More than 100 philatelists – including 83 enrolled in classes, 29 of them first-timers – will participate in the seminar, which runs from Sunday through June 29 at the American Philatelic Center in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania.
Participants can partake in more than 20 classes, attend a first-day-of-issue stamp ceremony, bid on items at an auction, hear keynote speakers and enjoy meals and social events. They also will have time to visit, learn about and use the American Philatelic Research Library, which, like the APS, is housed in the center.
Here’s a summary of seminar highlights.
Randy L. Neil will be honored at a dinner on Thursday, June 28 as this year’s Distinguished Philatelist. Neil – a longtime collector, author, editor and past president of the APS – is a 2000 recipient of the APS Luff Award.
A hobby that often makes the most of rarities will enjoy a rare in-person event at this year’s seminar – a first-day ceremony for a new U.S. stamp; well, actually three new stamps. The new $1, $2, and $5 Statue of Freedom stamps will be during the seminar at 11 a.m. Wednesday, June 27. There are a few dozen first-day ceremonies a year, but only a few have ever been held in Central Pennsylvania, the last being the nonprofit Lamb envelope of 1995.
On that same day, Mary-Anne Penner, director of Stamp Services for the U.S. Postal Service, will speak during a general session. Other general session speakers are Michael Baadke, editor of Linn’s Stamp News, on Monday; Bill Schultz, nationally accredited philatelic judge, on Tuesday; Justin Gordon, author and Holocaust postal historian on Thursday; and philatelic writer and author Kitty Wunderly, on Friday.
Variety is the keyword when it comes to course. There are more than 130 hours of instruction, including four- and two-day classes, plus electives. Major courses range from Stamp Technology and Intermediate Exhibiting to Washington-Franklins Expertizing and A Comprehensive Postal History of Great Britain, 1510-1850. Electives include King George V and the Royal Collection, First Day Covers in the Mailstream, WWI at the National Postal Museum and Spain’s Quinta de Goya Stamps of 1930.
Members of the Class of 2018 Young Philatelic Leaders Fellowship will be on hand, as well Class of 2017 member Ian Hunter, who received a youth scholarship in honor of Gerhard S. Wolff, sponsored by the Wolff family.
APS Executive Director Scott English will address participants at the opening night dinner, which will be followed by a scavenger hunt.
An in-house auction with more than 250 lots will be held Tuesday evening and a Buy, Sell and Trade Night is set or Wednesday.
The APRL offers a station-by-station tour after hours on June 25. Throughout the week, there are extended hours for the APRL, Circuit Sales Division, the APS gift shop and Stamp and Cover store.
The summer edition of the U.S. Postal Service’s catalog, USA Philatelic, includes an interview with Dawn Hamman. Hamman is vice-president of the American Topical Association and an avid collector, writer and exhibitor. The interview highlights the power of topical collecting to reach broad new audiences with creative, flexible approaches to collecting. She goes on to discuss how the “thrill of the chase” makes collecting a riveting hobby for collectors old and new.
Also featured in the article is the combined StampShow and National Topical Stamp Show co-hosted by the American Philatelic Society and the American Topical Association. The U.S. Postal Service will issue the new Mythical Dragons forever stamps at the show, making for a natural show theme of “Here Be Dragons.” Both organizations are working to make this year’s show an experience for collectors of all ages and interests. The July edition of The American Philatelistwill feature several articles related to the show theme and a comprehensive guide to the event. A mobile app is also available.
The USA Philatelic interview highlights the U.S. Postal Service’s interest and dedication to supporting stamp collectors and their widely varied interests. The central booth at StampShow/NTSS will be home to the USPS during the four day event and will offer a virtual reality experience sure to please even the most discerning technophiles.
The American Philatelic Society’s annual award season is upon us. The society’s highest awards for living collectors are the Luff Awards. This year’s recipients are John H. Barwis, Denise L. Stotts and Wayne L. Youngblood. The awards will be formally presented August 11 at the Celebration Banquet at StampShow / National Topical Stamp Show in Columbus, Ohio. Tickets can be reserved at stamps.org/stampshow. The awards are named for John N. Luff, who was president of the APS from 1907 to 1909.
John H. Barwis, of Holland, Michigan, is the 2018 Luff Award recipient for Distinguished Philatelic Research. Barwis co-founded and serves as president of the Institute of Analytical Philately. The organization offers research grants and holds symposia. The conferences have been held in conjunction with the Smithsonian National Postal Museum, Chicagopex and the Royal Philatelic Society of London.
Barwis has studied and researched 19th-century stamps and postal history of Victoria’s first postage stamps. He plated Victoria’s first issue 1-penny stamp of 1850, which had never been done in the 160 years since the stamp’s first printing. Using scientific equipment, his cutting-edge examination of the shades, papers and inks of the U.S. banknotes was landmark.
Regarding Philadelphia postal history, Barwis wrote and maintains a database of date ranges for postmarks used on Philadelphia foreign mails. He has compiled sailing tables for the monthly packets between Philadelphia and Liverpool from 1822 to 1875 by using newspaper archives in the United States and Great Britain.
Barwis has been a stamp collector for 59 years. His exhibits have won national and international gold medals, as well as grand awards in the United States and Great Britain. He is a Fellow of the Royal Philatelic Society London and past president of the U.S. Philatelic Classics Society. He won the 2011 Champion of Champions competition.
Barwis retired in 2003 after 25 years with the Royal Dutch/Shell Group. His career comprised a range of technical and leadership positions, including stints as a chief geologist, exploration manager and manager of geological research, as well as technical director and member of the board of Shell U.K. While serving as an officer in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers he conducted research in sedimentology and hydrodynamics at the Hydraulics Laboratory of the U.S. Waterways Experiment Station. Prior to military service he managed an Arctic drifting station owned by the Office of Naval Research, spending more than 15 months on the North Polar ice pack. He has contributed more than 50 articles and government publications to the geological literature in coastal geomorphology and hydrodynamics, sedimentology, stratigraphy, as well as petroleum exploration and production. He holds bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in geology.
Denise L. Stotts, of Houston, Texas, is the recipient of the Luff Award for Exceptional Contributions to Philately. Stotts has been an active and tireless philatelic leader and volunteer at the national, state and local level for more than 25 years.
A lifelong philatelist, she served as director-at-large for the American Philatelic Society from 2007 to 2011. She has also served on the APS Chapter Activities, Ethics and Election Review committees, the Young Philatelic Leaders Fellowship Advisory Board and as local committee chair for APS AmeriStamp Expo 1998.
Stotts has been on the Garfield Perry March Party show committee since 1988 and served as show chair for the Greater Houston Expo from 1994 through 2016. She is a founding member of the American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors and Women Exhibitors and has been a director for the Texas Philatelic Association and Houston Philatelic Society. She has served as awards director for the American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors, the United States Stamp Society and Women Exhibitors. She also was the assistant director of volunteers for the Washington 2006 World Philatelic Exhibition and helped managed the bin room for World Stamp Show-New York 2016.
Stotts also is a gold medal award-winning philatelic exhibitor. She has staffed booths for the American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors, United States Stamp Society, Women Exhibitors and other organizations at numerous shows. She has even served organizations such as the Ohio Postal History Society, for which she was not even a member. Philately has benefitted tremendously from Denise’s leadership, guidance and service.
Wayne L. Youngblood of Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin, is the recipient of the Luff Award for Outstanding Service to the APS. Youngblood is a lifelong stamp collector who began at age 8 and never stopped.
Youngblood has served three terms on the APS board as director-at-large and two terms as secretary. He has served as an expert for the American Philatelic Expertizing Service since 1990, providing opinions on about 2,500 items. He has been a columnist for The American Philatelist since October 2004. He has served as an APS Summer Seminar instructor all but one year since 1990.
Youngblood is the current editor for numerous philatelic journals including The American Stamp Dealer & Collector magazine, The Collectors Club Philatelist, Topical Time and Duck Tracks. He is also the past editor of Posthorn and Across the Fence Post, 2005-2012. In addition to The American Philatelist he also is acolumnist for Linn’s Stamp News and Philatelic Exporter. Youngblood has served as president of the Errors Freaks and Oddities Collectors Club and the Los Alamos Stamp Collectors Association, and served on the boards of the American First Day Cover Society and Arizona Philatelic Rangers. He has been a member of the St. Louis Stamp Expo Show Committee and is a Boy Scouts Stamp Collecting Merit Badge counselor.
Wayne began his professional involvement with the hobby as an editor at Linn’s Stamp News, became editor of Scott Stamp Monthly then as editor-publisher of Stamp Collector newspaper and, more recently, as vice president at Regency-Superior Auctions. Wayne currently divides his time between his family and freelance writing, editing, dealing and exhibit work. He is author of 10 books (including Stamps that Glow and All About Stamps) and has written thousands of columns and features over the years. He speaks extensively on the hobby to both philatelic and non-philatelic groups.
Today, APS President Bob Zeigler announced the appointment of Dr. Cheryl R. Ganz, a notable Chicago-area collector, to serve as Vice President on the APS Board of Directors for the remainder of the term ending in August 2019. Pursuant to the APS Bylaws, Dr. Ganz was unanimously approved by the APS Board of Directors.
“Cheryl is well known throughout the hobby for her outstanding exhibiting, writing, and researching, so she brings a wealth of experience to the Board,” said Zeigler, “Her good judgment and creative thinking will make her an excellent fit for the Board and a win for the APS membership.”
Ganz, a life-member of the APS, first joined in 1976. She was recognized with the prestigious Luff Award in 2016 for Exceptional Contributions to Philately. Her exhibit, “Zeppelin LZ-129 Hindenburg Onboard Postmarks” was the 2018 Single-Frame Champion of Champions awarded at AmeriStamp Expo in Birmingham. She has also been selected to sign the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists by the Philatelic Congress of Great Britain. Ganz earned a PhD in U.S. history from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Ganz is a Smithsonian Institution curator emerita following her retirement as the chief curator of philately at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum and as lead curator of the William H. Gross Stamp Gallery, the world’s largest postage stamp gallery. She currently serves as vice-chair on the U.S. Postal Service’s Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee, which selects subjects and approves designs for U.S. postage stamps.
Her books include The 1933 Chicago World’s Fair: A Century of Progress; and Every Stamp Tells a Story: The National Philatelic Collection, most recently she co-authored, Zeppelin Hindenburg: An Illustrated History of LZ-129. Previous philatelic awards include the Alfred F. Lichtenstein Memorial Award for Distinguished Service to Philately, Mortimer L. Neinken Medal, Carlrichard Brühl Medal, Wisconsin Philatelic Hall of Fame, AAMS Aerophilatelic Research Award, Lee Medal, Nicholas Carter National Service Award, Distinguished Philatelist Award, Elizabeth C. Pope Lifetime Achievement Award, FISA Gold Medal, Canadian Aerophilatelic Society Award, AAMS Presidents Award, Earl & Fred Wellman Literature Award, Gus Lancaster Award, George W. Angers Award, Chris Hunt Award, and Newberry Award for service to Chicagoland philately, and U.S. Philatelic Classics Society Distinguished Philatelist.
In preparation for StampShow and National Topical Stamp Show in Columbus, Ohio, the American Philatelic Society has created a mobile app.
While the app content continues to grow (as the show participants continue to commit) the tool is fully functional for users. Over the coming weeks, more information, images and details will be added to the app to fully enhance the StampShow/NTSS experience. Updates will be automatically loaded as users open the app.
The app is an excellent planning tool for anyone planning on attending the biggest stamp event of the year. It also provides a StampShow experience for those collectors and enthusiasts who cannot attend.
The app will be continually updated through the end of the show and will include promotional offers, dealer information and direct links to several resources. Members and businesses interested in sponsorship opportunities should email martin[at]stamps.org.
The app is available for both iOS and Android phones.