How To Collect Stamps - Part 2

For most any group along these lines special catalogs, albums and "study groups" are available as many have traveled these same roads and you will have much company. Many people have confined their collecting to Roosevelt stamps, i.e. stamps that have been issued in honor of our late President Franklin Delano Roosevelt by various nations throughout the world and here, too, special albums are available. Still others collect "Lincolniana," "Lindberghiana," and similar selected subjects. Such limiting of collecting to the pictures on the stamps leads to one of the most fascinating forms of collecting - the "subject" or "topical" collection. Here one collects according to pictures on stamps that have relation to the subject at hand. Thus, the late Theodore E. Steinway built a world-famous collection of "music" in stamps. Francis Cardinal Spellman's collection of "Religion" is equally well known. This example has been widely emulated and there are many collectors of "music" and "Religion." Many collect "ships," others "birds," "animals," even "mountains."

The latter offer a fascinating field for the youngster and the natureminded. I recall the collection built by Carla Pelander, one of the most charming and captivating persons I have ever known. Carla was only eight years old when I first saw her standing before an audience of grown-ups displaying and explaining her collection of animals and birds. Young as she was she held her audience enthralled as she turned the pages and told her story of each separate stamp that had been presented to her by her "hunters." The first few pages of her collection bore the autographs of the "hunters," including all of the prominent names of philately and many, many others. Each hunter had earned his right to sign her album by presenting the collection with a stamp not previously included. To have known Carla was to have known one of the fine persons of this world. Wherever she went people called upon her to show her collection and deliver her lecture. Whenever she did, her audience sat spellbound. She was a great philatelist.

Her life was snuffed out by a terrible disease within two years after I first met her, but she remains in my memory and in the memory of all who knew her as one of the truly great collectors. What Carla did with her animal collection others have followed. The possibilities are unlimited and one of the many attractions of "subject" collecting is that it is world wide. Your interest in stamps never wanes for the issues of all the world must be carefully watched for stamps that will fit into your scheme. With this kind of a collection you are on your own. There are no catalogues or printed albums to guide and restrict you. The albums you will use will be blank albums, the reference books will be a general catalogue of the world's stamps, encyclopedias and similar materials to uncover the stories behind the stamps you place in your collection. You will be amazed at the knowledge you will amass from such a philatelic endeavor. Not the least comforting aspect of the subject collection is that it is always "complete" yet may always be added to. Each page as you mount it becomes a unit in itself. Many have found this a most satisfying form of collecting stamps.