Thinking back to my childhood I can remember a time when the thought of starting a collection appealed to me. As most boys did, I started with baseball cards and before long, I moved on to comic books. And at one point, I even began collecting stamps. My collecting was short lived, but I suspect that if I had the influence of someone like Nancy Clark, things could have been a lot different for me.
Philately is defined as the collection of stamps and the study of postal history and over the years Nancy Clark has established herself as a leader in the field. In addition to her own collecting practices, she currently sits on the boards of six philatelic societies, including: The Mobile Post Office Society, The Philatelic Group of Boston, The Errors Freaks and Oddities Collecting Club, The Auxiliary Markings Club, The Alvin Chapter of the Universal Ship Cancellation Society, and The American Philatelic Congress.
“Both of my parents were collectors,” she says, “and I had to be about 5 when I was first introduced to it.” Nancy says that their collections focused on a lot of French material, but for her, it was the postal history of the northeast that really called to her. The images depicted on stamps are not only beautiful and artistic, but serve as a reminder of the times and tell tales that capture the imagination.
One of the things she enjoys is bringing the art and practice of philately to children. “It’s problematic getting into schools now, so what we’ve been able to do is hold workshops for teachers to get them involved, in addition to working with the Boy Scouts and 4H,” Nancy says. Nancy’s goal is to make the experience informative and interesting for children to help foster curiosity and thus strengthen their ability to retain the information.
For her exceptional contributions to philately, Nancy was presented with the Luff Award in 2008. This award was established in 1940 in memory of John Luff, an exceptional philatelist himself and president of the APS (American Philatelic Society) from 1907 to 1909, and it is presented to an outstanding philatelist in one of three areas: distinguished philatelic research; exceptional contributions to philately; or outstanding service to the APS. Her work in the field both in the U.S. and abroad, in addition to her work with children made her an ideal recipient of the honor.
As the President and Chairman of the Spellman Museum of Stamps and Postal History, this internationally accredited professional continues to work hard to share her passion on a national and international stage. Nancy has shared her thoughts and expertise having sat on eight international juries. “I chaired the International show in Atlanta during the Olympics, and we did a live show in Greece during those Olympic Games as well,” Nancy said. And with her concurrent efforts as the host of “APS Stamp Talk with Nancy Clark” on wsRadio, Nancy has worked hard to expand her reach to collectors everywhere.
“I’ve been with wsRadio now for about 12 years,” says Nancy. “Ultimately what I’d like to show people is that stamp collecting is interesting and can be very fun. Also, I can help current collectors learn more by presenting interesting guests and I can help people network as well to get as much out of the experience as possible.”
With the 2016 World Stamp Show on the horizon, an international show scheduled for May 28 through June 4 in New York City, Nancy is looking forward to another opportunity to bring the world of philately to her listeners in a live forum. “It gives people who couldn’t be there a chance to be a part of the event in some way,” she said.
We are a very young country, but the nature of our country is such that we have an old soul. We are rich in traditions and beliefs and we are passionate about our growth and our global legacy. Because of the advances in technology and our ability to communicate on a global scale, we collectively overlook that rich history and instead choose to look forward toward a prosperous future. But we would be foolish to not think about, explore and appreciate the past and the lessons it can still teach.
Nancy Clark is someone who recognizes this and she has spent her life sharing what she has learned and encourages others to do the same through philatelic endeavors. In her roles as President and Chairman, APS member and judge, teacher, facilitator and radio host, Nancy Clark’s passion for, and commitment to, philately is clear and inspiring.
To learn more about Nancy, her radio show on wsRadio.com, philately and the American Philatelic Society, visit the following links: