My email inbox is generally not a source of great surprise, but a bolt out of the blue appeared the other day. Please don’t worry, it was a good surprise. As President of the Collectors Club, I received a note from Jean Voruz informing me that the journal you are now reading, The Collectors Club Philatelist, was awarded the European Philatelic Press Award 2023. Jean is the President of the AEP, the European Academy of Philately. I was further informed that “this award is intended to distinguish a magazine of a high philatelic standard with a wide European circulation.” And “this is the first time that a non-European journal has been awarded this distinction in its 20-year history.” Naturally, we are all delighted and appreciative of this recognition. In particular, it is very pleasing to see the efforts of our editor, Wayne Youngblood, being rewarded.
There is no way we can ascertain whether the efforts of our Publication Committee played a role in our being honored, but I do hope that is the case. About a year ago, it was felt that the “connectivity” between this journal and its membership needed to be deepened. We then reconstituted our Publication Committee, the members of which can be viewed on our masthead. Our first obligation is to help source impactful articles to assist Wayne. This journal should be a reflection of the membership, both its needs and its capacity to provide insightful copy. This journal is expected to provide scholarly material and, at the same time, help inform the membership on Club and philatelic matters. The goal is to tie us better together as we pursue our shared passion. If this journal is to provide material, there clearly must be a supply. That is not just my job or Wayne’s, but our communal job. We look to you for your efforts and your insights. That frequently means we ask you for a submission.
When we speak to prospective authors, the most frequently asked question goes along the lines of “I write on the post history of the Duchy of Grand Fenwick, why should I publish my article with you? Wouldn’t it fit better for the Grand Fenwickian Postal History Journal?”
Our response is pretty simple: as a generalist society with a generalist readership, if you would like to reach non-specialists in your area, if you would like to educate judges, if you would like to expand interest in your area, then send the article to us. If your article has applicability beyond your immediate area and has meaning as a lesson for other disciplines, we are the best place to publish. In other words, we are the place if you want to reach beyond your bubble. We are the place if you would like to reach people who do not yet share in your particular passion.
The two-part article we ran last year from Steve Roth is a case in point. The Carriage of Mail by Eastern Stage Lines Before 1860 was awarded the 2022 Robert P. Odenweller Award for Best Article in the Collectors Club Philatelist. If you still need to read this article, please go to your copy or our online archive and read this. It has broad applicability that goes far beyond the specifics. We are grateful for having had the privilege to have been able to share with our members its deep insights. Reaching a broad and appreciative audience and expanding the group is precisely the reason to publish with us rather than the Grand Fenwickian Postal History Journal.
One of the things I tell our Zoom series presenters is that we provide an opportunity to make converts out there. That someone out there watching the program will make the decision to take on the challenge of your topic. Not a soul disagrees or challenges that formulation. I am sure they want me to be correct about this. Realistically, we do not have armies of people taking up a discipline they hear about from our programs. There may be only one individual who takes up the opportunity. But if it is just one, isn’t that marvelous? Now, if that is true of a Zoom program, why wouldn’t it be true for an article? Curiously, I get no arguments from our Zoom presenters, but I frequently do when asking for a written article.
There isn’t a soul reading this letter who could not give us an article. Try it.
While we are discussing the written word, let’s talk a bit about our library. With our move coming to 58 West 40th Street, we will soon have room for additions to our library. So please think of us when looking at books you wish to de-accession.
Not everyone could be out at our annual meeting. Please view the video in our online archive if you did not attend our annual meeting. In addition to the updates on Club activities, we discuss our move to our new home on 40th Street.
Speaking of our new location at 58 West 40th Street, we are making excellent progress on the design work with our architects. We are close to finalizing the floor plan. We will share our progress as we proceed. Finally, and most importantly, our enthusiasm and optimism about the future of the Club remains. It is going to be very special.