Philatelic Literature Review I

Philately is not an academic discipline. Thus, there is no set corpus of scholarly works that a philatelist should master in order to be well read in our field. This is fine in the sense that our hobby is just a hobby and as such really doesn’t need rules. But it also means that competent philatelists rarely have read and trained from the same books, and often share little of the same intellectual traditions of our hobby. This series of book reviews which I’ll try to do weekly, hopes to remedy that. In each article, I’ll discuss an important philatelic book, generally one that was one of the books I (and older philatelists of the previous generation) trained on. I’ll discuss what’s in the book, why it is important today, what aspects of the underlying philatelic assumptions that the book makes have changed, and where you can get the book if you want to read it yourself. The first book is Sloanes column, published in 1961. It will be posted Monday.

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