For quite a while, I've been thinking about rearranging the pages so they are organized differently.
I'm still sorting it out, but I'd like all the Africa so they are together, Scandinavia, a few other regions. I still have some pondering to do beyond that.
My thinking as I start this is that I have a wide format printer and plenty of blank Scott pages. I can use this to deal with some of countries/areas where you have multiple countries on one page, or on the back, etc.
In addition to printing pages for stamps that aren't Scott listed, which I already do, I thought I can print maps, flags, scenes, etc. and somehow affix them.
I've read the post in the Filling Spaces blog.
What I'm wondering is has anyone done this before (I'm sure they have) and what are the traps/sand pits I might run into, so I can be prepared.
Good day to you. I have about 10-11 Big Blues. I decided to go "regional" last year, meaning I've moved away from the alphabetical order. As an aside, I have Parts I through V, with a few countries on various pages into the mid-1970s.
Following are my keepers: 1) North America (US, Canada & provinces, Greenland, Mexico, St. Pierre, UN-New York) 2) Portugal & colonies (may add Spain & colonies to this, or give those pages away. Not worth much). 3) British Commonwealth (self explanatory). 4) "Select" Eastern Europe (Baltic States, Bulgaria, Poland, Russia & territories). 5) South America 6) Central America 7) German speaking (Germany in all its iterations, Austria w/Bosnia, Liechtenstein, Switzerland). 8) Italian area, plus S.E. Europe, including Albania, Jugoslavia, Greece, Turkey).
Two binders of French speaking area, except for St. Pierre, have gone to an auction house for an August auction. Have binders of Asia (other, including China, Israel, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Saudi); Benelux w/Scandinavia; another East Europe with Czech, Hungary, Romania. All these will either go to auction or be given away.
I went this route for a couple reasons. One is that Portugal & colonies is my main speciality and I got tired of having my holdings in alphabetical order scattered through almost all my binders. I also decided to cut back more to areas that I'm actually interested in; in part collecting countries where I have actually been.
I've set aside Part I pages with different countries printed on both sides of page. For the French, I mounted stamps on blank quadrille pages as needed, for sale. Have at least two orphans that likely will be given away; Ethiopia and Liberia. Don't know if my system makes sense or not to persons other than me. And it's just barely underway. I'll work next on my Benelux and Scandinavia binder to get it ready to go to auction at the end of the summer.
I did my reorganization back in the 1970s and it was a mess with a large percentage of 'two countries on one page'. But Scott started to address this issue and changed the page layouts to eliminate a lot of the problems (late 1980s or early 1990s?). So this really depends on which version pages you have; I am unaware of any 'version' info printed on the pages so that isn't much help. Don
E.C.: I bought my Big Blue Parts I through V somewhere around 1983. Having country X on the front side of a page and country Y on the back side has been a real pain for my re-organization. As one example, I had Inhambane on a front side, and India on a back side. Inhambane goes with Portuguese and India goes with British Commonwealth.
Actually easy to solve for the Portuguese colonies as I had discarded all the Part 1 (1840-1940) pages for the colonies and switched to blank quadrille pages. I have a lot of complete sets that Part I did not allow spaces for.
You probably know this, but current Scott International pages do not have multiple countries on one page. So they can be arranged any way you want without dragging along part of another country. Earlier editions did combine countries on the same pages quite often.
The Scott arrangement of pages by era is unappealing to me since for stamps covering a very large period of time, you end up with each country repeated (for different years) from one volume to another. I like to see a country's stamps from beginning to end in one place. So, like many people, I've rearranged my pages alphabetically A-Z across volumes. To me, that makes much better sense. I understand why Scott sold (sells) pages by era, 1840-1949, 1940s, early 1950s, late 1950s etc. It's the way the pages were originally sold, and it's too late to reorganize them now.
As for organizing the International album by region, that's an interesting idea, but of course first you have the somewhat difficult task of deciding what belongs in each region, as you've done. To me, some of your regional combinations seem a little unusual. But it's none of my business. Put your pages in whatever order you want. The Swiss might resent being called "German". St. Pierre in "North America" even though it is legally part of France? China and Israel in the same Asia volume? But if the system makes sense to you, that's the one you should use.
If you plan to resell your albums (or maybe your heirs will), maybe don't throw away pages. I've thought of that for some countries I have little interest in, but so far I'm leaving them in case I get stamps for those countries. And that way the entire album is complete if it does get sold. If I removed them, I think I'd put them in manila envelopes in the closet "just in case".
You focus on Portugal, but you put your stamps in an International album. That means for at least the early decades of Portugal and colonies, your pages are incomplete. Scott included only more common stamps in their International album for 1840-1940, if not later. Was that your intention? For your specialty, wouldn't a complete album like a Scott Specialty album be preferable and provide a more coherent, separate presentation? I collect my own specialty countries in separate country-only albums and put stamps for all the rest (along with duplicates for my specialty countries) in my Scott International album. Of course, that does add to the expense.
Whatever system you use and whatever choices you make, though, enjoy your collection.
Drew: you raise good points. I had some specialty albums for a number of areas in the 1970s. I always wanted the Internationals and finally bought the parts through 1965, around 1983. I was immediately disappointed by the lack of spaces for so many stamps in the Part I 1840-1940 pages. But I decided to "make-do" as the pages and binders were expensive at the time considering the size of my salary. I also then had an interest in going world-wide, an interest that has finally departed.
Regarding your thought about the Portuguese area, I never considered a specialty album due to my former interest in world-wide collecting. Some years ago, I bought a Portuguese India collection that was on Scott specialty pages. I've retained those pages; trimmed them to fit into an International binder; and re-mounted the stamps. Extras go on the blank quadrille pages. A few years ago, I indulged myself for another of my specialties; Mexico; and bought a collection also in a Scott specialty album. I've trimmed the early pages to fit my International binder, but have yet to re-mount anything.
My French Asia countries are at the auction house. Portuguese and British Asia are in those collections. Which leaves me with a number of "orphan" countries. When those are sold, I'll just call it a "Miscellaneous Asia" collection. As for heirs, my collections will go to various philatelic libraries and societies to be sold for their benefit.
An addendum about the Portuguese colonials........ a specialty Portuguese album wouldn't work anyway, since I have collected a lot of shades, perf varieties, plate flaws, and the like for the early (pre-1930) classics. Blank quadrille pages for me have been the best way to mount these items.
Quote: An addendum about the Portuguese colonials..... Blank quadrille pages for me have been the best way to mount these items.
Actually, for varieties and special stamps, you can slip a Vario page in a plastic protector , punch 2 holes and insert it in a Scott album, no need for mounts, can be arrange as you need too. Here a tread I talk about it.
Thanks for the tip. I did use a Vario page for the French collection that has gone to auction. The page housed all the components of Madagascar that were printed on the back of pages with other countries; places like Anjouan, Moheli, Diego Suarez, etc. The Vario page is thicker than the regular Scott pages and thus hard to turn. It also sticks out, as suggested by DrewM in your referenced thread.
Having said the above, I am trending slowly to stockbooks for storage of duplicates. Have used Vario and similar black-backed pages for storage for quite a while, but those aren't filed in any album.
I hadn't thought of this before, but doesn't Scott sell "stock pages" designed and punched for their different sized albums? These are (or at least used to be) single or double-sided (I can't recall) pages with some kind of plastic strips on them for storing stamps -- similar to the Vario pages. They are not plastic but paper and the same size as the Scott album pages they're supposed to be used with.
I'd check the Amos Advantage or Subway Stamp Shop websites to see if they're still being sold, but I'm feeling lazy so I'll leave that up to you.
Vario pages are heavy, made of vinyl/plastic rather than paper, sized differently from both Scott International and Specialty pages, and many would not consider them (how do I say this?)"harmoniously" compatible with paper pages. Not to say you shouldn't do it, of course, if it works for you.
Lighthouse make those pages for their albums , with a lot of configurations, they call it LB, cost betwen $ 3-4 each , very good looking in an Lighthouse album with a collection in the 5 of 6 digits. As for the look of my system, I'm happy with it, I place the pages at the start of a country and betwen the regular and the back of the book, so I know exactly where to go , it'S make like index divider. My main goal is to group all the stamps in same binders Scott blue binder look way better on a shelf than a bunch of disparate staples type binders. And don't get me on those Vario binders, it's the most unfriendly binders to turn Vario pages, a 1" binder or even better a 1/2 " work way better
DrewM: thanks for another tip. I try not to use the Scott/Amos blank quadrille pages as they are not as thick as the G & K brand sold by Subway. I have a supply of G & K blank pages and glassine interleavings. That said, considering what I read on another thread about Subway not keeping some supply items regularly in stock, I should probably see about another order to them yet this month.
The one thing missing for me is the cardboard divider strips. Scott/Amos makes them for Specialty and US albums, but not for the Big Blue Internationals. I have a few left from a purchase many years ago. Otherwise, will have to buy the Specialty strips and "make do" again.
Punching holes , $ 12 , but a lot of work , was using my kit a lot at the time the rockets was in cardboard tubes, now we use Epoxy Fiberglass one , many still use cardboard but for me it's like Canadian Jubilees stamps versus St-Vincent CTO stamps