Five free live-streamed lectures offered through June

By Jesse Robitaille

The New York-based Collectors Club is offering a series of five free live-streamed lectures through this June.

While the 124-year-old Collectors Club boasts nearly 800 paid members from across the United States and abroad, its lecture series is open to anyone through the club’s website. It’s free to attend any of the five lectures, but registration is required.

“It is our approach that we are providing a service to the philatelic community (worldwide) and consequently we are committed to making these available to all, to the limit of our software license, for no charge,” said club President Larry Haber.

The lecture series began April 29 with a talk by club Treasurer Roger Brody, of Somerset, N.J., who signed the iconic Roll of Distinguished Philatelists in 2016. Brody’s lecture focused on U.S. national identity through the lens of the country’s 1902 stamp series. Also known as the “Second Bureau” issue, the series’ 14 denominations “franked the mails and carried the nation’s history across the continent and around the world as the nation transitioned from a rural society into an international and commercial power,” Brody said in a preview on the club’s website.

The other four lectures will be held:

  • May 13, when Mark Schwartz, of Philadelphia, Pa., will discuss “The New York Postmaster Provisional”;
  • May 27, when Gordon Eubanks, of Pebble Beach, Calif., will discuss “Interesting Usage During the Prexie Period”;
  • June 10, when Wade Saadi, of Brooklyn, N.Y., will discuss “Cancellations: Struck on Stamps Part 1 – 1847 Issue”; and
  • June 24, when Bill Schultz, of West Chester, Pa., will discuss “Three Philatelic True Stories.”

OVERCOMING LIMITATIONS

The lectures are made available through Zoom, a free online video conferencing platform that allows organizers “to overcome the limitations of our clubhouse being closed and the restrictions of social distancing,” according to a statement on the club’s website.

Described as “live and interactive” programs, each of the five presentations can be accessed live through Zoom (via a desktop computer or Apple and Android devices) or watched at a later date through the club’s online archive.

The registration process, which Haber describes as “simple and non-invasive,” will allow organizers to gauge the audience size, limit disruptions and retain contact information for subsequent lectures.

The Collectors Club’s physical headquarters is located in a five-storey brownstone at 35th Street and Madison Avenue in New York City. It features a research library, a monthly speakers’ program and an award-winning journal, The Collectors Club Philatelist.

The club remains open despite all of New York State being put “on pause” until at least mid-May, according to Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has shied away from issuing a shelter-in-place order. Any visitors to the club’s headquarters must call in first to inform club officials of the date and time they intent to visit.

The club’s annual dinner banquet, where the winner of the Alfred F. Lichtenstein Memorial Award for Distinguished Service to Philately is announced, has also been postponed from May 20 to Oct. 21. Further details will be announced in late summer.

To register for the live-streamed lectures, visit collectorsclub.org.

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