had our largest enrollment ever with more than 105 students attending this year. Thanks to attendees providing great feedback over the past few years, we’ve been able to recruit great instructors and energetic students. The comments for this year were overwhelmingly positive and I think everyone will agree, it was an event to remember.


((Figure 1)) l to r Cathy Brachbill talks with Youth Scholarship winners Ruhit Sinha, Ameen Zafiruddin & Ian HunterThanks to the British North American Philatelic Society, we welcomed 17-year-old Ameen Zafiruddin from North Carolina with the first annual Norris “Bob” Dyer Youth Scholarship. When we announced that scholarship, another APS member stepped up and offered to fund another scholarship named for this year’s Distinguished Philatelist, Wayne Youngblood. Ian Hunter, the 2017 Central Atlantic Stamp Dealers Association Fellow, was the recipient of the scholarship, attending for his second straight year. Also attending was Ruhit Sinha, the 2019 Donald and Bonnie Lee Fellow. Ruhit completed the program in Omaha last month.

((Figure 2)) Wallace Craig, 92, @ Sum Sem 2019 squareAnother fresh face joining us for the first time this year was longtime APS member, Wallace Craig from California. Wally not only made his first visit to Bellefonte, but he celebrated his 92nd birthday as well. Wally’s enthusiasm matched our young collectors throughout the week!

 This year, we honored Wayne Youngblood as the Distinguished Philatelist. Wayne is one of the most popular instructors at our annual Summer Seminar and his Stamp Technology course is usually one of the first of the first to fill up.((Figure 3)) - Wayne Youngblood 2019 Distinguished Philatelist Last year, Wayne received the Luff Award for his Outstanding Service to the APS. His speech touched on one of his first collecting passions rooted in his New Mexico childhood and Los Alamos, home to the Manhattan Project. The annual Distinguished Philatelist speech is one of the highlights, and Wayne’s personal story — “The Thrill of the Hunt, a Magnificent Obsession and Lifelong Sharing” — paid great tribute to the hobby

In total, Summer Seminar attendees supported the APS/APRL through purchases of books, supplies, and materials. Our total receipts were nearly $25,000, with sales from Circuit Books at $1,390, APRL donated material at $7,100 and APS sales of donated material at $16,175. I’d like to thank the staff, volunteers, instructors and students who made this year’s Summer Seminar one of the best, if not the best ever. Planning is already underway for the 2020 Summer Seminar and we hope you will join us and find out for yourself what the excitement is all about.

New Donation Dos and Don’ts

In the May issue of The American Philatelist, we announced a suspension of stamp donations while we worked to organize and circulate our current inventory. I am pleased to say that thanks to the work of the Education Department and our two great volunteers, Leonard and Darlene Bloom, about whom I wrote in the July issue, we are accepting donations again.

Aside from selling materials to APS members, APS Chapters have stepped up to take on more common used stamps as part of the programs they support for youth and other collectors. To date, we have circulated between two and three million stamps, and will work to continue those efforts into the fall.

We Welcome:

  • Advanced and specialized collections
  • Postal history
  • Serviceable supplies (e.g., used glassine envelopes in decent condition)
  • Siegel Auction Galleries catalogs from 2010 to the present

We Do Not Need:

  • Stamps on paper
  • Bulk copies of the same stamp
  • Beginner collections
  • Sheets of canceled-to-order (CTO) stamps
  • Common first day covers
  • The American Philatelist or Philatelic Literature Review
  • Scott catalogs older than the 2010 edition
  • Other U.S. auction catalogs from the 1960s to the present
  • Supplies that are no longer in usable condition (mounts that have buckled, anything “stuck together,” brittle, yellowed glassine envelopes, soiled stock books)

Thanks to the staff, volunteers, chapters, and members, who have aided us considerably in helping your APS get donated stamps back into the hands of collectors once again.

Editor's Note: The column was published in the September 2019 issue of the American Philatelist. We will be posting the columns of APS executives on this website to provide updates about American Philatelic Society. Membership information is available through this link.

Read next: Spotlight from the APS StampShow - 'We Did Gangbusters Here'

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StampShow/NTSS 2019

Omaha, Nebraska | August 1-4, 2019