Monday, April 28, 2008

Spotlight - Junior Philatelists On The Internet

Junior Philatelists On The Internet

Recently, while researching for a specific stamp topic on the internet, I stumbled upon the Junior Philatelists On The Internet website. It didn't take me long to realize that this is website is loaded with helpful topics and nice features. It is obvious that the owner of the site, Gayland Bird, has a lot of information to share.

One of the goals of the site is to bring young people into the hobby of philately. Having started with worldwide stamps over 50 years ago, and then narrowing down to more specific collecting, website owner Bird has put together a site that can help both beginner and the more advanced collector.

For a few technical details, the site was started around 1999, according to Bird. He tries to post a new entry weekly, or as he comes up with new topics.

From the main screen, there are numerous links to information. Starting as basic as offering stamps to beginners for $1 (US) and postage, and advancing through topics such as mourning stamps and revenue stamps, each link goes to a separate page with detailed information.

An excellent series of "How-to" articles appears in the left sidebar. Topics include soaking stamps, buying an album, mounting stamps, and about 25 more. These are must-reads for the beginner.

Bird also has detailed information about TASCO Booklets. These booklets were distributed by Tatham Stamp Company of Springfield, Massachusetts starting around 1928. The small booklets would cover a topic of interest to stamp collectors in detail. For example, one topic was the one and two cent issues of 1890 to 1898. Another was postage stamps of the Confederate states. These booklets are fascinating and I highly recommend that every collector go to the site and view these historical and nostalgic documents.

Overall the site is a good one for collectors. The only minor issue that I have found, and it really is minor, is that the topics could be arranged in a more orderly fashion -- there is a bit of disorganization to the front pages. The site has a lot of information that beginners might miss, especially in this "instant information" age. However, someone who likes to browse will find themselves busy for quite a while.

For attaining their stated goal of trying to help beginners get in to stamp collecting, Junior Philatelists On The Internet is awarded this week's Stamps of Distinction Website Spotlight.

Be sure to visit them at

Would you like to nominate a website for a Stamps of Distinction Website Spotlight? If so, read and follow the instructions on this link.

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