On-The-Road Courses

Courses are held at the APC and prior to WSP shows throughout the year. Topics vary, but have included identifying fakes and forgeries, how to become a dealer, stamp technology, and more. If you would like to request an On-The-Road Course for your event please fill out this form.

Summer Seminar

The Summer Seminar on Philately features four days of classes, workshops, general sessions, and camaraderie. It offers attendees the opportunity to learn more about the hobby from knowledgeable collectors - authors, judges, exhibitors, expertizers, etc.

Check Out Online Learning

C3a – Collecting and Connecting Central, is an on-demand, online learning tool containing videos, learning modules, and resources that cover a wide variety of topic and interest areas. Already familiar with C3a? Head directly to the C3a site

On-The-Road Course Listing

Post Office Historical Research Techniques Supporting Cover Documentation

This “On-The-Road” seminar will focus upon Railway Post Office (RPO) history in five sections:

  1. Overview of the Railway Mail Service
    • Organization, Personnel, Facilities, Laws, and Regulations
  2. Functions of a Railway Post Office
    • Space, Fixtures, Work Flow
  3. RPO Markings
    • Route and Clerks Postmarks, Auxillary Markings
  4. Information Resources
    • Primary, Secondary, Ephemera
  5. Cover Research
    • First/Last Run, Postal Forms, Non-Philatelic Usage

RPOs were considered to be the “Backbone of the Post Office Department” for more eleven decades.  Understanding RPO functions yields a fuller appreciation of postal markings that survive on covers.  A portion of the coverage will focus upon the postmarking devices that produced these cover markings.

After providing background on railway en route distribution activities, discussions will focus upon information resources that can support RPO research.  The session will conclude with examples of how primary sources can guide reconstructing a routing from sender to recipient through the Railway Mail Service network.

A seminar participant will be at the grade crossing of postal history and railroad heritage for five hours.  The 1869 completion of the “transcontinental railroad” is being celebrated by the Union Pacific at its Omaha headquarters and likewise commemorated by this APS show.  This program will illustrate how mail transportation was an important aspect of railroad operations as well as fulfilling the Post Office Department’s role of “binding the nation.” 

Day of Course: Fri, 2 Aug 2019, 10:00 A.M. - 4:00 P.M.

Taught by: Dr. Frank Scheer

Location: StampShow - CHI Health Center Omaha 455 N 10th St Omaha, NE 68102

Cost: $45 for members, $95 for non-members

Registration Deadline: 08/2/19 11:59 p.m.

Applying Different Philatelic Lenses to the Trans-Mississippi Issue


From topical collectors to postal history experts, philately is a hobby with many different focuses.  This course encourages you to look at your collection from a different angle and learn how philatelic specialties are interconnected.  In connection with the StampShow in Omaha, the course will present a collection of Trans-Mississippi Exposition covers and examine them from seven different lenses: topical/thematic, art history, printing techniques and variations, American history, cancels and postmarks, postal history, and genealogical.

This course will teach the history of the 1898 Trans-Mississippi issue, but the explanation of philatelic lenses can be applied to any collection.  The instructor will share advice and resources for researching outside of your special interest,  and participants are encouraged to bring a cover or stamp from their own collection to study during the course.  (The instructor’s research focus is on United States stamps.)

Day of Course: Sat, 3 Aug 2019, 10:00 A.M. - 4:00 P.M.

Taught by: Casey Jo White

Location: StampShow - CHI Health Center Omaha 455 N 10th St Omaha, NE 68102

Cost: $45 for members, $95 for non-members

Registration Deadline: 08/3/19 11:59 p.m.

Introduction to the Seaposts: Ship Letters, Packet Mail, Paquebots and More

Discover the Rich History of the Seaposts

Explore the many aspects of how mail was transported across the oceans. Examine the “four pillars” of postal history: rates, routes, means, and marks. Delve into the technological and postal innovations that enabled the explosive growth of European empires beginning with the Age of Exploration. Traverse through the rich history of the Seaposts while learning more about the ships that sailed, postal contracts, and the role of the Universal Postal Union. Topics will include:

  • Early ship letters
  • Packet Ship mail
  • Naval maritime mail
  • Sea Post Offices
  • Paquebots
  • Ocean Letters
  • Catapult mail

Day of Course: Thu, 19 Sep 2019, 10:00 A.M. - 4:00 P.M.

Taught by: Gary Loew

Location: Milcopex - Crowne Plaza Milwaukee Airport, 6401 South 13th St. Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53221

Cost: $25 for members, $75 for non-members (a portion of this course is being subsidized by a private donation)

Registration Deadline: 08/18/19 11:59 p.m.

Essays & Proofs

The purpose of this course is to provide an understanding of the development of United States postage stamps from 1845 - 1893 by the private bank note companies. For each period you will learn about the development of the designs, engravers, and production methods employed to produce the various essays and proofs. While a lecture format will be employed it will be augmented with hands on study of the actual material.
We will look at each of the issues produced by the various bank note companies from 1847 through 1893 when stamp production was assumed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. It is this 46-year period that produced the classic U.S. postage stamp issues. Our study will also include background on the engravers and the many experiments conducted.

Day of Course: Thu, 21 Nov 2019, 10:00 A.M. - 4:00 P.M.

Taught by: James E. Lee

Location: Chicagopex - Westin Chicago Northwest, 400 Park Blvd. Itasca, Illinois 60143

Cost: $45 for members, $95 for non-members

Registration Deadline: 10/20/19 11:59 p.m.

Engage with us

StampShow/NTSS 2019

Omaha, Nebraska | August 1-4, 2019