American Philatelic Society
The American Philatelic Society
(APS) is the largest nonprofit stamp collecting
society in the world, with over 47,000 members as of 2003
. Although headquartered in State College, Pennsylvania
, both the membership and interests of the society are worldwide.
The society was founded on September 13, 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 in 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 Ickes. The APS became the US representative to the Federation Internationale de Philatelie in 1947.
The APS operates a number of services for its members:
- The American Philatelist - monthly magazine
- StampStore - online stamp buying
- mail sales circuit
- American Philatelic Research Library
- insurance for stamp collections
- American Philatelic Expertizing Service
- accreditation of judges for stamp exhibitions
The membership includes many commercial stamp dealers and about 700 local stamp clubs. In addition, some 200 specialty societies are affiliated with the APS.