Saturday, March 15, 2008

My method ?

I'm back from China. This trip was as short as it was busy. I could not find much time to write on my blog. On top of this accessing to blogger from China is not very easy. You can't do it using a standard internet connection. I had to use a VPN. Next monday I'll go to Romania. I'll spend four days in Timisoara for my work.

I was asked in a recent comment what method I use to identify the stamps of the covers I receive and how I gather information about them. I thought that it could be a good idea to share this with you.

First of all, I am the lucky owner of the full 2007 Scott catalog on CD-Rom. Thanks to them, I can easily identify stamps issued before end of 2006 (or 2005 for some countries). The fact that I have the CD-Rom version helps me : I can use the seach facility. The catalog will give me the date of issue and some information about the subject of the stamps. Then I use the internet, starting with a search on Google, to learn more about the subject and to find some interesting background information.

For more recent issues (stamps issued in 2007 or 2008) I use other sources. First I check the WNS web site. There you can find information about recent stamp issues, you may even get a good picture of the stamps. The problem is that not all countries participate to the WNS system (for instance I could not find the Netherlands), and some countries are very late to provide information about new issues.

In case I do not find the stamps I'm looking for in this site, I try to check the website of the postal administration of the concerned country. FOr this I use a very good resource : Post Office Pages which gather an impressive number of links towards postal administrations of the whole world. The level of information you can find on the websites of postal administration is very different from one country to another. Some postal administrations do not provide any philatelic information, some others just give the date of issues of stamps, and some others give a lot of information on their stamps, sometimes even in several languages ! The language can be an obstacle : in this case I use Google linguistic tools.

If some of you need any help to identify a stamp or to gather background information about it, then don't hesitate to contact me. I'll be more than happy to help you, if I can.

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