04/17/2009 (P1646)
Contact: Ken Martin

A New Gateway to the Stamp Hobby:

Also available in pdf format

There’s a new Internet destination for beginners, a welcoming doorway for those who wish to explore the world of stamp, postmark, and cover collecting: www.learnaboutstamps.com

The site is a finding guide, a gateway concisely offering links to important information from many different sources via a single unified hub. Think of it as a major metropolitan train station — not a destination in itself, but a place where many routes to a vast range of other destinations may be accessed.

Learn About Stamps is a collaborative effort of the American Philatelic Society, the Smithsonian National Postal Museum, the Philatelic Foundation, and the United States Postal Service, in cooperation with the American Stamp Dealers Association and many individuals in the philatelic community. It began as a project of the NPM Council of Philatelists.

The table of contents at the Learn About Stamps home page presents seven “chapters,” each offering answers to a particular beginner question: What is stamp collecting?; What is postmark and cover collecting?; How can I begin stamp collecting?; How can I obtain stamps for my collection?; How do I find out more about stamp collecting?; What do I need to know when it comes time to dispose of my collection?; and How can I get more involved in stamp collecting?

A single click on any one of these questions instantaneously transports the visitor to a page with links to other websites — more than 300 of them, in all — that answer the question, as well as providing information on related needs and interests. For example, click on Chapter III (“How can I begin stamp collecting?”) and you are presented with a veritable smorgasbord of 146 stamp websites addressing different aspects of that question — from how to obtain, identify, arrange, store, and exhibit your stamps, to what tools to acquire and how best to make use of them as a budding collector.

The Learn About Stamps finding guide benefits all participants. For the fledgling philatelist, whether age 8 to 80, it makes it easy to get practical, intelligent answers to questions that frequently frustrate newcomers to the stamp hobby. And for the organizations behind the many different websites to which those questions are directed, including Linn’s Stamp News, the APS, the NPM, and many, many others, it brings new visitors who might otherwise never have made the journey.