Tuesday, July 29, 2008

International Society of Worldwide Stamp Collectors

One of the interesting aspects of any type of collecting is that the activity can be enjoyed as a social pursuit or by determined individualists. (For more about why collectors collect, I recommend Hunter Davies entertaining "Confessions of a Collector.") Turns out that even worldwide collectors have our own group. I've known about the ISWSC for awhile and now that I've embarked on this project, I thought I would try the organization out. The Society is an APS affiliate and its "375+ members in more than 50 countries believe that worldwide stamp collecting is the most fun and challenging area of philately today." The ISWSC has a well-edited newsletter, sales and swap circuits, trading lists, auctions, stamp ID service, and a strong commitment to encouraging youth stamp collecting. For more information and a sample copy of their newsletter, "The Circuit," visit http://www.iswsc.org/.

Their March-April 2007 Newsletter contained the roster of the organization which indicates collecting interests. Of the 375 members, most don't discriminate chronologically in their worldwide collection (but most have other more specialized collecting interests, too.) I count 92 individuals who collect worldwide between a specific set of years. While 1840-1940 appears to be most popular, the ranges vary widely. Many start with 1840 but end at a different year: 1980, 1972, 1950, 1970, 1948, to name just the first few. Several start at 1900. Others have chosen a range using criteria that isn't obvious to me (1870-1982, for instance). A few collect a single year, for example the year of their birth or stamps issued in the first year of the millenium.


Chris W. said...


I ran across this post about ISWSC from way back in 2008. I am also thinking about joining them and was wondering if you ever did, if so, what’s your impressions of their services (especially their sales circuits, trades, etc.), and if you have remained a member.

Bob said...

Chris, sorry for the delay in replying. Yes, I've been a member since 2008. I don't really receive any direct benefits from membership, but renew because I think the organization serves a good cause, including youth activities. Recently there appears to be some new volunteers and a revamped newsletter, so the Society definitely is alive and active. And if one were interested in their auctions and circuit books, that would be an added incentive.