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Ways to organize precancel collections?

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begoniabo
Valued Member
United States
30 Posts

Posted 03/18/2013  1:25 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add begoniabo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Message

I have been collecting precancels for almost three years and have come to realize the magnitude of organizing thousands of stamps into a manageable system. With the help of PSS general information, I have stamps sorted and mounted by state, town, type and Scott #. Last week I obtained the 2007 Town and Type catalog that lists the "L" types. Using Excel, I have laid out pages for the "L" types for a few favorite states. That has turned into quite a project in itself. I'm working on a side collection of just one example of each regular PSS type of precancel displayed on pages for reference. I suppose the "L" type pages will be added to that section to display examples. What makes things complicated is that all L-1 HS, for example, do not look the same. I guess that's why they are "locals".
That just adds to the fun of the hunt.....

I am interested in hearing how others have organized their ever-expanding collections of precancels.

Thanks.

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philb
Pillar Of The Community


USA
9738 Posts

Posted 03/18/2013  1:42 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add philb to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

A friend gave me two albums..the first a real album is the United States Bureau Print Album...i still find a stamp or two that go in it.. the second is a book of blank pages with the name of the state at top..on these pages I just try to find as many different cities and towns as I can for the State...regardless of precancel type..i regard them both as fun collections !


APS 070059 Life Member International Society of Guatemala Collectors I.S.G.C. #853
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wt1
Bedrock Of The Community


United States
10922 Posts

Posted 03/18/2013  1:57 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wt1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

I was given a vast amount of precancels years ago and since many were already mounted on album pages I simply kept it in that form. They are sorted only by State and then by denomination within each State. Not my preferred method, but since I have no intention of remounting hundreds of stamps to change it at this point, it's easy enough to go to a specific State and thumb through what I'm looking for if it's merely a certain precancel type known within a given State. I've also begun penciling in the precancel types on the album pages so I can view them at a glance.

The larger quantity of unmounted precancels that I have has been stored in glassine envelopes (by State and type, if known). When I get a large enough quantity, I typically printout the PSS album pages for a given State and start mounting the stamps by type. Storage limitations do not allow me to printout all of the album pages, so I must be selective about doing it only when I have a large enough quantity of precancels to make it worthwhile.

As you have alluded to the L-Type precancels are so different for each location that used them, it's nearly impossible to identify specific examples without a catalog (which I don't have) so I depend on SCF members to help me out now and again.

Not the best method perhaps, but it is what has worked for me.


Edited by wt1 - 03/18/2013 1:59 pm
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Trainwreck
Pillar Of The Community
Stamp Community SupporterSupporter!
United States
572 Posts

Posted 03/18/2013  10:54 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Trainwreck to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

I have a small precancel collection--just over 500. The stamps are in stock pages for expandability. I include small slips of paper with data on PSS type and Scott number for each stamp. I'm not content with one example of each precancel type from each town--if the underlying stamp is different, it goes in the collection. Here are a couple of page scans:



Regards, Robert

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begoniabo
Valued Member
United States
30 Posts

Posted 03/19/2013  1:30 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add begoniabo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Trainwreck,

Thanks for your scans. They show a lot of attention to details in presentation. I think stamps are works of art and should be displayed as such. Keeping a nice display while expanding a collection is done well with stock pages. That's a great idea. At some point it might get bulky with many hundreds of stamps. I will consider getting a quantity of stock pages for my favorite states.

Thanks.

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chasa
Pillar Of The Community
United States
1233 Posts

Posted 03/19/2013  4:17 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add chasa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

While some collectors will be put off by the sheer number of different precancels and traditional albums overwhelmed by them - there is a compensating benefit because every collector can organize using his own judgement and art [and budget]. I'd recommend all starting collectors to do it like Robert. Stay open ended sans hinges and space-filling. Once you figure out what appeals, specialize and focus.
I have focussed on a number of precancel topics. Some are hinged in traditional albums - usually homemade [US types, Canada, overrun countries, DLE, apple greens, 1919 rotary, synoptics, pre-1920 dues], some hagnar sheets open-ended [AL, MT, WA, DE general, 1930 & 1931 postage dues, 1918 offsets, 1932 olympics], some hinged on looseleaf sheets [1959 dues, VT general].
I can assure you, in most topics, you can find a LARGE number of nickel stamps to accumulate. Did I mention it is addictive?

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begoniabo
Valued Member
United States
30 Posts

Posted 03/22/2013  12:39 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add begoniabo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

I've been mulling things over for a few days and I have another question.

Do individual state albums have a space for every precancel by Scott # and type?

I read somewhere that chasa had worked on a project for Alabama precancels.

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GrandpaJohn
Valued Member


United States
21 Posts

Posted 03/22/2013  1:11 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add GrandpaJohn to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply


Quote:
I've been mulling things over for a few days and I have another question.
Do individual state albums have a space for every precancel by Scott # and type?


I ~think~ what you're asking about is Buro precancels, not Locals (T&T's). Have a look at the free PDF albums the PSS has here and see if any of these would help you decide which way to go.
http://www.precancels.com/free-albums/

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wt1
Bedrock Of The Community


United States
10922 Posts

Posted 03/22/2013  1:31 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wt1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Those free PSS album pages are great, but have a space for only one example of each precancel type per town. It is, of course, possible to have the same city/state precancel on several denominations or even several series of stamps, so if you intend to collect that way, the free album pages may not be what you want.

But then again, you can always start by using those free album pages to identify the various types of precancels you have and then when you accumulate a number of stamps of various denominations for any one precancel type you can always create your own album pages for the overflow.

As has been suggested elsewhere, precancel collecting can be addictive and there is no one complete collection anywhere, as there are virtually millions of varieties to collect, so the best advice is typically not to become overwhelmed but limit your collecting to a certain region or state or locality that you have special interest in, as you will soon find it is impossible to attempt to collect every precancel out there.

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chasa
Pillar Of The Community
United States
1233 Posts

Posted 03/22/2013  3:53 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add chasa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

I can reliably report that no state has an album available that has spaces for all known denominations. There are some up to date catalog/checklists for many states, Alabama is free here: http://www.precancels.com/literature/Alabama4.pdf . My Alabama collection runs to 9 volumes mounted on Hagnar sheets - over 25,000 different. Some states are smaller and more manageable, some are MUCH larger.

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begoniabo
Valued Member
United States
30 Posts

Posted 03/24/2013  7:02 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add begoniabo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Thanks to all for the input. Lots of good ideas on how to structure a potentially massive collection. Grouping stamps into smaller subsets may be best way to balance the collecting urges to "have it all" and "have a complete set". Collecting precancels is the most fun per hobby dollar spent I've come across in a while. It combines history and geography. It can be a treasure hunt wrapped in a mystery for obsessive compulsive addicts. I love it!

Everyone should checkout the Alabama precancels link posted by chasa. Wow! What a great piece of work that is. Thanks again.

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ncbuckeye
Pillar Of The Community
Stamp Community SupporterSupporter!


United States
1128 Posts

Posted 03/25/2013  5:11 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ncbuckeye to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

The precancel stamp society has free downloadable album, pages - by city/town within state. Here is the link: http://www.precancels.com/free-albums/

oops - I see that GrandpaJohn has already listed it


Edited by ncbuckeye - 03/25/2013 5:15 pm
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I_Love_Stamps
Pillar Of The Community


United States
6674 Posts

Posted 03/26/2013  02:59 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add I_Love_Stamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

I would start by state and then dimension of pre-cancel.

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begoniabo
Valued Member
United States
30 Posts

Posted 04/30/2013  1:19 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add begoniabo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Trainwreck,

I liked your black stock pages of precancels, so I got some and have been putting some of my big city precancels in them with small labels with the PSS type. They look great! New stamps are easily inserted in the proper order in subsets when I get them. When I first started collecting precancels, I mounted them by state, town and type on homemade pages. As I got more stamps and pages started filling up, things really started getting randomized. When trying to tell if I already had a stamp, I would have to look through several pages and compare. That was very time consuming. Now with stamps more organized, checking new stamps is a snap. I wish now I had started out with black 8 row stock pages. More expensive up front, but man does it look good and save a ton of time and effort.

Great idea and thanks for the advise.

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Trainwreck
Pillar Of The Community
Stamp Community SupporterSupporter!
United States
572 Posts

Posted 04/30/2013  1:27 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Trainwreck to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

You are welcome.

Robert

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ilovelabbies
Valued Member


84 Posts

Posted 04/30/2013  7:23 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ilovelabbies to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Very nice setup Trainwreck. I'll just sit back and admire your fine organizational skills.

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