American Philatelic Society

American Philatelic Society

The American Philatelic Society (APS) is the largest nonprofit stamp collecting and organization of philately in the world, with almost 44,000 members as of 2007. Both the membership and interests of the society are worldwide.

The society was founded on September 14, 1886 in New York City, originally named the "American Philatelic Association", and the following day elected John K. Tiffany as its first president. It was changed to its present name for a few months in 1897, then back, then permanently in 1908. Society membership reached over 4,000 in 1940, and included US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes. At the 1942 APS convention, board member Donald Lybarger argued for the creation of a central office near the geographic center of the philatelic community, but not be in a large city. When he was elected APS President in 1943, he was able to turn his vision into reality. At the 1944 APS convention it was announced that the APS would accept applications for the position of Executive Secretary. H. Clay Musser of State College, Pennsylvania, was selected and the APS office was established there on April 1, 1945. As a testament to their leadership, the APS became the US representative to the Federation Internationale de Philatelie in 1947.

By the mid-1990s, the expanded services, staff and APRL had outgrown the facility in State College. A study determined that because of high local real estate values, it was not cost effective to expand the existing building. A search of alternatives identified a property ten miles from State College that was basically sound and could be acquired for a reasonable amount. In 2002, after much discussion, debate and soul searching, the APS committed millions of dollars to purchasing and renovating what was known as the Match Factory in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. The American Philatelic Center was dedicated in June, 2004.

The APS operates a multitude of services for its members:
* [ "The American Philatelist"] - monthly magazine
* [ StampStore] - online stamp buying
* [ member sales circuits] via mail
* [ American Philatelic Research Library]
* [ Insurance] for stamp collections
* [ American Philatelic Expertizing Service]
* [ Accreditation of Judges and National Exhibitions]
* [ Educational opportunities]
* [ Member "Code of Ethics" and a Complaint Process]

The membership includes over 1600 commercial stamp dealers and about 700 local stamp clubs. In addition, some 200 specialty societies are affiliated with the APS. The organization has two national events each year: APS AmeriStamp Expo is held each Winter and APS StampShow is scheduled in the Summer. Both shows rotate to different locations around the country. The Summer event is the largest annual national show with 150 dealers, 10,000 pages of exhibits, meetings of more than 25 national societies, and over 100 educational seminars.

External links

* [ APS homepage]
* [ APS Useful Links webpage]

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