Philatelic and Postal History Primer
Getting Started
Introduction//Stamp Types//Collection Types//Getting Started//Associations

Getting Started with your Stamp Collection

Getting Started//Storage & Care//Accessories

It is always a good idea when starting any new hobby or endeavor, to do a little research. Before making up your mind about the type of stamp collection you  wish to pursue, you might visit a local stamp dealer and one or two stamp shows first. Talk to the dealer and other collectors you meet at the show/s. One thing for sure about our hobby is that we love to talk about our collections!  You might also wish to purchase a Beginners "How To" publication.  

How to Collect Stamps by H. E. Harris is a publication that a lot of beginners choose, as it is reasonably priced, easy to understand and covers the subject thoroughly. 

A dealer can help you decide on which accessories you will need to help care for and store your collection and other collectors you meet at the stamp shows will pass along advice and tips that they have learned during their collecting years.

The easiest way to obtain a large quantity of stamps to begin with is to purchase large stamp packets from a local stamp dealer or hobby shop. Some of the larger book stores such as Books-A-Million carry stamp packets and stamp supplies. 

Many of the larger mail order stamp dealers offer an Approval Service. Approvals are stamps and stamp packets that are mailed directly to you after you sign up for the service. You pick out just the stamps you want, send the rest back to the dealer and then pay for only those stamps or stamp sets you chose. 

There are a great many Stamp Societies and Clubs which will also aid you in your collecting area. They can offer help, advice, and even insurance for your collection. Most of them also publish a monthly or quarterly magazine  relating to their respective collection specialties. The largest of these organizations and which encompasses the entire field of stamp collecting is the American Philatelic Society (APS).  A list of stamp organizations can be found on the Philatelic Associations page.

Most collectors acquire many duplicate stamps over the years. After keeping and mounting the best of your duplicate issues, the remainder can be traded with other collectors for issues you still need. Duplicates are usually kept in Stock Books

The How To book mentioned earlier will also explain about caring for your stamp collection. Stamps and stamp products are fragile items that react unfavorably to light, temperature, humidity, and dust and should be protected from these and other harmful influences that may destroy their value. In the next section, Storage and Care, we will take a closer look at some of the things that can damage your stamps and how to protect them.

Getting Started//Storage & Care//Accessories

Introduction//Stamp Types//Collection Types//Getting Started//Associations

RI Historical Society
The Post Offices
Home Page
RI Tercentenary Issue History
RI Philatelic Society
Recently Added Pages
Philatelic Primer
Rhode Island Around the World
Rhode Island Town Postmarks
Other Websites of Interest

Philatelic Terms & Definitions