As many of you know, I have an extensive philatelic library when it comes to information about US stamps.
I joined the US Philatelic Classics Society (USPCS) a while ago. As a member, I have a login to the memberís only area of their website. Inside this area, I can download electronic copies (PDF files) of all back issues of the society journal up to the year 2010.
If I bought back issues of their journal through a philatelic literature dealer, it would cost me a few thousand dollars. And it would take up a lot of space. By joining the USPCS, my annual dues just saved me a bunch of money. Now I can quickly search through back issues for whatever Iím looking for. By the way, the United Postal Stationery Society is also doing this (their back issues are not complete yet). Iím sure other clubs have done this too, or they are planning on it.
The USPSC situation got me thinking though. Will this affect philatelic literature sales of past club journals? It probably will. There are a few people who will always prefer the originals and/or want a hard copy. That may never change. For someone like me, Iím not really interested in the originals. I want to save space and money. What Iím mostly interested in is the information. I can download the PDF files. I donít need to buy hard copies.
I think electronic copies of past issues are a great idea. They save time and money. However, I see sales of club journals diminishing over the years as more clubs provide electronic copies of back issues and more collectors prefer this method of obtaining them.
This could also mean a business opportunity for someone. What about taking copies of defunct clubs and converting their old journals to PDF files and selling them? If you could get a complete run of old journals/newsletters and legally convert them to PDF files and sell them to collectors, there could be a business around doing that. There are probably hundreds of old publications that fit this model.