APS and ATA Will Join Forces at
2018 StampShow in Columbus, Ohio

The American Philatelic Society and the American Topical Association will co-host next summer’s large national philatelic show scheduled for Columbus, Ohio.

Leaders of the APS and ATA made that announcement Friday, June 23 at the ATA National Topical Show in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

“The 2018 show in Columbus just got even more exciting,” said Scott English, Executive Director of the American Philatelic Society, “The partnership between the APS and the ATA gets stronger every day and together we’re going to have a ‘can’t miss’ stamp show.”

“This highly anticipated event is a real sign that philatelic organizations have begun a new era of cooperation for great benefit to our hobby,” said ATA President Dale Smith about the joint show. “This is a wonderful project to combine resources to create one of the best shows to attract a great number of collectors.”

This will be the first time the APS, founded in 1886, and the ATA, founded in 1949, have combined their large annual national shows. The ATA four times has held its national show during a U.S.-based international, most recently in 2016 at World Stamp Show-NY 2016.

“This should be a sign of things to come for the hobby,” added English, “The only way we’re going to grow is by working together. I’d like to thank the Board of the ATA for being first to join us in this new vision.”

Next year will be the 132nd show and convention for the APS and the 68th annual National Topical Stamp Show. Both shows usually change locations from year to year.

The APS — the world’s largest association devoted to philately with about 30,000 members worldwide — every summer hosts StampShow, the country’s largest annual philatelic show, which includes world-class philatelic exhibits, scores of dealers and postal agencies, society and study group meetings, special presentations and guest speakers, youth areas, and a banquet. The ATA, devoted to topical stamp collecting, often presents a similar lineup, though often over three days rather than the four presented by StampShow.

This year’s ATA show, being held this weekend in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, features an all-thematic philatelic exhibition, a 30-dealer bourse, and attendance by several cachetmakers, along with meetings, seminars, and activities. Topical exhibits must be thematically treated; that is, they tell a story. They tend to be creative exhibits that make for enjoyable reading.

The American Topical Association, with members in 60 countries, has compiled more than 1,200 checklists (from the common — horses and roses on stamps; to the more unusual, such as hairstyles, banjos, and yellow fever) containing more than 400,000 stamps.

“We find that traditional philatelists often collect a topic or two, and topical collectors often collect a country or other specialty area,” Smith said. “This show will enable them to pursue their full range of philatelic interests.”

The American Philatelic Society will handle all management and logistics for the combined 2018 show. A certain number of exhibit frames will be set aside for topical/thematic philatelic exhibits.

More information about the organizations and their shows are available on the APS and ATA websites.

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