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CAM First Flight Covers  
 

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Pillar Of The Community
800 Posts
Posted 06/08/2018   10:45 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Kimo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The thing about the American Airmail Society's Catalogs is that with each new edition there is new information and corrections to sections in the older editions. Also, pricing changes significantly from one edition to another with some items going up a bit and some going up dramatically as new information arises over time and as rarity factors are better understood. And, if your interest is in Indiana, then buying just a volume with CAMs in it will not likely meet your needs as there are other sections in other volumes that include Indiana as well such as Air Mail Field cancellations, or Pioneer flight number 32 from Evansville in 1912, or Pioneer flight 44 from Connersville in 1912, or some US Governmental flights, or Crash covers such as Interrupted Flight number 69.2 that crashed at Indianapolis in 1969, and I could go on and on. Also, even if you want to stick with just CAMs you will need at least two volumes to cover CAMS and Contract airmails. John has given you really good advice to not skimp on reference materials, especially ones as central to your interest as the American Air Mail Catalogs. A couple of hundred dollars invested in these will more than pay off in helping you know what is what and their relative values. My suggestion is to get the new 7th edition, Volumes 1 and 3 as a start, and perhaps also pick up an inexpensive full 5 volume set of the Fifth edition. I would also strongly recommend that you join the American Air Mail Society so you will have easy access to its membership who collect first flights and welcome questions and new members. With your dues you also get a nice discount on the new edition of the catalogs, a monthly journal that has interesting articles and that would welcome you submitting articles to be printed in it as you develop your expertise, and access to a currently members only Facebook discussion group. Being part of a group of people who think like you in seeing the fun and enjoyment of collecting first flight covers is something that is hard to put a value on.
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Valued Member
United States
11 Posts
Posted 06/09/2018   08:04 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add healthy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks much for the suggestion, Kimo. Excellent suggestions. Now, to determine what my budget will allow. Too bad our library doesn't own an up-to-date set...
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Pillar Of The Community
800 Posts
Posted 06/09/2018   12:25 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Kimo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Most libraries participate in something called the "Inter-Library Loan" program where they can make an arrangement with other libraries to get books on temporary loan in a somewhat similar way that you can get books on loan from your home library. It is not a perfect answer to your needs, but it might be a start and help you decide which reference books you should start your personal reference library with. Another way to get a first start is to use the American Philatelic Society's Research Library (the APRL) which is the largest philatelic book library in the world. If you are a member of the American Philatelic Society you can borrow up to 5 books at a time from their APRL, assuming they are available for loaning - some reference books are not loaned out just like any regular library. If you are not a member of the APS, then your local library can borrow up to 5 books from the APRL through the Inter Library Loan process. There are modest fees for borrowing books from the APRL to cover the shipping and handling costs. Eventually you really are going to want to build your own personal library of the core reference books for your area of interest, and the ones to start with are going to be the American Air Mail Society's Catalogs. Learning about your first flights and understanding their context with other flight covers and events is more fun than just buying them and popping them into storage cases. The information and research aspect is priceless enjoyment and as you become an expert in your own area, sharing that with others by writing articles or exhibiting them at stamp shows or just talking with others who are intested becomes yet even more enjoyment. Here is a direct link to the APRL's website: https://stamps.org/Library-Services
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Edited by Kimo - 06/09/2018 12:32 pm
Valued Member
United States
11 Posts
Posted 06/09/2018   1:40 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add healthy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks, Kimo. The other day, I did ask my local library to try to get a couple of volumes of the Catalog through Inter-Library Loan (which they've done with other items in the past) but they said that couldn't locate any libraries that owned copies. Which sounds like they didn't look very hard, perhaps to only a handful of libraries they deal with regularly. I just looked at the APS loan program and they charge a base of $10 plus $3 per item. That's reasonable for some things, but I think I'd be better off applying that amount to buying my own. Especially for something I'm sure I'll consult regularly.
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Pillar Of The Community
800 Posts
Posted 06/09/2018   6:35 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Kimo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Absolutely, having your own copies is essential if you plan on making this great area of collecting something you would like pursue. If you want to preview the catalogs you might ask your library to contact the APRL and give them their phone number from their websitez; 814 933-3803 ext. 246. The APRL does mention on their website that they do participate in the Inter Library Loan program but as you suggest it is likely that your own library may have been a bit less than diligent in their looking for copies to borrow, though I do not know if the APRL actually loans out their copies of these catalogs since they are so heavily used by people. As I mentioned, many libraries do not ever loan out their primary reference books and it is possible that the APRL may have this policy in place for these catalogs. And if they do loan them out my guess is that your library would require you to view them at the library and not check them out since under the Inter Library Loan program your library accepts complete responsibility for their timely return in perfect condition.
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Valued Member
United States
11 Posts
Posted 06/13/2018   11:54 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add healthy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for the encouragement.
I just ordered a set of American Air Mail Catalogues from APS.
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