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These are a Few of My Favorite Things

There are a lot of links embedded in my pages, either to give credit for something I have used, or to share something I find interesting. That's one of the great virtues of html, that one can create an elaborate inter-connection of information in a way that is both informational and entertaining. Many, though not all, of those embedded links are repeated below. In addition, I have included here some other sites I may not have mentioned elsewhere, but feel are worth checking out.

5/17/2019 - A visitor to this site pointed out that many of the links on this page do not work. Sadly, even the best sites can die. I have updated this page to include only active links.

General Philatelic Sites
Philatelic Literature
Libraries and Museums
Duck Stamps
Non-Philatelic Sites
United States Postal Service
Expertizing Services
Web Publishing

Read an interview with the author of Alphabetilately at Marty Weil's Ephemera Blog

General Philatelic Sites

These are non-commercial web sites that serve the philatelic community by providing information about the hobby, and/or listings of other philatelic sites, including those of dealers, collector organizations, and individual collectors such as me. Some have provided links to my site - thanks to each of them.

State of New York Stock Transfer Tax stamps, a new site by collector Kurt Lange, on a rather specialized topic. Check it out.

1847USA , my new favorite philatelic site, with images and technical data about every U.S. stamp from 1847 through 1960. Its mission is "to aid collectors in their identification of U.S. stamps." It does that admirably well.

5/18/19 - 1847USA is also available as part of Stamp Smarter, an extensive labor of love by collector Don Denman.

The Glassine Surfer, the Web incarnation of Mike Mills' very informative and entertaining column for the APS monthly journal, The American Philatelist.

Lee's Stamp Listopedia: This was once a very well-designed, well-organized, and well-maintained general reference site and site-of-sites. Sadly, it hasn't been updated in over five years now, so many of its links are obsolete.

Sandafayre's Stamp Articles: This is part of a commercial (auction) site, but contains invaluable images and information about stamps of many countries,

12/04/2004 - NEW WEB SITE. I just discovered Nick Blackburn's very informative and entertaining site, with several pages about FIRSTS, all illustrated with examples -

http://www.snap-dragon.com/first_firsts.htm - The first examples worldwide of various types of stamps, such as First Airmail, First Booklet, First Multi-lilngual, etc. I find it fascinating.

http://www.snap-dragon.com/first_issues_guinness.htm - First issues by type for each country. The list is sequenced by date of each country's first postage stamp, and goes from Great Britain (1840) through Georgia (1995).

Nick's very ambitious site shows great promise, so check it out regularly, and send him feedback to encourage his efforts. He and I are having a discussion about the terms setenant and composite right now - see my "S" page for more.

5/18/2019 - a visitor to this page referred me to her friend's page, which recommends stamp collecting as an activity for the whole family, a concept I heartily endorse. Her page contains a useful introduction to the hobby, and a helpful set of up-to-date links. Check it out.

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Societies of collectors are the lifeblood of philately. One of the best reasons to belong to one of the societies listed below is so that you will receive its journal or newsletter, and be kept abreast of new issues relating to your specialties.

The Casey Jones Rail Road Unit of the ATA is an organization of people who collect Trains on Stamps. They publish an award-winning Newsletter to keep you up- to-the- minute with news about new issues with trains, and updates about older issues.

The Poster Stamp Collectors Club is an organization of people who collect Poster Stamps(!) They publish a quarterly bulletin, and conduct periodic auctions.

Web site HERE.

There is a very active and well-organized society of topical collectors, the American Topical Association , which publishes excellent handbooks and lists for topical collectors, as well as a very entertaining and informative monthly journal, Topical Time.

The American Philatelic Society is the premier organization in the U.S. for and about stamp collecting. Its monthly journal, The American Philatelist, strikes - for me - a nice balance between hard-core Philately and stamp collecting for the fun of it.

The Bureau Issues Association (aka The United States Stamp Society) was founded for the study of the stamps produced by the U. S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing. It has evolved into (quoting the masthead of its fine publication The United States Specialist) "An association of collectors to promote the study of the philatelic output of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and of postage and revenue stamped paper produced by others for use in the United States and U. S. administered areas." It publishes very useful books and research papers about stamp production and varieties.

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Libraries and Museums

Here's a link to a site that lists Philatelic Libraries and Museums. I recommend you use and support them, as they perform a vital service to the philatelic community.

I have been a proud supporter (and grateful user) of the Western Philatelic Library in Sunnyvale, Ca, ever since I encountered their display at WESTPEX, the yearly APS show in San Francisco, many years ago. They have an excellent web site, and an excellent facility - visit them if you are in the area.

The Rocky Mountain Philatelic Library, in Denver, CO, is well worth a visit if you live in that area, or are visiting near there. I took a tour of their facility when I attended the ATA's Topical Show in June of 2003, and was impressed by the size of their collection, as well as the appearance and organization of the facility itself.

The American Philatelic Research Library, a branch of the American Philatelic Society, is the largest public philatelic library in the country, and gaining access to its services is enough by itself to justify an APS membership.

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Dealers - Stamps and Stamp Collecting Supplies

These are all commercial sites that offer material related to something I've discussed in my alphabet. I have done business with all of them, and consider them ethical and reliable.

Subway Stamp Shop This is the largest source of stamp collecting supplies I know of - albums, stock books, glassines, hinges, literature, you name it, they probably have it. They have an excellent web site, AND a toll-free number for orders. And they offer substantial discounts over most other sources.

Phil Bansner Phil specializes in U.S. Postal History (e.g., Advertising Covers) and Worldwide Philatelic Literature, and has helped me find books to fill gaps in my philatelic library. He also permitted me to copy some of the images from his web site to illustrate my pages, especially on the A page.

Michael Jaffe/Brookman Stamps has one of the best sites I've found for U.S. Duck stamps (that's Michael Jaffe) plus an extensive stock of U.S. and worldwide Thematic stamps (that's Brookman).

Al Peterson (The Rail Philatelist) I am honored to count Al among my personal friends - he specializes in Trains on Stamps, which is my own collecting specialty, and has an excellent web site - be sure to check out his Rail Philately Exhibit pages.

Rigastamps, my favorite Cinderella Stamp dealer.
Sadly, both Roger and Bonnie Riga passed away in 2018. I have created a Tribute Page where you can offer comments and remembrances of them. CLICK HERE

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Michael Jaffe/Brookman Stamps has one of the best Internet sites for U.S. Duck stamps that I've found (that's Michael Jaffe) plus an extensive stock of U.S. and worldwide Thematic stamps (that's Brookman)

Sam Houston Duck Co. is another excellent site for Duck stamps.

US Fish & Wildlife Service - Duck Stamp Office - if you are serious about Duck Stamps, you need to keep up with the activities of the USFS, which issues the Federal stamps. Here's their web site to get you started.

Duck Stamp Collectors Society - and this is the society of Duck Stamp collectors, which publishes a newsletter, and conducts occasional auctions.

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United States Postal Service

USPS web site, at www.usps.com -   Their site has improved a lot since I first visited it several years ago, but I still find locating the philatelic area takes digging. I won't try to provide direct links to specific pages other than the main one here, as they keep changing the site's structure. Explore.

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As I mention on the Q page (and see this page as well), having expensive stamps authenticated by experts is essential insurance. The two organizations listed below are among those that provide expertising services.

APES - The American Philatelic Expertizing Service is a joint venture of the American Philatelic Society and the American Stamp Dealers' Association. APS members get a discount from the APES, so joining that organization can save you money if you need a lot of certificates.

The Philatelic Foundation, in NYC. This used to be THE expertizing service, but lost some of its prestige as the result of a scandal about fifteen years ago, and while still respected, is now just one of several.

Professional Stamp Experts - This is a private (i.e for profit) group that offers expertization. They were the center of a controversy a few years ago, but seem to have settled in as one of the recognized authorities.

CONFEDERATE STAMP ALLIANCE AUTHENTICATION COMMITTEE - if you collect Confederate States of America, this is the place to get tricky items authenticated.

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Dealers - Philatelic Literature

I value my philatelic library as highly as I do my stamp collections, since I could not understand or appreciate the one without the other. I could not have compiled these web pages without all the reference books that helped me get the facts right. The commercial sites below can help you expand your own philatelic library.

Phil Bansner Phil has the best web site I've found for philatelic literature, with a powerful, user-friendly search engine. As with any sophisticated web site, his may take you a little time to learn to use it effectively, but once you do, it will return excellent results. He also has an excellent stock of Postal History, with a scan of every item, and that wonderful search engine.

James Lee - Mr. Lee specializes in Literature, Postal history, and Essays & Proofs (a topic I have not covered in my alphabet, but one well worth investigating if it is new to you). His site is less sophisticated than Phil Bansner's, with simple lists by various topics, rather than a search engine, but he has an extensive stock and is very friendly and helpful. He too sells postal history and other material.

Leonard Hartmann (The Philatelic Bibliopole) - the first time I encountered Mr. Hartmann's catalog, I thought "Bibliopole" was a typographical error, and should be "Bibliophile". Then I looked it up, and was delighted to add a word to my vocabulary - "Bibliopole" means "A bookseller, esp. a dealer in books unique for their rarity, artistic format, etc." Like James Lee's site, this one is oriented around lists, with no search engine, but I highly recomend you spend some time browsing there, a his personal observations are helpful.

James Bendon publishes many of the books he sells, and being located in Europe (in Cyprus, to be exact), stocks largely books related to philately of Europe and the British Commonwealth. Three of my recent favorites are Under The Gum, Cancelled by Perkins Bacon, and Letter Receivers of London. Again, no search engine, but well worth the time.

Eric Jackson - Mr. Jackson specializes in Revenue Stamps, and literature related to them (see P is for Persian Rug).

Subway Stamp Shop This is the largest source of stamp collecting supplies I know of - albums, stock books, glassines, hinges,you name it, they probably have it, including over 2,000 different philatelic catalogs and reference books. They have an excellent web site, AND a toll-free number for orders.

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Non-Philatelic sites

Ephemera Philatelica Address Book

In October of 2000, Chronicle Books released an address book based on the Philatelic Alphabet. It includes a set of the images in stamp form. Check out their web site.

American Institute of Graphic Arts - the SF chapter of the AIGA was the original sponsor of this project.

Crane stationery - Crane stationery was the original commercial sponsor of this project, and has continued to be active in supporting it.

Michael Osborne Design (MOD) - Michael Osborne has been one of the major supporters and motivators of this project since its inception. He designed the stamp and invitation for the original presentation, and his associate Paul Kagiwada designed the ticket. MOD was also the design partner for the Dickson's Ephemera Philatelica. In addition, Michael has provided endless resources to further the project through SF-AIGA - without his efforts, it would have been impossible.

Artistamps and Mail Art - And here's a page with a well-written history of the Artistamp/MailArt movement, and links to many Artistamp artist sites.

Railroad history - Here's a link to a fantastic railroad site, the Photographic History Museum of the Central Pacific railroad. It has an online gallery of photos, plus historical documents and narratives that should keep the most jaded rail enthusiast happy for days.

EPHEMERA BLOG: Marty Weil has an interesting blog about epehemera, postal and otherwise: GO HERE. He did a virtual interview about my site, which you will find HERE.

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Web Publishing

This web site is my first venture into web publishing, and while I am a computer programmer by profession, I was initially overwhelmed by the tedious mechanics of writing HTML. I tried FrontPage, and hated it, mainly, I now realize, because of the inherent limitations of HTML itself. Still, I decided I needed to learn from the ground up. Then came the need to transfer my pages to my ISP's server, and a whole new set of frustrations appeared - yes, my ISP provides tools to upload html and images, but once again they are annoyingly obtuse. I surfed for help. Below are the tools I found most useful.

Note Tab Light, freeware which I had downloaded a couple of years ago so I could look at text files that were too big for Notepad, turned out to be a fabulous little editor, with a built-in, editable library of HTML tags, powerful search and edit functions that work on whole groups of files at once, and a refreshing simplicity. Too many tools try to do everything, and end up good at none of it - this one does a few important things very well. I love it. There is a freeware version, which is rich enough in features for me, and a couple of more powerful versions available for a fee. Check it out.

CuteFTP The name is dumb, but it's a great tool if you want to transfer one or a hundred files between your PC and an ftp site. This used to be the only way things got moved around the internet, but now we all have browsers, so who needs ftp? You do, if you want to set up a web site - it's the best way to load files and keep them up to date. And CuteFTP is a very powerful yet simple tool to make it as easy as moving files around on your own computer. Every thing is mouse clicks and drag-and-drop. The pros I've talked to like it, too, so it can't be just me. No free rides here, though - you can get it free to test it out, but will have to pay to keep it.

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In general, it is not my purpose to advertise for dealers and other commercial enterprises here, but in cases where someone has been especially generous to me, in allowing me to use material from their publications, or by providing a link from their web site to mine, I am including them here. The two auction galleries below have been a gold-mine of images for my pages, and have specifically authorized me to reproduce those images. Moreover, both publish award-winning catalogs of such a high caliber that I would be inclined to list them here regardless. It is well worth the cost of a subscription to their catalogs for the invaluable reference works they provide.

Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries
Be sure you look at their Siegel Encyclopedia, which I hope they will continue to expand.

Shreves Philatelic Galleries

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All text Copyright © 2000, William M. Senkus

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Revised -- 05/18/2019