The March issue was an experiment
To the best of our recollection – and that of our experts – no one had ever assembled a single magazine issue devoted to a stamp collectors buyers guide. But we thought there was a need and we set out to fill it. Instead of asking our experts to write articles on these topics, the eight-part buyers guide was built from our interviews with these experts. We had no idea whether this two-part experiment would work. Feedback from our members tells us that this experiment, at least, was a success.
And, we had some fun with the cover. Philately may be serious stuff, but that does not preclude a bit of levity. Members really liked our use of toy construction equipment to communicate the message of building your collection. You will be seeing a few more fun covers in the months and years ahead.
The April issue reaffirmed the value of traditional approaches
Annually in April, we publish our Recognition issue to inform our members of all the outstanding support that we receive from contributions, volunteer work, and a myriad of additional generosities. We also included four articles of worldwide philately, all of which were traditional AP content. Your response confirmed that tradition is valued by our members.
The May issue is a different experiment
This month we offer you three different types of experiments in a single issue.
For the first time, the APS has teamed up with one of our international philatelic sister organizations, The Royal Philatelic Society of Canada. Our partnership extended from procurement to article selection to assignment between the two magazines. Fortunately, RPSC and APS members answered the call and provided a wealth of articles to select from. We collaborated with RPSC president Ed Kroft and editor Robin Harris to identify articles that reflected the philatelic side of ice hockey.
Scott English and Ed Kroft jointly authored the opening introduction to the Joint Hockey issue. I very much enjoyed the obvious commonality of interest that Scott and Ed shared on this topic. Robin provided us a guest editor’s column that communicates two ideas. The first is about how important the sport of hockey is to Canadians. But we also see how philatelists can become engaged in the sport through stamps and other postal artifacts.
One theme covering many aspects of philately
The challenge with a single-theme issue of a magazine is to find articles that are interesting to all collectors, not just thematic collectors. Within the pages of the AP and The Canadian Philatelist you are going to find something for everyone.
A perfect example of that is Charles Verge’s masterful “Ice Hockey – A Multifaceted Collectable.” Charles article takes us through the art of building a stamp collection and exhibiting it. Hockey is his subject, but this is a primer that all collectors will appreciate.
If you are interested in understanding the evolution of the sport of hockey, you need go no further than Kon Sokolyk’s story of the Kitchener-Waterloo Dutchmen hockey club. It is fascinating to see history told through philately! Hockey can be a dangerous sport. Alain Hébert tells the story of the evolving masks that protect goalies in “Innovations in Goalie Gear: A Philatelic Journey.” Finally, Irv Osterer brings us “Judaism on the Ice: a Philatelic Perspective.” While one might not immediately associate hockey and Judaism, adding stamps into the mix is even less to be expected. Irv shares an interesting tale of all three elements. You will enjoy the telling.
Speaking of The Canadian Philatelist, our two societies have agreed to make copies of our respective Joint Issue available to each other’s members. By the time you read this, the details will have been published on our website.
I am especially pleased to bring you the second and final installment of Nick Kirke’s comprehensive “New York Foreign Mail Cancels on the Large Bank Note Issues, 1870-75 Part Two: 1873-75, the intricate geometric cancel designs.” If you are interested in 19th century worldwide postal history, this is the article for you.
Reorganizing The American Philatelist
You will notice a somewhat different ordering of this issue’s contents. Three columns lead off. Bob Zeigler was elected by our members to lead this organization and leads off with his thoughts. Scott English is the senior APS executive, and his column always offers a strong perspective on the world of philately. I put myself third to introduce you to the contents of The American Philatelist and where it is going.
Next, we position our articles as a grouping of philatelic content. Books & Catalogs is third. Eventually, this will be expanded into a “Research Central,” where news about philatelic research will be assembled. Fourth are the APS columns, where this month we are introducing a regular column by Associate Editor Susanna Mills. Finally, we have grouped Letters to the Editor, New Issues, and Bob Lamb’s Worldwide in a Nutshell.
As always, I solicit your thoughts on this reorganization or any other matter. Write me at [email protected].