FIP Philatelic Literature Commission

Newsletter - September 2009


We have to start this Newsletter on a sad note - the deaths of Charlie Peterson on 12th June 2009, of Bill Welch on 4th September 2009 and of Otto Gleixner on 17 July.

Charlie Peterson RDP, FRPSL (1933-2009)

Perhaps two comments sum up our memories of Charlie - "The passing of a legend and a very good friend" and "Philately lost not only a good and great man, but mainly an excellent philatelist and director".

Where does one start in paying tribute to his many achievements:

  • Chairman of the FIP Philatelic Literature Commission 1973-2000 and a Director on the FIP Board 2000-2008.
  • His awards include: John N Luff Award of American Philately in 1988 and 2006, RDP in 1991, elected to the Hall of Fame of the American Philatelic Society Writers Unit in 1997, and the Alfred F Lichtenstein Medal in 2008. Only a week before his death and supported by his family, he attended a reception at NAPEX in Washington, to receive an award to honour his many years of service and his contributions to judging.
  • Editor-in-Chief of The Philatelic Literature Review 1993-2005 for which he twice received the Thomas Brasch award.
  • Editor of the Chronicle of the U.S. Classic Postal Issues for 23 years for which he twice received the Diane Boehret award.
  • Co-editor (together with Hubert C. Skinner) of: The 1851 Issue of United States Stamps: a Sesquicentennial Retrospective, published in 2006 by The U.S. Philatelic Classics Society, Inc. (378 pp).
  • Compiled cumulative indexes for at least 14 different philatelic periodicals and books.
  • A Literature juror at over 50 exhibitions and in this area his legacy is the FIP SREV and Guidelines for philatelic literature. He was a pioneer in the judging of electronic media such as websites and CDs.
  • Overseas the Bund Deutscher Philatelisten awarded him their bronze and silver service pins and silver pin for Special Service in Research and Literature. The Copenhagen Philatelic Club awarded him its Silver Medal in 1994.

Each of these is an achievement in its own right, but perhaps one of his greatest achievements was as a driving force in the move of the American Philatelic Research Library and the American Philatelic Society to the 'Match Factory' in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

Our thoughts are with Lanny and the family.

Bill Welch FRPSL (1941-2009)

Bill had been a leading philatelist in the United States and for many years was editor of The American Philatelist. At the time of his death aged 68, he was long time Mayor of State College.

Bill had a long interest in Latin America and was Editor of Ecuador: The Philately of the Seebeck Era published in 2005.

He will be much missed. Our thoughts are with Nadine and his family.

Otto Gleixner (1934-2009)

On 17 July 2009, a week after attending the annual meeting of National Association of Bavarian Philatelic Societies in Schwandorf (Germany), the death was reported of Otto Gleixner. The 75-year old enjoyed widespread recognition as a literature expert and he was a prominent official of his association. His achievements include:

  • 1969 to 1997 head of the famous Philatelic Library in Munich. Under his leadership most valuable library catalogues were created about Germany and territories abroad (1975, 1983/1990 in cooperation with the German stamp magazine DBZ).
  • 1973 he was responsible for publication of the exhibition catalogue of the IBRA exhibition in Munich. But he also published many interesting monographs, especially with regard to his favourite line of research: printed meter markings.
  • 1977 - 1992 Chairman of the Fürstenfeldbruck Philatelic Society, in which capacity he crafted many successful exhibitions.
  • 1995 - 2007 Deputy Chairman of the Munich based Briefmarken-Club 
  • Long time member of  AIJP, the International Federation of Philatelic Journalists and Authors.
  • Respected as a juror at the German Rang 2 level for local and postal history exhibits and at Rang 1 level for philatelic literature.
  •  For his own Bavarian association he supervised the special work group for Research and Literature of the Association of Bavarian Philatelic Societies.
  • In 1983 for his work for the Munich Library he received the prestigious Sieger Prize.

The German philatelic community must be thankful for the work that has been done by the usually quiet and unassuming, sympathetically smiling Otto Gleixner, especially with regard to philatelic research and the preservation of philatelic literature. He will be sadly missed.



Firstly a warm welcome to new Delegates Eloy Orlando Corres from Argentina, Jiri Sedlak from the Czech Republik, Mr F N Farahbakhsh from Iran, Dr Mashael A Alhajeri from Kuwait, Pedro vaz Pereira from Portugal and Hans Schwarz from Switzerland.
With a new delegate from Argentina we say 'Good-bye' to Osvaldo Giordano and thank him for his work as a long time Delegate and former Bureau member.

With this Newsletter is an updated list of Commission Delegates as at 1 September 2009.
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. 

We are missing an email address for Indonesia.
We are also missing postal address for the Delegate for Malaysia
Could you please send these to the Secretary.



The following items are new or have been updated:

  • Delegates Addresses - updated
  • Newsletter for December 2008
  • Under 'History' - Continental Literature Awards and Awards per Country


CHAIRMAN - Anthony Virvilis: contacts with FIP Board, FIP Commissions, UPU, AIEP and AIJP, seminars, website and co-ordination of Bureau activities.

SECRETARY - Norman Banfield: general administration, invitations, preparation of agenda, keeping of minutes, list of delegates, Commission Newsletter, record management, relations with FIAP and delegates of FIAP countries.

MICHAEL DIXON: relations with FIAF and delegates of FIAF countries.

KARL-FRANZ LINDNER: relations with FEPA and delegates of FEPA countries.

ERIK HAMBERG: responsible for Bureau projects.

LIU JIA-WEI: responsible for Literature written in East Asian languages.


Judging of CDs

The Philatelic Literature SREV and Guidelines were written before electronic media were included in Literature exhibitions. It has been suggested that some guidance is required when judging CDs and it is proposed to add to the Guidelines:


The marking system is the same as for hardcopy literature. However, there are differences.

Technical Matters: At 15% would include such things as ease to load, compatibility with your software (even though nominally the same software, some CDs can be difficult or nigh impossible to open depending on the country). Clarity of images, use of contents page, index etc are all important considerations, but all this is fairly logical.

Treatment of Contents or Authorship 40%: This is  where the big difference comes - 'authorship' is how well has the author managed to put it together so that it can be understood and used by the student. For a CD to gain higher marks, it must use the unique features of a CD. For instance, has it got a search capability, one of the key matters for electronic literature. If it is just a cheaper form of publishing than a hardcopy book, it would not score highly on authorship. What we should be looking for is somebody who understands and uses the unique features of electronic media.

Research (40%) and Presentation (5%) are the same standards as we use for books.

If you have any comments on this proposal could you please email the Chairman at and the Secretary at so that comments can be combined and put to the Bureau members.


Presentation by Mr Tay Peng Hian, FIP Director.
For the first time the Court of Honour included four Literature entries which had previously received Gold or Large Gold awards:

Republic of Venice Paolo Vollmeir

Literature Delights - Spanish Prephilately Catalogue of Postal Marks of Spain and its Domains of Indies 18th & 19th Centuries - Volumes I-IV

Edifil SA
The Grand Prix Club Book 1950-2000 David Springbett
Philatelic Expertising Wolfgang Hellrigl

In the period 2000-2009 Literature entries had received only 10 Large Gold awards - there were none in CHINA 2009.

Comments on the judging of the individual books:

Republic of Venice by Paolo Vollmeir

Presentation:   5 points - well designed, very impressive.
Technical: 15 points - contents, index, bibliography with 171 entries, good illustrations, text well written, ISBN
Treatment of subject: 39 points - very clear, easy to follow
Philatelic Aspects: 38-39 - extensive personal research over a period of time, standard handbook for a long time to come.

Total - 96-97 = Large Gold.

Pre-Philately Postal Markings of Spain - Volumes I-IV 

Up to 1971 there was no catalogue of Spanish pre-stamp markings, only a few articles. In 1971 a catalogue of 900 pages was produced and this had expanded to three volumes by 1983. A lot of research in archives had resulted in the current four volumes which had been awarded Large Gold at ESPAÑA'06, ST PETERSBURG'07 and EFIRO'08.

Presentation:   5 points - well designed, good impression
Technical: 14 points - hard cover, well bound, illustrations in colour, text arranged well. ISBN, list of contents good, index
Treatment: 39 - gives full story in over 1500 pages, arranged by postal district, introduction of 57 pages, includes overseas territories - Mexico, South America etc.
Philatelic Aspects: 38 - extensive research, towns listed in alphabetical order, all marks illustrated, details of markings given.

Total - 96 points = Large Gold

The Grand Prix Club Book 1950-2000 by David Springbett

Includes information on all Grand Prix winners and their exhibits and includes illustrations. The effort in the amount of research was rewarded at BANGKOK 2003 with 93 points = Gold.

Philatelic Expertising by Wolfgang Hellrigl

Includes information on AIEP members who issue AIEP Certificates, history of AIEP and how expertising started. At WASHINGTON 2006 awarded 92 points = Gold.

Anthony Virvilis stressed the need for everyone who does research to write down the results and publish them in journals. It is essential to communicate what we know by our writing. It is also desirable that research in East Asian areas be published bi-lingually to reach a wider audience.

Paolo Comelli drew attention to a number of articles about Brazilian philately on his website  HYPERLINK "" - have a look: they are both interesting and evidence of research.


For the exhibition results a few more titles than normal are listed - this shows that a lot of good books are being published each year. As an exhibitor and as a judge it is essential to have access to philatelic literature. As a judge I was told "Read, read, read".

    BULGARIA 2009 (FEPA) - report by Jose Ramon Moreno, Literature Jury Member

Sixty two exhibits were in the Catalogue of the exhibition. Nevertheless 12 of them were not judged. Eight because they did not arrive and four because they did not meet the requirements and were placed "out of competition".

Unfortunately this is something too much repeated and therefore both, the National Commissioners and philatelic authors have to give a special consideration. It is necessary to read the rules and send the exhibits to the Organising Committees of the Exhibitions by the proper way and time.

The level of the works presented was high, 32% of the qualified exhibits having received the Vermeil medal or higher.

The best entry of the Literature Class was the two volume:

Correios Portugueses entre 1853-1900. Carimbos nominativos e dados postais e etimolỏgicos by Pedro vaz Pereira.

 It is a detailed and wonderful study achieved over many years of research. It is a masterpiece for those interested in the classic period of Portuguese Philately.

Other outstanding books of exceptional interest present in Bulgaria 2009 were, among others:

The 1906 Olympic Issue by Michalis Tsironis,

Allied communications censorship in Austria by Karl Majorg,

Intercontinental Airmails volume I: Transatlantic and Pacific and Intercontinental

Airmails volume II: Asia and Australasia by Edward Proud,

The Norland Post Office by Tore Gjelsvik, and

Slovenia, Postage due stamps 1919- 1921 by Stan Cicerov.

CHINA 2009 (FIP) - report by Dr Robin Gwynn, Literature Jury Team Leader.

131 works were entered in this section of the exhibition, in three sections: 73 Books (1 was transferred to Periodicals), 37 Periodicals and 21 Catalogues (1 was transerred to Books).

One entry was rendered Hors Concours by the author's appointment to the Jury, seven entries never arrived, five entries were not judged because they were out of date in terms of the Regulations for the relevant Class. The balance of 118 entries were judged as follows:

Gold                                          2
Large Vermeil                           12
Vermeil                                     23
Large Silver                              22
Silver                                        29
Silver Bronze                            21
Bronze                                        8
Certificate                                   1

The 2 Gold medal exhibits were: 

   Letter mail from and to the Old Italian States 1850-1870 by Mario Mentaschi -Thomas Matha

   China silver Yuan stamps by Patrick Choy

The Organising Committee is thanked for the excellent facilities provided for the Literature judging.

Three thoughts:

  • Bibliographies in books need to include the author's name and initials, the exact title and the Publisher and/or place of publication and date. If they do not, the bibliography fails in its intended purpose.
  • Some journals issued several times a year give a volume number for the year, yet paginating each issue within the volume starting from page 1. This practice is likely to cause confusion when giving references. Pagination within any one volume should be continuous.
  • Entries at CHINA 2009 included some excellent specialised catalogues. Congratulations to those Editors striving to provide more information in their pages to help collectors.


From the Palmares, the Gold and Large Vermeil awards were:

Books: Letter Mail from & to the Old Italian States 1850-1870 92 Gold
  China Silver Yuan Stamps 90 Gold
  The Nordland Post Office - on Land and at Sea 88 Large Vermeil
  History of the Postal Service at Canary Islands: Prephilately 88 Large Vermeil
  The Stamps of Rijeka, FIUME 1918-1924 87 Large Vermeil
  Intercontinental Airmails Volume 1: Transatlantic & Pacific 87 Large Vermeil
  The Philatelic Dictionary of China (2009 Edition) 85 Large Vermeil
  An Account Correspondence between the two Coasts on the Straits 1875-2005 85 Large Vermeil
Periodicals: Philotelia Vol 85 (Greece) 85 Large Vermeil

Vaccari Catalogue 2008-2009 - Postage Stamps & Postal History - Historical Study & Catalogue with Valuations. Italian States - Provisional Governments - Kingdom of Italy 1850-1900

88 Large Vermeil
  Vlastos Catalogue 2009 (Greece) 87 Large Vermeil
  Catalogue of the Postage & Revenue Stamps of Hungary 87 Large Vermeil
  Facit Special 2009 (Sweden) 87 Large Vermeil

Catalogue of Stamps 1850-2008. Specialized, encyclopaedic of Spain, Andorre (Spanish & French mail) and Equatorial Guinea

85 Large Vermeil

Facilities for viewing Literature exhibits were good - exhibits on shelves and tables at which they could be read.


29 entries comprising Books 20, Periodicals 4 and Catalogues 5.

Awards were G - 1, LV - 1, V - 6, LS - 6, S - 5, SB - 8 and B - 1.

China Silver Yuan Stamps 90 Gold

Encyclopaedia of Japanese Cancellations 88 Large Vermeil

The entries were displayed on shelves just inside the main entry to the exhibits area.


34 entries of which 2 were absent and one taken out of competition, leaving Books 22, Periodicals 5 and Catalogues 4. Awards were LV - 2, V - 6, LS - 7, S - 10, and SB - 6.

'Books': Encyclopaedia of Japanese Cancellations 87 Large Vermeil and 5 Vermeils of which 3 related to Japanese philately.

'Periodicals' category: the top awards were two Large Silvers to Korean publications.

'Catalogues' category: the top awards were:

Japanese Stamp Specialized Catalogue, Volumes 1, 2 & 3 87 Large Vermeil 

Handbook of Japanese Postmarks. 83 Vermeil

The entries were displayed on shelves with tables available to sit and read.




Competitive Philatelic Literature Events in JAPAN - 2008 Season

There are two national exhibitions every year in JAPAN - both shows include Literature. These are the All Japan Stamp Exhibition in April with patronage of Japan Post Co Ltd and the Japan Philatelic Exhibition (JAPEX) in November with patronage of the Japan Philatelic Society, Foundation.

All Japan Stamp Exhibition'08: There were 14 entries (7 Books, 7 Periodicals) in total. The highest awards were Vermeil medals to: Encyclopedia of the Japanese Post Marks by Yoshiyuki Yamazaki and to Postal History (The Series of Read the Japan Stamps Specialized Catalogue ) by Kou-ichi Tange.

JAPEX'08: There were 28 entries (13 Books, 14 Periodicals, 1 CD). Receiving the highest award was Vermeil to: Beginning Postal System in MeijiEera - Developing History in Chiba Prefecture by Masayuki Ebato.



The 11th New Zealand National Philatelic Literature Exhibition was held in Palmerston North on 27 June 2009. Entry required just one copy of a book/monograph or 1 - 2 years of a Periodical. Entries 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 and international exhibitions. 

          The Jury Chairman in 2009 was Dr Robin Gwynn, a FIP Literature judge. 

There were 61 entries: 41 Monographs, 18 Periodicals and 2 CDs. One of the Periodicals was rendered Hors Concours. The top awards were:

The Half-Lengths of Victoria: the stamps and postal history 1850-59 - J H Barwis & R W Moreton
95 Large Gold & Grand Award

Letter Mail from and to the Old Italian States - M Mentaschi & T Mathá                      
92 Large Gold & Runner-up to Grand Award

The Pony Express: a postal history - R C Frajola, G J Kramer & S C Walske
87 Gold & Special Prize.

Best periodical: The Collectors Club Philatelist        88 Gold

Judging is to FIP rules but as a national exhibition, medal levels are one step higher.

A list of the entries and awards can be found on the FIP Philatelic Literature Commission website -        

The next exhibition will be held in 2011.


Exhibition catalogues

Erik Hamberg advises that the Postal Museum in Stockholm has a considerable stock of duplicates of stamp exhibition catalogues from all corners of the world, from the 1970s and onwards. We only need 1 copy of each, so therefore I can offer our duplicates to all interested Literature commission delegates. I have no list of these duplicates - unfortunately - so please let me know your wishes and I will try to fulfil them (as Santa Claus). Everything will be sent free (no charge for postage).

Erik Hamberg 


Recent Exhibition Awards

There have been two recent exhibitions in the USA which included Literature. The full list of awards can be found on the American Philatelic Society website 

NAPEX 2009 - June 6, 2009, Washington.

This National exhibition had 31 entries in the Literature section - 17 Handbooks & Special Studies and 14 periodicals. The Literature Grand Award and Gold Medal went to:

Special Mail Routes of the American Civil War: A Guide to Across-the-Lines

Postal History - Steven C Walske & Scott R Trepel

There were a further four Gold medals in the Handbooks section and four in the Periodicals section. The full list of awards can be found at  HYPERLINK "" - menu left side, go to Shows & Exhibitions, then World Series Shows, scroll down to NAPEX and 2009 Literature Exhibition Winners.

APS STAMPSHOW 2009 - August 6 2009, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

A total of 76 entries Literature Grand Award & Gold: 

Special Mail Routes of the American Civil War: A Guide to Across-the-Lines
Postal History - Steven C Walske & Scott R Trepel
German Postal Specialist - German P.S. - Reserve Grand & Gold
The Half-Lengths of Victoria: the Stamps and Postal History 1850-59 - J H Barwis & R W Moreton - Reserve Grand & Gold

Handbooks section - Gold medals were awarded to:

The Congress Book 2008 - American Philatelic Congress - Prix d'Honneur
Guide to United States Vending & Affixing Machine Perforations 1907-1927 - Steven R Belasco
Type III Overprint Issues of the Canal Zone - Tom Brougham
The Postal History of Costa Rica to 1883 - Richard C Frajola & Frederick R Mayer
Haiti's 1902 Provisional Issue - Peter C Jeannopoulos
Prisoners of War in British Hands During WWII - Graham Mark
Simon Taxis and the Posts of the State of Milan During the Renaissence - Giorgio Migliavacca & Tarcisio Bottani
Federal Civil War Postal History - James W Milgram
From Hinrichsen to Krag: The Experimental and Early Machine Postmarks of Germeny (1866 until 1906) - Jerry H Miller
North Atlantic Packets Departures & Arrivals 1818-1840 - James R Pullin
Essence of Polar Philately - Hal Vogel

The full list of awards can be found at - menu left side, go to Shows & Exhibitions, then Stamp Show and Literature Exhibition Palmares.


The South African Philatelist is the journal of the Philatelic Federation of South Africa. In August 2006 the Federation introduced the Jack Haggar Award and trophy to commemorate Jack's contribution to the philately of the Union of South Africa. The conditions for the competition and award of the trophy are:

  • The Award will be made annually for the best article published in The South African Philatelist on the philately of Southern Africa.
  • The Award will take the form of a floating trophy and a cash prize of Rand 2000.
  • Articles published in the previous two years will be eligible. No article may receive the award twice.
  • The period for eligibility shall be from the April issue of the year of award to the June issue two years prior.
  • Articles may be of a descriptive or research nature
  • There must be at least three articles to be judged at any one time.
  • If, in any year, the Federation Awards Committee decides that there is no article of sufficient merit, the award will not be made.


The FIP Youth Philately Commission has organized the first Youth Literature Award - a competition for books or articles, including web or electronic publications, written by young authors up to age 21 years. The Commission has asked us to promote this competition and award. The Special Regulations are being sent separately to the FIP Philatelic Literature Commission Delegates.


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.

Thank you to those who have contributed to this issue.


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