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Postage stamps have been in use since the mid-19th century, and it is probably safe to say that there have been stamp collectors for practically the same amount of time.
The Collector's Corner includes
|(from U.S. Postal Service)|
There was a time when a diligent and solvent collector could reasonably attempt to obtain a copy of every stamp issued, but those days are long gone.Now, a collector needs to narrow his scope and collect within stricter limits.
Countries are a popular collecting choice (only United States stamps), or specific time periods (only World War II stamps). One of the fastest-growing areas of stamp collecting is that of topical collections, in which the collector's focus is on the subject matter shown on the stamps. People have put together fascinating collections dealing with everything from angels to zoos. There are few areas of interest for which representative stamps cannot be found.
A popular theme on stamps is people, including writers. Many nations have honored Shakespeare, but you can also find stamps featuring Lewis Carroll or Dr. Seuss.
People on stamps
Finding a favorite author on a postage stamp may be more challenging than you'd expect.
The U.S. Postal Service rule is that people must be dead for ten years before they can be featured on a U.S. stamp. You can find Mark Twain or Emily Dickinson, but there will be no John Irving or Toni Morrison.
(You can, however, find Morrison on a Swedish stamp, since that country regularly honors the winners of Sweden's Nobel Prize).
The collector's path can take unexpected turns-What is Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot doing on a Nicarauguan stamp? Why is Tolstoy on an Indian stamp? What connects William Faulkner to Sweden? or Robert Louis Stevenson to a set of Samoan stamps?
Putting together an interesting collection is concerned, to a large extent, with persistence, rather than with a lot of money. While some stamps can be amazingly expensive, most are quite affordable. Topical collections are as small or as large as you make them, and the pleasure you get out of them is not determined by the scale of investment.
Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff