Greetings and best wishes to everyone for the coming New Year !
In the year ending we were lucky enough to see two FIP Exhibitions (EFIRO and PRAGA), one FEPA (WIPA) and two FIAP (TAIPEI and JAKARTA) with a quite satisfactory participation in Literature Class. This resulted in 2 Large Gold and 24 Gold medals, to mention only the very top awards.
Gone are the days where Philatelic Literature was considered as the poor relative of the exhibitions.
Next year, the world philatelic community shall be entertained with one FIP (CHINA), three FEPA (IBRA, BULGARIA and ITALIA), two FIAP (HONG KONG and PHILAKOREA) and the 11th National Exhibition of New Zealand with international participations, which represents, every two years, a well established tradition.
I would wish to all literature exhibitors the best of luck !
Let me inform you on the progress of our three ongoing projects:
List of Large Gold and Gold medals awarded to Literature exhibits in FIP and/or FEPA/FIAF/FIAP exhibitions
Mr. Tay Peng Hian RDP has forwarded the list of FIP Literature Large Gold and Gold medalists for the period 2000-2008 and this will soon be uploaded in our website.
I would like to thank him for his work.
It will take sometime to transcribe the previous years.
List of Literature Awards in FIP member countries, and
List of philatelic periodicals at present published in every country
I have been repeatedly addressing our colleague-delegates to build up the appropriate lists but it seems it needs patience from my part and continuous reminders to come to a good result.
Nevertheless, so far we have uploaded 6 Literature Awards and the list of periodicals of 10 countries.
I know that several lists from various countries are in preparation and hope in the next Newsletter to be able to confirm at least double the number of relative entries.
I would ask once more our delegates to put the above projects as their priorities and send me the appropriate lists at their earliest convenience.
As you have noticed our website is going well and expanding. Except the above entries, Brian Birch work has been updated and I would like to thank him for his excellent work.
Everybody is kindly asked to make use of our site as often as they can to see the new entries.
1. BUREAU MEMBERSHIP
Firstly a warm welcome to Yves Tardy as the Delegate from France and to Mircea Patrascoiu as the Delegate from Romania.
With this Newsletter is an updated list of Commission Delegates as at 1 January 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 email addresses for Hungary, Indonesia and Russia.
We are also missing postal address for the Delegate for Malaysia.
Could you please send these to the Secretary.
2. WEBSITE – WHAT IS NEW
The following items are new or have been updated:
3. CHINA 2009 – SEMINARS
Thanks to Mr.Tay Peng Hian RDP, below are details of 4 seminars to be held in Luoyang at CHINA 2009 on Sunday 13 April from 14:00 or Tuesday 15 April 2009 from 09:00:
4. AROUND THE WORLD
GREECE C. BINOS Literature Award - Regulations
The C. Binos Literature Award was established by the Hellenic Philotelic Federation in 1978 to honour the memory of the great collector and philatelic author Charilis Binos.
The Award consists of a silver coated plaquette which is awarded at the Annual General Meeting of the Federation each April (List of recipients may be seen in our website).
All these years there were no Regulations governing the Award. The two principal disadvantages of that system were the following:
The new Board of the Federation elected in 2007 realising the problems which had caused several inappropriate awards, as many authors morally restrained did not submit their nominations, have agreed and put in force a set of Rules for the Award as from 2007.
The main features of the Regulations are:
Every two years from 1989 New Zealand has staged a National Literature Exhibition with international participation. The 11th exhibition 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 and international exhibitions.
The Jury Chairman in 2009 is Dr Robin Gwynn, a FIP Literature judge. Invitations to enter will be sent out in January 2009 but to make sure you receive one, please contact Norman Banfield.
5. TEN YEARS AGO – LORCA 1998 – WORLD LITERATURE EXHIBITION - UPDATE
[The following paragraphs are repeated from the last Newsletter to provide a continuous story and an update appears below.]
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.
Update to the above:
Comments made by Dingle Smith and appearing in The Asia Pacific Exhibitor [Journal of the international Association for Philatelic Exhibitors or NAPE] for May 2008 – Vol. 21, No. 2, Whole No. 76.
Dingle comments that “one of the more important aspects of the literature entry is how one might obtain a copy. This is usually frustrated by the lack of information on where to order a copy and the price, ideally including postage and packing. This is especially important for philatelic literature which is often highly specialised and with very small print runs. Improvements in the production of such books, notably in the addition of colour, linked to the advances in computing skills, mean that the books are often ‘self-published’ by the authors. This is to be commended, but it also makes it more difficult to order from established philatelic retailers”.
He suggests that one way to improve the accessibility of such publications is for show catalogues and displays to provide information on how to order and on price. The Canberra Stampshow 2008 introduced two innovations:
All of the authors quickly agreed to take advantage of the opportunity to promote their publications in this way.
Dingle Smith states that NAPE would be interested to receive comments on these, or other ways, in which shows could assist with the wider distribution of information on recently published texts. And he suggests that perhaps the FIP Literature Commission would like to comment on these suggestions and whether they could be more widely adopted?
Readers comments please – how do you solve this problem????
6. Philatelic Research – A Basic Guide by David R Beech FRPSL
This paper which is copyright is reproduced with David Beech’s permission.
For those at the beginning of a philatelic research project it will be of much value to them and the results of that research, to have a systematic approach. This article attempts to set out some basic concepts that will help the researcher.
This set of guidelines should not restrict the author in his vision or concept of his work, but should help him attain a satisfactory result of value to others and posterity.
1. Define your subject.
1.1 Decide the subject matter of your research. Examples of this include: country, territory, dates, reign; is it postage stamps, postal stationery, meter stamps, revenue stamps or postal history, philatelic history: of what, or where, during which period; including postage rates, postal routes, postmarks, theme, etc?
1.2 Write this down; it will be a useful discipline, but it should be flexible as the availability of research materials may change the course of, or extend, the research.
1.3 Decide on the level and extent of the published work; serious, serious detailed, introductory, light hearted, etc., if necessary tailored to where it may be published.
1.4 Check that it or something close, has not been done before (see 2 below), or that somebody else is not currently working on it too.
2. Check the literature
2.1 Find all, or as much as possible, of the literature and documents on your subject. This will take the form of books or monographs, articles in periodicals or serials, auction catalogues, catalogues, bibliographies, gray literature (semi published), CDs, internet web pages and archival files, etc.
2.2 Books are best found in a philatelic bibliography if one exists covering the subject area. Library catalogues if subject indexed serve much the same purpose. Those which are available on the internet and are keyword searchable are of particular value. See 2.3. General philatelic reference works may have important information, for example [de Worms] Perkins, Bacon Records…, and Williams, Fundamentals of Philately. Gray literature is semi published text. This will be conference papers, meeting notes, unpublished limited circulation material, etc.
2.3 Articles in periodicals are probably the most difficult to find. Research of periodicals should also be guided by tools in 2.2. These might be of a general nature for example Stamp Lover or specialised like Irish Philately; many may have less than helpful titles if you do not know the subject matter, e.g. Upland Goose (Falkland Islands) or Maple Leaves (Canada). Those with annual or cumulative indexes, if well constructed, offer the most help. The Catalogue of the American Philatelic Research Library which is available on the internet at: www.stamps.org/InmagicGenie/opac.aspx includes books and periodicals and is key word searchable. The London Philatelist, the journal of The Royal Philatelic Society London, has a key word searchable Archival Edition on CD covering its 115 volumes from 1892.
2.4 Auction catalogues, including specialised sales, may be difficult to discover if not listed in some way in a bibliography, etc.
2.5 Bibliographies or references in books or articles will be useful source of subject literature data. The more bibliographic data you find the easier it becomes to complete the process.
2.6 Archival files will contain original and probably definitive information. Such files probably are based on a correspondence of some kind, so other files may exist to reflect the other side of that correspondence (post office, printer, papermaker, designer, etc). Most actions have a financial consequence, so a financial file from perhaps a treasury department may be useful. Associated documents/files may contain the information that you are seeking and so should be inspected. Archival files will be kept in a country’s national/local archives/library, a post office, the Union Postale Universelle (UPU), a printer, paper maker, taxing authority, etc. Think widely. Make sure to record file names, reference numbers or references, etc
2.7 Non-philatelic materials will give background and other useful information, and these include: directories, Government or official publications, maps, newspapers, patents, timetables, biographies, Army and Navy lists, etc.
2.8 Make a list of the books, and the periodical titles with volume, page and date, etc, as well as web site details, and details of files, etc. See 4.3.
2.9 Read or at least examine those sections of books relevant and the same for periodicals. It will be helpful to do this in the order published; that is by date order. This will give an idea of the development of the subject and its history. Periodicals should be listed as in 4.3 below, with a note indicating usefulness. This may serve as a bibliography in the finished written work, and will be invaluable in recording texts to be revisited.
2.10 When conducting searches on the internet, keep references/web addresses and try to verify the information with primary sources. Remember that web pages are unlikely to be available for as long as a printed item. It might be wise to print them, or parts of them.
2.11 Do not believe everything that you find, perhaps especially on the internet, many researchers have not been accurate or have a good interpretation or perspective. An indication may be if the text does not include references and or a bibliography. Check information.
3. Examine philatelic material and discuss the research project with knowledgeable people.
3.1 Examine as much material as may be available in private and public collections (museums, libraries and archives). Think widely as to where material may be held. It is to be expected that a nation’s postal museum (it may be called a museum of communication) will specialise in the material of that country, but it may hold collections of other countries; for example the Museum of Communication, Berne, Switzerland holds an important collection of United States, the Charles A Hirzel Collection. The Museum of Communication, in The Hague, the Netherlands holds some archival material printed by the printing firm Enschede for the Transvaal Second Republic (1881 to 1899) being proof copies. One of the world’s philatelic repositories contain many collections or archives covering a number of territories or disciplines; this is the British Library, Philatelic Collections, in London, UK. In all research projects this institution should be consulted as to available material and literature. They will not undertake your research work for you. Most institutions have web sites; but few give adequate or any information as to collections or research materials held.
Items etc should be noted as to where these have been seen. In public collections material should be referred to by the name of the institution, the name of the collection or archive concerned and any volume description and page number etc. For example: The British Library, Philatelic Collections, the Tapling Collection, Japan section page 12. This will enable others to see what has been examined or to check on your findings at a later date. These details should be noted down at the time of examination, and will be an invaluable listing of what was seen and where.
A list of postal museums and philatelic libraries, etc with web sites is to be found at: www.bl.uk/collections/philatelic/links
3.2 A few tips when looking at material.
Used stamps may be water damaged or their appearance may be affected by postmark ink oil. When looking at an item always do so on white or near white paper. A black paper background will almost certainly give a different appearance to a stamp. Always suspect that an item is not what it seems; always the first action of a good philatelist. Make clear and concise notes in a systematic way as you may not look at them again until sometime later.
3.3 If looking at essays, proof or archival material, record all the notations and reference numbers, etc, that may be associated with the items, even if they do not appear to be important. They may be or become significant later.
3.4 Museum, Library and Archive Collections will be available subject to conditions of access; these should be carefully checked well in advance before any approach is made.
3.5 You should have a clear understanding of the “archival” background of a file, collection or item. This may be that information in an official file is definitive, or in a collection such as the Tapling Collection (the British Library, Philatelic Collections) which was completed in 1899, can not contain a later forgery, etc.
4. Write a plan of your article or book and start writing
4.1 Work out the order in which information or facts will be presented in sections/chapters/paragraphs of your book or article. In a book these will form the basis of the contents page. Facts or information is usually best presented in chronological order or by subject and then chronologically arranged.
4.2 References are vital. They should always be given to prove a fact or to give further, perhaps definitive, information. In any work the question that the reader will ask is how does the author know that? References will give that evidence.
4.3 Include, where appropriate, references by a numbered system. These should be listed at the end of an article. In a book they may be at the end of each chapter or better still at the end after the last chapter and before the index.
4.4 References should be given as follows: -
Books: Author, title, place of publication, publisher, date of publication, ISBN. For example:
Morgan, Helen, Blue Mauritius, London, Atlantic Books, 2006, ISBN 1 84354 435 0.
Remember that the title is to be found on the title page and not on the cover or spine.
Article in a periodical: Author, title of article, title of periodical, volume number (or whole number if the volume system is not used) page numbers, date of periodical. For example:
Beech, David R, “How to look after your Collection – A Basic Guide”, The London Philatelist, volume 115, pp 68-70, March, 2006.
4.5 Always include an index in a book. Remember that users may wish to refer to information in ways other than the way that the author has presented it. For example in a book about postage stamps which is arranged in a chronological order of the dates of issue, a user may be interested in a printer, this information may be found almost anywhere in the text. A good index will list the printer and so the desired information will be found.
4.6 An index is a list arranged alphabetically at the end of the book. A contents page or pages appear at the beginning of the work and is set out in the order in which the chapters or sections, etc appear in the book. It is surprising just how often the two are confused!
4.7 Especially in the case of an article, it is important to set the scene by describing locations, and giving political, social and economic information, etc. The use of maps is to be encouraged.
4.8 All good research work should be published. In a periodical, an article may take the form of work in hand, sometimes put forward for comment, suggestion or criticism, usually in the form of a further article, letter to the editor, etc. The product of such a research process is likely to be definitive or accepted text, as an article, monograph or book. See 5.6.
4.9 As in most subjects, accuracy is everything.
4.10 Let the facts tell the story, not any prejudgement. However if facts are not all known, but there is a theory or theories about events, etc, make it clear that these are theories. Try to think of all of the possibilities.
4.11 Write to tell the story, with its interpretation as may be appropriate, for the record and the reader.
4.12 Resist the temptation to start writing until you are sure that your research is as complete as it can be.
4.13 Start writing your work. Be concise, make your meaning clear, avoid complicated sentence construction and words with obscure meanings, and use the spell checker. Avoid foreign phrases.
5.1 Always acknowledge those who have helped.
5.2 Always give references to published work or other data, including unpublished manuscripts.
5.3 In articles when referring to people who are dead always give their dates; you would be surprised about the number of people alive at the same time with the same or similar names. For example: Sir Edward Denny Bacon (1860-1938). In books this information may be collected into one section, perhaps with further biographic data.
5.4 While it does have a limited place, take great care not to judge past events by the standards of today. Make efforts to understand the history of philately as it affects your subject and the resulting issues of philatelic fashion. For example the limited number of collectors of Revenue material after the 1914-18 World War resulting in the rarest material likely to be after that event.
5.5 Always chose a title for your article or book that reflects its contents. For example: Malta. The Stamps and Postal History 1576-1960. One that does not is: Of Kauri and Gold, which is a postal, economic and social history of the Coromandel peninsula of New Zealand. Authors should bear in mind that databases that list their works will be key word searchable. The subject key words are not included in the title Of Kauri and Gold and so it will be much harder to find. Perhaps a fitting title would have been New Zealand: The Postal History of the Coromandel Peninsula with its associated social and economic development 750–1993
5.6 The research process in periodicals is one of the presentation of facts/ideas/concepts, etc being put forward to be followed by another author or authors putting forward complementary or different views, which may extend the subject matter. Over time a consensus or proven view will be accepted. See 4.8.
5.7 Accept with an open mind the views of others and give references to others even if they take a different line.
5.8 Tabulate results if appropriate.
5.9 All illustrations in your work should be of good quality. The days of the use of photocopies have gone, unless these are all that is available. Images are liable to be copyright and the permission of the copyright owner must be obtained and acknowledged, as well as permission to reproduce. The ownership of an item is not necessarily synonymous with the ownership of copyright.
5.10 Grants may be available to meet some or all of the research expenses. These in the United Kingdom are from BPA Expertising Educational Charity; the British Philatelic Trust; the Chand A and Z Research Fund for Classic Philately (managed by the British Library, Philatelic Collections); the Julian Chapman Scholarship (managed by The Royal Philatelic Society London); the Revenue Philately Trust; the Stuart Rossiter Trust.
5.11 Accuracy is everything in research and its publication.
5.12 Get a third party (preferably a philatelist who has published research work) to look at your text and ask him or her to offer criticism and suggestions for improvement. The author is often too close to the work to see its short comings. Check the text for inconsistencies of such things as how dates are expressed, names, etc.
5.13 The golden rule in research and its publication is that it takes as long as it takes, not just the time that you have available. Especially with a book, you are only going to write it once, so make time to get it as right as you can. Set aside plenty of time and then add some more!
Below I give some references to works on philatelic research. I would strongly recommend James Negus’s Philatelic Literature. Compilation Techniques and Reference Sources, which is the text most like a bible of the subject.
Kaiser, John Boynton, Bibliography: The Basis of Philatelic Research, Nineteenth American Philatelic Congress, Original Papers of Philatelic Themes Presented by Invitation, October 29, 30, 31 November 1, 1953, New Jersey [Alexandria] American Philatelic Congress, Inc., 1953, pp 37-54
Negus, James, Philatelic Literature. Compilation Techniques and Reference Sources, Limassol, James Bendon, 1991. ISBN 9963-7624-3-3
Pearson, Patrick, Advanced Philatelic Research, London, Arthur Barker, 1971. ISBN 0 213 00326 0
Allan P Berry; Alan Drysdall; Geoff Eibl-Kaye; Gavin Fryer; Cheryl R. Ganz, Curator of Philately at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum, Washington DC; Jean-Claude Lavanchy, Curator Philately, Museum of Communication; Bern; Douglas Muir, Curator, Philately, British Postal Museum and Archive, London; Paul Skinner, Curator, the British Library, Philatelic Collections, London; David Tett and Frank Walton for information and or comments on the drafts of the text.
7. BOOKS RECENTLY PUBLISHED
The following are a few of the recently published books which have come to notice:
Den danske Postetat 1624-1927 (1983) [The Danish Postal Service 1624-1927 (1983)], by Toke Nørby, Forlaget Nørbyhus, 2008. 704 pp. (In Danish) ISBN: 978-87-984623-2-3 Extracted from a review by John R. Sabin.
This book is heavy, printed in small letters, and filled with information. It is an absolute must-have for anyone interested in the structure and personnel of the early Danish Postal Service. It is an “enlarged, reworked, and completed” version of the Danish postal historian, Fritz Johannes Jacob Olsen’s books Poststyrelsen, Postkontorerne og Postmestrene i Danmark 1624-1924 (Postal Administration, Post Offices and Postmasters in Denmark 1624, published in 1925) and Den Danske Postetat 1624-1927 (The Danish Postal Service 1624-1927, published in 1929.) Nørby’s book represents a prodigious amount of work by the author, which has resulted in a remarkably complete and useful product.
The book has three main sections followed by several short appendices:
DDPE-I lists postal biographies of more than 4,300 people that were leaders of the post offices or were employed by the postal system from 1624 to 1927. Postmen (postbud) who delivered mail are not included. In each entry, the personal postal history of the entrant is recorded. In most cases, this information includes the entrant’s name, including variants in spelling, date and place of birth, perhaps some educational details, positions held with the post with dates and places, and with references to the origin of the information.
DDPE-II charts the postal administration and its members from 01.01.1625, just after establishment of the Danish postal service on 24.12.1624, until 05.10.1983 – date of the last edition of the Danish Post and Telegraph’s (P&T) Official Announcements. DDPE-II is arranged in order of the various departments of the postal service, and gives the names and titles of the Department Chiefs, when each was appointed and subsequently left the job. Many are cross-referenced in DDPE-I, where additional information can be found.
DDPE-III deals with post offices and gives the various ranking postal administrators with time of tenure are listed. The format and information contained is much the same as in DDPE-II.
This book is an important addition to the postal history of Denmark, and should be a part the library of every postal historian of Denmark. It is available from Toke.Norby@norbyhus.dk for 250 DKr (~35€) plus shipping and handling. See http://www.norbyhus.dk/.
Toke Nørby was a Bureau Member 2000 – 2008.
The Zemstvo Stamps of Imperial Russia, Vol. 1-6, by Alexander Artuchov
Volume 6 has just been published.
These books are a “must” for collectors of Russian Zemstvos. Volume One was published as far back as 1987 and gained a Large Silver at PRAGA 1988. Originally intended to be just four parts it has expanded to six with Volume 6 just published in 2008. The stamps of every Zemstvo are included – with sheet layout, different types, varieties, quantities issued etc. There are cross references to Chuchin and Schmidt.
Contact Alex Artuchov, 81 Alexander Boulevard, Jackson’s Point, Ontario, Canada L0E 1L0.
The Postal Markings of GUATEMALS sus marcas postales, parts I & II, by Cécile Gruson.
In the December 2008 issue of Cronista Filatélico (Argentina), we note the publication in 2007 of The Postal Markings of GUATEMALS sus marcas postales, parts I and II, by Cécile Gruson. This is the complete work including the six chapters omitted from the original publication in 2004. It is bilingual Spanish-English, has 350 pages, 2000 illustrations and is published loose leaf in a 3-ring binder. It contains an updated comprehensive list of the postal markings from 1768 to 2007.
The book received a Gold medal at EXPOFILGUA (Guatemala, May, 2007).
Intercontinental Airmails by Ted Proud – Volume II covering commercial air mails to and from Asia and Australia is expected at end of 2008 and Volume III covering Africa around end 2009.
Most of the major philatelic book dealers have websites – it is worth checking these to see what has been published recently or for some older ‘standard works’ which may be available.
8. NEWSLETTER CONTRIBUTIONS
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
- postal address: 14 Rata Road, Raumati Beach, Kapiti 5032, New Zealand.
9. EMAIL ADDRESSES
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: email@example.com
Edited by Norman Banfield