FIP Philatelic Literature Commission

Newsletter - July 2008

Greetings Everyone!


Dear Colleagues,

First of all, I would like to thank you for my election as Chairman of the FIP Philatelic Literature Commission for the next 4 year period.  I consider it an honour, taking in consideration the great names who have served this position before me.

Our Secretary has already prepared the Minutes of our Meeting in Bucharest and sent them to you either by email or by post.

As you will notice, there was no candidate to represent the Americas. I have decided, therefore, according to FIP Statutes, to fill in the gap and appointed Michael Dixon, USA delegate to our Commission. At the same time I appointed as well, Franz-Karl Lindner, German delegate. Both gentlemen accepted their appointment gladly.

One of the main concerns, pointed out already in the last Meeting, is that many countries have not yet appointed a delegate to our Commission.

To this effect I have already sent the appropriate invitations to FIP Members and hope that in the near future our Commission will be enriched with new delegates. I take today the opportunity to repeat my invitation.

The other main concern was that our website could not remain with the same host any more. I have contacted my own Society, namely the Hellenic Philatelic Society ( which has gladly agreed to host our website. I also contacted a friend who agreed to make the transfer and to undertake  maintenance of the website at no cost. If any cost arises this will be borne by the Hellenic Philatelic Federation.

The transfer has been successfully completed and in the near future we will start uploading new material. I feel obliged to thank Antony Chazapis, our new Webmaster and the Hellenic Philatelic Society, our new host for their willingness to support our Commission.

Remaining on the same topic, I would like to stress that the importance of our website is two fold: to preserve history and to promote Philatelic Literature.

For this reason I have prepared a list of past Board Members since the formation of the Commission in 1973 and I am trying to gather their philatelic CV and photos. 

In this task I was greatly helped by various delegates and friends and, in particular, from AIJP President Wolfgang Maassen, author of Who is Who - he is presently preparing its second edition. I would like to thank him for his valued support. 

When the list is completed it will be uploaded to our website, thus offering due homage to all those who have served or are serving the Commission's Board.

Coming to the promotion of Philatelic Literature, I am planning three projects:

Project 1

List of Large Gold and Gold medals awarded to Literature exhibits in FIP or FEPA/FIAF/FIAP exhibitions.  

Tay Peng Hian has compiled already a list for FIP exhibitions since 2000. Past President Charles Peterson has also worked out a list of literature awards for the period 1981-85. I shall try to fill in the gap years 1986-1999 and go back as early as I can.

It is a project which at the end, when uploaded in our Commission's website, will honour the authors for their work and at the same time pin point the major philatelic works worldwide at a given period.

Project 2

List of Literature Awards in FIP member countries.

In many countries Literature Awards (one or more) have been established for a long time.

I would kindly request each delegate to our Commission to prepare a list of all Literature Awards given every year or periodically in their own country, as the following example:

Award X given by (Federation, Society, Club, institution) (medal, plaquette, diploma etc)
1957 John Smith, The Stamps of Kenya, (English)
1958 Not awarded
1959 Paul Jones, The Postal History of Cayman Islands  (English-French)

So far, our website includes only the Crawford Medal of the Royal Philatelic Society London.

These lists, which will also be uploaded onto our website, will be in the long run a solid guidance to everyone for the studied areas.

Project 3

List of philatelic periodicals at present published in every country.

An example:

The American Philatelist, American Philatelic Society, monthly, (English)

Philotelia, Hellenic Philotelic Society, bimonthly, (Greek-English)

Those periodicals with a title in non-Latin alphabet may be written in translation.

In my view, the less the information that is requested, the easier it will be to prepare the lists.

I fully understand that in certain countries there are many journals of every form published and it may take time to complete it. I think, however, that at the end of this task, we shall have a panorama of the philatelic press which is much needed today. As you will appreciate, journals and philatelic press are the veins of philately.

This task falls also on the shoulders of our Commission's delegates.

The uploading to our website will be done immediately upon receipt of the lists from each delegate. This will work as an initiative for everybody.

Dear Colleagues,

If we work together and with enthusiasm, we can complete the above projects within a year, at the latest. I depend on you for their success.

Anthony Virvilis

1. COMMISSION MEETING 27 JUNE 2008 AT ‘EFIRO 2008’ in Bucharest

This meeting was attended by 27 delegates in person or by proxy plus a number of observers. The minutes have been sent by email attachment to those delegates with email. For delegates without email they have been sent by post.

The new Bureau for the 4 years 2008-2012 is at the top of this Newsletter. This includes two appointments as permitted by the motion passed at the FIP Congress on 28 June 2008. 


Firstly a warm welcome to  Jean Frising as the Delegate from Luxembourg.

With this Newsletter is a list of Delegates to the Commission as at 1 August 2008.

Please check this list and if there are errors or omissions please advise the Secretary. It is very difficult to keep track of all the changes in postal and email addresses and is very time consuming if there are problems in sending emails. 


Toke Norby was until recently a member of the Bureau with responsibility for the Commission’s website. In 2007 The Danish Philatelic Federation’s Medal of Honour for Outstanding Service – “The Golden Pin” – was awarded to Toke. Our congratulations, though a little late. Toke had previously received in 2001 the Danske Filatelisters Fællesfond (Danish Philatelists Common Foundation) Award for outstanding contributions to Danish Philately. Toke, we are sorry to lose you from the Literature Commission.


DENMARK: Notice of a book published in 2007 – Skibspost in Denmark in 1800-tallet” (Ship Mail in Denmark in the 1800s) by Kurt Hansen, published by the Kjøbenhavns Philatelist Klub, 192 pages, hardbound with illustrations in full colour. ISBN 987-87-983015-9-2.

The book has had a good report – it is in Danish but with no English summary. 

SWEDEN: In 2003 a bibliography of Swedish philatelic periodicals was published in Postryttaren (“The Postal Rider”), the yearbook of the Postmuseum in Stockholm. This bibliography concerned the 17 periodicals that started during the period 1886-1919 and was compiled by Tomas Bjäringer and Erik Hamberg. The article is written in Swedish, but since 2005 Postryttaren has English summaries of all articles to better reach an international audience.

Part two of the bibliography appears in Postryttaren 2008 and deals with the period from 1920 to 1949, with approximately 30 periodicals that started during that period. All single copies of these periodicals are gone through in order to record information on the most important articles, writers, editors etc. The considerable collections of the library at the Postmuseum are a great help in this work. The period 1950 onwards will be covered in a later publication.

The 2005 issue of  Postryttaren was dedicated to the first series of stamps issued in Sweden (1855) and in 2006 the Postmuseum celebrated its 100th anniversary. The 2007 issue has an article on the famous misprint 3 skilling banco yellow.

Contributions to Postryttaren are selected by the Board of the Friends of the Postmuseum.

All delegates to the Literature Commission can obtain a free copy (including packing & postage) of Postryttaren 2008 if they send a request including their full address to: . The same offer applies to Postryttaren 2005 which was a commemorative issue for the 150th anniversary of the first Swedish stamp, with articles on the 1855 skilling banco issue: printing, shades, forgeries, covers etc. If you don’t have any book on Swedish stamps, this is a good start! 

FRANCE: From Jean François Brun we have notice of a book published in September 2007 about the French Consular Post in Jerusalem in May 1948.

ITALY: The Website of the Istituto di Studi Storici Postali (Institute for Postal Historic Studies) has an on-line catalogue to its library of 30,000 titles.

Institute website: and library catalogue:  These are largely in Italian but the index search instructions are also in English, French, German and Spanish.

NEW ZEALAND: Every two years from 1989 New Zealand has staged a National Literature Exhibition with international participation. The 11th such show will be held in Palmerston North on 27 June 2009. Entry requires just one copy of a book/monograph or 1 – 2 years of a journal. Preferably these should be in English or bi-lingual. There is NO entry fee. The publications go into a philatelic library and are available to members of all societies affiliated to the national Federation. This library is used particularly by judges preparing for national exhibitions. The Jury Chairman in 2009 will be Dr Robin Gwynn, a FIP Literature judge. Invitations to enter will be sent out at the end of 2008 but to make sure you receive one, please contact Norman Banfield if you are interested. 

SLOVAKIA: Present and past publishing activity of the Union of Slovak Philatelists is summarised on their website:

- The Union publishes its magazine “Spravodajca ZSF” in the Slovak language 4 times a year. 

- A new edition of Dr. Ondrej Földes “Specialized Catalogue of Slovak Postage Stamps & Stationery 1939-1945” was recently published by Michal Zika’s Album Company. A second volume covering the years 1993-2008 will be published by the end of 2008. 

- Dr. Vojtech Jankovič has translated into Slovak “The World Encylopaedia of Stamps and Stamp Collecting” by James Mackay – it was published by Fortuna Libri Publishing House in November 2007. This translation received the Matej Bell Prize in 2007 – the highest national award for a translation awarded by the Slovak Literature Foundation.

U.S.A.: Competitive Philatelic Literature Events in USA (2007 to 2008 Season)

Only three of the thirty plus annual national American Philatelic Society (APS) sponsored World Series of Philately (WSP) shows hold Literature Competitions.  These are: NAPEX held in June in suburban Washington DC, CHICAGOPEX held in Arlington Heights, Illinois, during November and APS STaMpsHOW held during August in a different city each year.  For each competitive event, all classes of Literature are accepted in competition, including those in electronic media: Articles and Columns, Catalogues, Handbooks and Special Studies, and Periodicals.

At STaMpsHOW 2007 held in August 2007 in Portland, Oregon there were 59 entries in total.  Receiving the show’s Grand Award for Literature and a gold medal was Annotated Cumulative Subject Index to The Chronicle of the U.S. Classic Postal Issues, Journal of the U.S. Philatelic Classics Society, for Issue Numbers 1 through 200, by Joseph J. Geraci.  Reserve Grand Awards and gold medals went to The Postage Stamps of New Zealand, Volume IX by the Royal Philatelic Society of New Zealand and The Penny Post by Larry Lyons.

From the 55 entries submitted competitively for CHICAGOPEX 2007 in November 2007, Intercepted in Bermuda, The Censorship of Transatlantic Mail during the Second World War by Peter A. Flynn received a gold medal and the show Literature Grand Award.

NAPEX 2008 held in McLean, Virginia had only 36 competitive Literature entries.  It should be noted that NAPEX has held Literature Competitions in only a few recent years. U.S. Contract Mail Routes by Water (Star Routes 1824-1875) by Hugh V. Feldman was awarded the Literature Grand Award and a gold medal.

The complete palmares for each of these shows, and all other APS WSP events, may be viewed on the APS website at:   A new philatelic season will start in less than a month with STaMpsHOW 2008 to be held August 14 to 17 in Hartford, Connecticut.

5. PAGE NUMBERING OF BOOKS       Norman Banfield

There can be a problem when accessing a book on a CD as a PDF file. It is normal practice in many countries to start the text of a book at page 1 using Arabic numerals but with the preliminaries (or “prelims” as they are called) of title page, preface, introduction, contents, list of illustrations etc, which appear before the text, numbered in small Roman numerals. The page number does not normally appear on the title page.

When accessing a book as a PDF file, the file is numbered from page 1 starting with the title page. So if there are 10 pages of “prelims”, the Text starts at page 11 in the file.

So, if we want to print page 12 in the Text, we will need to print page 22 in the PDF file!!

Most non-fiction books have a Contents page at the front and many have an Index at the back. The Contents page is normally numbered using small Roman numerals but the Index follows on from the Text with the same page numbering. Yet they serve a similar purpose of where to find something – only one is in greater detail.

There is no standard procedure as the following will show:

Book A: Arabic numbering only - starting at page 1 with the title page.

  • 1 -Title page 2 – Sponsors, publisher, ISBN etc 3+4 – Contents
  • 6-9 - Introduction (4 languages) 10 – Picture 11 – Chapter 1
  • Pages 1-10 do not have a number on them.
  • In English. Published 2005 in The Netherlands 

Book B: Mix of Roman and Arabic numbering.

  • i – Title only ii – Blank page iii – Title Page (including author, publisher)
  • iv – Publisher, copyright, ISBN etc v–vii – Preface to 1st Edition (v no number)
  • viii–xii – Preface to 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th edition (only page xii has a number)
  • xiii-xv – Contents (page xiii no number) xvi – blank page
  • xvii-xviii – List of maps (xvii no number) xix-xx – Illustrations (xix no number)
  • 1 – Part I Introduction 2 – blank page (no number) 3 – First page of text.
  • Published 1993 in England by Oxford University Press

Book C: Mix of pages without numbers and Arabic numbering.

  • (1) – Title page (2) – Copyright, publisher, ISBN etc (3-7) – Contents
  • (8) – blank page 1–4 - Foreward 5-8 – Introduction 9 – First page of text
  • Acknowledgements are at the back
  • Published 1988 in England by Century Hutchinson.  

Book D: Mix of pages without numbers and Arabic numbering.

  • (1) – Title page (2) – Publisher, copyright, ISBN etc
  • (3) – List of other books from same publisher 4-5 – Contents
  • 6 – From the Authors 7 – First page of text
  • Bi-lingual Russian – English. Published 2004 by Standard-Collection, St Petersburg.

I suggest that books A and D are the best!

They are also philatelic books. But I have another philatelic book published in 2007 in England which retains the mix of small Roman and Arabic numbering.

Having looked at a few more books published as far back as 1956, it seems that the use of small Roman numbers for the preliminary pages is a practice of the English speaking world – including the U.S.A., whereas books from Continental Europe do not do this.

This all seems totally illogical but presumably arises because the “prelims” at the front are in fact prepared after the Text and in the past it would have been difficult to renumber the whole of the Text. On the other hand, it is easy to continue the Text page numbering for the Index as it appears after the Text. 

Today most books are computer produced and page numbering all pages from 1 upwards would be simple. The only drawback might be cross references. A few books on CD have followed this simpler numbering system and it is easier to access the right page. If there is a link from the Contents page that would solve some but not all of the problems.

It has been suggested that CDs deteriorate in time and that a paper hard copy is therefore necessary if the book is to be preserved. But this is not an argument against everyone using a single and simple numbering system which is already used in many countries.

We are now in the 21st Century so is it time for changes to be made and for all books to be numbered starting with the Title Page as page 1 as in ‘A’ and ‘D’ above?

Your comments would be welcome for inclusion in the next Newsletter.


In the London Philatelist for September 1998 is a report from Patrick Pearson, a judge at the exhibition which had over 400 entries. To quote:

“For those interested in obtaining copies of these and other books, the Exhibition Catalogue will be useful as it lists against most exhibits a short description, publisher, language, number of pages, cost, and where it can be purchased.”

Most exhibition catalogues do not give this information so the problem is still with us! 

It has been stated that to include all this information in the catalogue of a normal exhibition with all FIP classes would result in a very large and costly catalogue and is therefore not practicable. One possible solution would be to include the literature exhibits in the catalogue in the normal way but to produce a separate listing with the full information – this could be photocopied or printed from a disk, stapled together and sold at a price to cover the production cost. How many would be required – perhaps 250 plus one for each literature exhibitor. In this form extra copies could be quickly produced if required.

The problem has not yet been solved – can we have your ideas for the next Newsletter so some progress can be made.  


This is your Newsletter but we do need contributions from you. The aim is to publish two issues each year – so please send us something about philatelic literature events and news in your country, preferably by email – to the Secretary, Norman Banfield:

  • - email address
  • - postal address: 14 Rata Road, Raumati Beach, Kapiti 5032, New Zealand.


Contact by email is becoming normal today – if you receive this Newsletter by post it means we do not have an email address for you. If you have one, please advise the Secretary, Norman Banfield at:

Edited by Norman Banfield