My philatelic heroes

Stamp collecting has a bit of a dull reputation. We all know that is true, in fact I’m not even embarrassed when my friends roll their eyes when I talk about how excited I was to discover that a third two cent large queen existed on laid paper. Anyone who thinks stamp collecting is a dull, boring hobby hasn’t looked at the people. There are more than a few colourful characters out there, even among philatelists of today. There is a dealer who uses his ex-wife as a reference when meeting new girlfriends, a few rascals, at least one rogue, and some people who have achieved so much. But I think pride of place goes to some of the great people of the past who gave us the modern post, and by association modern stamps. Continue reading →

Canadian postal records thrive online

The Canadian Museum of History can take users to the postal archives, a highly detailed online collection of this country’s stamps.

For years, one of the best-kept secrets of Canadian postal history was the Canadian Postal Museum. Tucked away in a back corner of the top floor of the Museum of Civilization, in Gatineau, across the river from Ottawa, the museum contained a collection of one of every Canadian stamp, and galleries covering the history of postal service in Canada. It didn’t get a lot of attention. I received a guided tour of the museum in 2010. When we got to the postal section, my official guide said he didn’t know much about the stamps and left me to my own resources. Compared with the main exhibits, there were few tourists taking in the stamps. In 2012, the museum was closed. At that time, the Museum of Civilization announced it would move the stamp collection into a new gallery, incorporate philately into other exhibits, and build on virtual exhibits on the museum’s website. The collection reopened in 2014 with more than 3,000 stamp exhibits in a gallery on the first level. Continue reading →

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