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Postal Stationary Reference Works

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Pillar Of The Community
United States
672 Posts
Posted 05/02/2022   6:15 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add classic_paper to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Just lamenting the dearth of modern catalogs for postal stationary. Oh long-wished-for modern edition of H&G, wherefore art thou?
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Posted 05/02/2022   6:20 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Yes, the stationery catalogues, seem to be stationary.
Not so the Aussie Catalogue,
However out of reach by the wallet.

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Posted 05/02/2022   11:48 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add hy-brasil to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Much as I would love to see modern stationery catalogs, Higgins and Gage ain't coming back, in my opinion. The only people that ever bought those catalogs were dealers. Did the updates (by the Brookman people??) even ever get finished?

Postal administrations really publicize the heck out of their new stamp issues, stationery very little if at all. So the information on stationery is often up to its wholesale suppliers and retailers, which is close to nobody these days. The collector market is quite small, so the new issue dealers were never interested. It's not always been so, since we still see so much mint stationery from before 1920 from all over the world.

So that means any potential stationery dealer will have to develop hundreds of their own contacts. And I'm sure you want a catalog maker to actually have or to have physically handled everything they list, which won't be cheap. Did you know Scott used to buy and hold new issues for some time for making catalogs and albums? Good practice, methinks. But some of the major stamp wholesalers have been in cahoots with Clive Feigenbaum, who even produced bogus stationery, ones that he created that no unconnected dealer could get.

It will take truly dedicated collectors of stationery to continue to put up and maintain websites for individual countries. There are very few today, and some have gone dead or have disappeared.
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Edited by hy-brasil - 05/02/2022 11:49 pm
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Posted 05/03/2022   12:31 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add PostmasterGS to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Michel seems to be broadening their postal stationery catalog offerings, but they still only cover about 5-6 European countries, and only 1 of those (Germany) with a dedicated postal stationery catalog. Just finished scanning mine to PDF, all 960 pages!

The rest (Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Great Britain, UN) are just postal stationery sections within their respective Specialized catalogs.
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Presenting the GermanStamps.net Collection - Germany, Colonies, & Occupied Territories, 1872-1945
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Posted 05/03/2022   02:58 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I am satisfied with the Great Britain Catalogue (Huggins and Baker)
150 pages
But lacks the familiar hierarchical sequencing of most Philatelic catalogues,
(frankly, hard work)

I use Brightmore to locate in a trice, then try and convert that to Huggins and Baker.
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Posted 05/03/2022   03:02 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Australia's Brusden White
A bargain I cannot afford at $235
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Posted 05/03/2022   08:01 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add classic_paper to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I'd be happy with nothing more than a modern update of H&G: modern typesetting conventions, color samples. Get rid of prices, those are out of date when published anyway.

I'd think it wouldn't be an insane effort to modernize the last edition of H&G this way and issue it as a pdf or print on demand. Would love to have a copy of and the rights to, a small country and try it.
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Posted 05/03/2022   08:24 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
For Russia there is the Zagorsky postal stationery catalog which is extremely thorough and updated.

I believe the issue is that there is really no modern WW all encompassing published work?
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Posted 05/03/2022   08:55 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Simple. Organizations which have an interest in promoting this aspect of philately should develop a freely available document which specifies the architecture for a postal stationery database, field names, and data types.

Once this is in place, anyone who is interested would be able to develop the specialty areas (I assume by country) they represent. For example, I have a database with every US postal card
https://stampsmarter.org/features/I...alCards.html . Other websites and organizations already have a significant amount of online content. Others could be developed and published using the postal stationery architecture document.

The key to this is that all the individual efforts would be able to be merged into a single database (since they are all based upon the same architecture).

But as long as everyone is off in a corner 'doing their own thing' this will never happen. A lot of the work is already in place, but they are all 'islands of information' and there is little chance to ever merge them.

I have tried to promote this kind of approach over the last two decades but never get any traction. It should be applied not just to postal stationery but to our entire hobby (stamps, covers, etc.). This would not require huge investment(s) and there are those of us who have offered repeatedly to volunteer.

Either I am a clueless fool and do not know what I am talking about or the hobby and its organizations have no vision.
Don
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Posted 05/03/2022   09:35 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add classic_paper to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Don, it's a nice idea, how do you handle (at least what I perceive) the need for a more or less universal numbering/reference/catalog system. One of the things that makes Michel, SG, Sc, H&G et al so successful in their areas is that they have a universally accepted way to reference a specific item. USA Sc 437 is the same stamp, everywhere. Germany Mi P117 is the same postcard, worldwide. So, if such a crowdsourced project were to take off, would there be a committee to develop a new numbering or other code system to standardize all the data?

I'd be happy enough with and effort to modernize an old standard, so at least the hobby can say that postal stationary 1840-1940 (for example) has been sorted, freeing those so inclined to begin at 1941 or whenever with perhaps an online-only effort that would allow changes on the fly. I hate that someone bought the rights to H&G only to bury it.
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Posted 05/03/2022   10:32 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The first step is to standardize on the database architecture so that each entity could adopt the database design while retaining their own intellectual property. The purpose is not to 'force' everyone to share their proprietary content but rather 'set the table' for the eventual merging of what they choose to share.

The reason for this is that many these companies and organizations have traditionally been mortified about 'cross refences' and done everything in their power to prevent hobbyists from being able to quickly and easily transition to the 'competition'.

So the direction is to allow them to choose subsets of their data; and this might mean they do not share their own catalog numbers if they choose to. The fact that all the other fields and data types in the content they do share match means that merging the 'worldwide' information is still easily achievable and valuable.

For example, if I had a 'Stamp Smarter catalog number' assigned to the US postal cards but only shared all the other database fields, this could be merged with postal card from all the other countries in the world. New (or different) catalog numbers could be applied if desired, the underlying database uses unique indexed ID field to keep each record separate and distinct. The same for thing like images, each entity could decide if they wanted share their own images or not.

Allow me to paint a simple picture for a common, documented database architecture. Say we all represent 10 different local stamp clubs and we decide that it would be great to share the membership databases. But one club has these database fields
Member ID
First Name
Last Name
Street Address
City
State
Phone
Email
Collecting Interests

But another one has their data stored this way
Member ID
Name (first and last)
Street Address
City
State
Country
Email
Collecting Interests
Dues Status

Whether or not the club 'member ID' is shared is not really important. What is obvious is that trying to merge the 'names' field is almost impossible between the two clubs (because they are being stored differently).

And the issue actually goes much deeper, consider the issue with data storage. Some databases might store it with day/month/year and another stores it as month/day/year. Denominations can also be problematic across databases as is the issue with 'data types'.

The point is that we (the hobby) is headed in a direction of never being able to merge/index our information this because of the content being stored in thousands of different ways. All we need is some vision and leadership from the major players in the hobby. Having only a few individuals talk about it does no good and never will until the whales choose to make it happen. This is not really 'my idea' but rather common sense to anyone who has a basic understanding on how to deliver digital content. In discussing and presenting this many times over the years I get the feeling that the issue is not they do not 'get it' or that they do not have the resources to make it happen. (It does not take a lot of resources to participate in develop a standard document). It is about the legacy perspective having pay walls built around their data and refusing to consider sharing some of it.

Time will be the ultimate judge if the refusal to change direction is healthy or hurtful to the hobby. Until that happens we will have lack of affordable and accessible information, miss great opportunities to promote interesting aspects of our hobby, and hobbyists who are frustrated feel like those in this thread.
Don
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Posted 05/03/2022   10:58 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add patg23 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
For United States stamped envelopes and postal cards I suggest the United Postal Stationery Society for catalogs. I get the e-membership for $18 per year.

https://www.upss.org/code/membership.php

Member and non-members can purchase catalogs. Also, epublications (downloadable) are available.
pat

(Some examples)
U. S. Precanceled Postal Card Catalog - 2020as a PDF Josh Furman, Editor $8.00
United States Postal Card Catalog - 2020as a PDF $16.90
United States 20th and 21st Century Envelope Catalog as a PDF (Ver 4.3 2020) $13.00
United States 19th Century Envelope Catalog as a PDF (Ver 4.1 2019) $13.00
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United States
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Posted 05/07/2022   12:02 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Timm to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Finding Foreign Postal Stationery Catalogues is EXTREMELY difficult in most cases. And if you are lucky enough to find one you want expect to pay "BIG BUCKS" for it !!!
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Edited by Timm - 05/07/2022 12:03 pm
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Posted 05/07/2022   1:32 pm  Show Profile Check GeoffHa's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add GeoffHa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
That's OK. Do you have Big's email?
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Posted 05/07/2022   3:58 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mml1942 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Check out:

The Postal Stationery of Mexico by Peter Bamert.

This book is available from either MEPSI or the United Postal Stationery Society, both as a printed book or as a PDF download.

So detailed it scared me off from wanting to even consider collecting Mexico Stationery.

Mike
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Posted 05/07/2022   5:23 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bobby De La Rue to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The earliest works that I'm aware of were the Gibbons catalogues around 1900. I'm sure I read somewhere that these were only done in this format for two years.



Bright & Son did a postal stationery catalogue. I have the 1912 edition but I don't know how many years this catalogue was produced.

Ascher's work is immense, but you'll need to have a grasp of German to work with it. This volume has been reprinted and is available on disc also.

Lowe's British Empire encyclopedias are quite good, but Higgins & Gage are probably still the best work in the English language that covers the whole world. The problem here is getting a copy of the whole thing.

Whole world collectors of this area would be a rare thing I would've thought. Most folks tend to stick with one or maybe a handful of countries.

I have few Australian Commonwealth items but I do like the Registered Envelopes of New South Wales, along with the De La Rue material of course!
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