Laying aside the pre-printed album vs stockbook argument for WW collecting, as both are valid choices with different strengths, I will focus on the commonly available pre-printed albums for WW collectors, at least in the U.S.
In order of comprehensiveness, they are....
* Steiner pages and albumshttp://www.stampalbums.com/
(Note: Palo Albums are a more expensive and elegant alternative. The layout for many pages- especially the classical era- was contributed by Steiner.)
(Note: Scott Specialty Country Albums and Minkus Specialty Country Albums- they are certainly complete for the major numbers for a country, but for the WW collector they are expensive to acquire new (although used ones can be had for much less), and, more importantly, a number of the albums are out of print or not available, except on the secondary market. Still, WW collectors with deep pockets use the Scott Specialty Country albums, and to a lesser extent, the Minkus Country Specialty albums. I will say no more about them here.)
* The Browns (Vintage Scott International 1840-1940)http://www.subwaystamp.com/Internat...roducts/720/
All of the albums/pages listed above are comprehensive- they essentially have a space for every major number stamp of a country.
The following selections are "representational"- that is, they will have less than 100% of coverage- often, more like 50%, or even less. But for the WW collector, that already feels like they might have bit off more than they can chew, a "representational" album is welcome.
* Minkus Global Supreme Albumhttps://www.amosadvantage.com/scott...0CB46VR3CLHA
* Big Blue (Scott International WW Albums- BB refers to the Part I 1840-1940 Album)https://www.amosadvantage.com/scott...o=&Tab=stamp
* Minkus Global Master Albums
* Harris Citation
O.K. how do they compare with- your question,- Austria? I will review all the first pages of Austria, and give a measure of comprehensiveness. It is up to the WW collector to decide for themselves at what level they wish to collect WW- does one want to swim in an ocean (one can drown!), or does one prefer a lake?Steiner
Steiner covers 1850-1864 and 26 Scott number with, you guessed it, 26 spaces, as it provides a space for every major number. If you want to swim in the Deep Blue with your collection, Steiner is the one.
It almost always follows the modern Scott catalogue numbering system, and therefore easy to pencil in Scott numbers in the spaces if one wishes to do so. Be aware that a 1840-1940 WW collection (Also covers 1840-1952 for British Commonwealth countries) will need some 6,500 one sided pages in some 44 1 1/2" binders. Compact it is not.
And stamp spaces can be expensive. The two spaces empty on this page require CV $100+ stamps.
For the rest of the Albums below, I will measure them in how many Steiner pages it would take for their page 1. Obviously, the more (Steiner) pages covered by their page one, the less
comprehensive the album is. The Browns
The Five volume Browns are also comprehensive, but frozen in time circa 1920-1940 Scott catalogue. Little harder to use as does not follow chronologically the modern numbering system. And some stamps have dropped out, others have dropped in since they were published. Nevertheless, an elegant choice for many.
The Browns first page covers 1850-1877, and 30 spaces. You will note the 1863 issue in the Browns is not separated out by watermark and perforation as it is in the Steiner. Steiner provides 10 spaces, while the Browns provide 5 spaces.
The 1867-77 issue in the Browns is not parsed into coarse print and fine print, as it is in the Steiner. Steiner has 14 spaces for this issue, while the Browns have 7 spaces.
The Steiner has 2 pages of coverage for the Browns one page.Minkus Global Supreme Album
locobot- you uploaded an image of the first page of Austria for the Minkus Global Supreme. (Please refer to it.) A good choice in my opinion for a fine "representative" album. The Minkus Global Supreme 1840-1952 comes in two very fat albums.
Is it the "Goldilocks" album for WW collectors- not too hot, not too cold, just right?http://bigblue1840-1940.blogspot.co...bum-for.html
My blog tries to answer the question.
The first page of the Minkus Global Supreme covers 1850-1883. That is about 2 1/4 pages of Steiner. Note that the Minkus Supreme does parse the 1860 issue into different perforations, and the Emperor Franz Josef issue into coarse print and fine print. Bravo Supreme! Big Blue
My Big Blue blog is all about Big Blue, so much to read there. http://bigblue1840-1940.blogspot.com/
Here is the first half of the Austria page with stamps in it.
And here is the second section of the first page....
Big Blue covers 1850-1890 for the first page. For those that prefer to not worry about watermarks or perforations, or fine/course print, BB is the one!
The Steiner has almost 3 pages for BB's first page.Minkus Global Master
Do not confuse the Minkus Master with the Minkus Supreme! The Master covers less than the Supreme.
Here, for Austria page one, the Master covers 1850-1902 (Recall that the Supreme covers 1850-1883). Four pages of the Steiner is covered by one page of the Minkus Global Master. I recommend, if one is going with a Minkus, to go with the Supreme, rather than the Master.Harris Citation
The scan image for Austria page one was uploaded above. (Refer to it.) It covers 1850-1913 for the first page, clearly the least comprehensive of all the albums listed here. The Steiner uses eight pages for this coverage. I do not recommend this album if one is interested in the classical era.
Locobot- hope this helps, and good luck- WW collecting is fun!