The beginning of Thematic Philately was a French/German case. French because it took place in Alsace, a French territory in the German border, and German because Alsace is a German speaking region. Besides, the "patriarch" of thematic philately, clergyman Lucien Braun was also a German speaking Alsace and the first two works of philatelic literature referred to "Creative Philately" (as was named initially the Thematic) were written by himself, in German.
With the appearance of the "Thematic movement", was not late to originate the first thematic societies. The premiership in this section belongs the United States of America, with the foundation of the American Topical Association (ATA) in 1945. Four years later, in 1949, was issued the first issue of Topical Times, its monthly magazine, which is edited without interruption till nowadays.
American Topical Association remains the greatest thematic society in the world.
In Europe, in 1949, Braun had the idea to join the philatelists of this new way of collecting in one Philatelic Federation. The Braun's idea was actualized in 1950, with the election of a provisory committee of the Fedération Internationale de Philatélie Constructive (F.I.P.C.O.)
The first international thematic exhibition took part in Sarrebruck, in 1952, named "IMOSA 52", when they were also published the first regulations which constituted the outrider of the afterwards Regulations of Thematic Philately.
In the meantime and until the death of Lucien Braun in 1962, F.I.P.C.O gets international impact. In the same year it becomes member of the Fedération Internationale de Philatélie (F.I.P).
As it regards the foundation of the first society of the French thematics, whereas it existed since 1949 as a section of F.I.P.C.O., however only in 1953 it was organised officially as the Association Française de Philatélie Constructive (A.F.P.C.), with first president of its provisory board professor Eugene Olivier. In 1961 this name was changed to the actual Association Française de Philatélie Thématique (A.F.P.T.).
Nowadays the A.F.P.T. (firstname.lastname@example.org, http://perso.wanadoo.fr/afpt) counts about 1000 members, mainly from France, but from many other countries too. It is a member of the French Philatelic Federation and the Groupement des Associations Philatéliques Specialisées. This double participation allows to its members to have philatelic contacts with other specialized collectors, allowing the simultaneous participation of their exhibits to all the philatelic classes that belong to the French Federation.
The A.F.P.T. is a kind of "Federation" of specialized thematic (atypic) groups, edits a quadrennial general magazine of various thematic content (La Philatélie Thématique) and great number of special issues, particularly useful and informative.
Apart of the issues of the central A.F.P.T., they function specialised thematic groups with the following topics:
Religion, European history, Flora and Fauna, Athletics, Nuclear Energy, Communication, Geology-Prehistory, Health, Music-Theatre-Dance, Arts and sciences, Movie-Photograph, Windmills.
All these groups edit their own bulletins (supplements spécialisès), with information on the new topical stamp issues, communications on new and unknown meterial discovery, articles relating to the topic of common interest, small adds etc.
In Belgium thematic philately is a large extension. The country disposes two great societies: THEMAPHILA (Belgische Vereniging voor Thematische Filatelie), exclusive for the Flemish Belgians (Dutch speaking), and ASPHILTHEM (Association Philatélique Thématique Francophone) for the Walloons ones (French speaking). Their both quadrennial magazines bear, correspondingly, the abbreviated titles of two societies.
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Germany is also a great country in thematic philately. The more ancient thematic society is founded in 1952. It is named Thematische Philatelisten Südwest e.V. (http://www.thematischephilatelie.org/chronik.htm) and includes in its και περιλαμβάνει στους κόλπους του μεγάλο αριθμό συλλεκτών.
In Italy, where together with Belgium our society maintains the more of its relationships, the Centro Italiano di Filatelia Τematica (CIFT) (http://www.cift.it) is a particularly active society with over than 500 members, in which many from abroad. It was founded on July 30, 1963, when thematic philately was still "of object" or "purpose of issue". To the direction of the central CIFT belong different semi-independed thematic groups that have their seat in different town of the Italian Peninsula, according to their elected president each time. These specialized groups function with a certain independence, have their own budget and edit their own bulletins.
The bimonthly magazine of the mother-society is entitled Notiziario Tematico del CIFT and it is ccontinuously issued since January 1970. The bulletins of the "satellite" groups vary in frequency.
To the CIFT belong the following "Gruppi Tematici":
Music, Boy Scouts, Navigation, Athletic-Olympics, EUROPA, Flora and Fauna, Religion, Literature, Alcohol and Wines, Various.
Developed thematic philately have also Scandinavian countries and Spain.
Giancarlo Morolli, FIP member of the Commission
of Thematic Philately
The Thematic Commission (http://www.fipthematicphilately.org/) of the International Philatelic Federation is one of the most energetic and productive committees. It had the good fortune to always have as ahead well known thematic personalities, like the pioneer Abbot de Troyer and the Italian prof. Giancarlo Morolli. Actual commissioner is the active Flemish Belgian Koenraad Bracke.
The at the time commisioner Damian Läge
speaking at the seminar of thematic