A well chosen stamp album is the collector’s most useful tool. Albums are available illustrated or blank. For the beginning collector, an illustrated album is the better choice, for it not only aids him in organizing, displaying and storing his stamps, but also serves as a philatelic text book, teaching the new collector many aspects about his new hobby.
A bound, illustrated album can be obtained for a low price and will hold thousands of stamps, The more popular loose-leaf album will hold many more stamps and will have many more countries represented in it. Yearly supplements and/or blank pages for stamps not illustrated can easily be added. Either of these types of albums should contain many illustrations as a guide to identification and proper placement of stamps.
The illustrated album can be used as a reference book. By studying its pages carefully, the beginner can discover the identifying marks or words of each country’s stamps first hand, and then learn the proper way to arrange stamps. Each page of a new album should be studies attentively before any stamps are mounted over the illustrations, for each illustration, each country heading, each particular grouping of stamps is there for a good reason and many aspects of philately can be quickly learned by inspecting these guides that the illustrated album provides.
A medium sized illustrated album is the best choice for the beginner, one large enough to grow with but not too large to handle before learning, through experience, about stamp collecting. The beginning philatelist should experience various aspects of stamp collecting before investing in a larger, more specialized album, for instance, an album designed expressly for stamps illustrating one certain topic.
When the more advanced collector begins to seriously specialize in stamps of a certain topic or from a specific country, he can find a more advanced album to suit his growing philatelic interest. Specialized albums are almost always loose-leaf. Some are large and widely illustrated; others are blank with elaborated borders and quadrille lines. Whatever direction the collector’s interest takes, he will find a special album to suit his individual needs.
Happy stamp collecting.