Scott editors putting final touches on 2015 United States specialized catalog

By Charles Snee

As I write this column in late July, the Scott catalog editors are hard at work getting the last few value changes and editorial enhancements ready for the 2015 edition of the Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers.

Although the Scott U.S. specialized catalog won’t be published until October, various deadlines require that the editors complete their work two months in advance.

Leading this massive effort is Scott catalog editor emeritus Jim Kloetzel, who serves as Scott’s lead consultant for all U.S. listings in the Scott U.S. specialized catalog and in Vol. 1 of the Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue.

Working with Kloetzel is a cadre of advisors — collectors, dealers, specialists and others — who provide recommendations regarding value changes and editorial content. Kloet­zel carefully reviews the information he receives before making any formal decisions. During this time, he and I (in my role as Scott catalog editor) have many discussions regarding changes, proposed new listings and so on.

Some of you might know that Kloetzel retired from Scott in 2011, and moved to Port Ludlow, Wash., with his wife Karolyn.

Despite the thousands of miles that separate him from our headquarters in Sidney, Ohio, Kloetzel is able to submit editorial input remotely by connecting to one of our computer servers. This input shows up in spreadsheets that I and Scott senior editor David Akin review and then add to the database that houses the contents of all the Scott catalogs.

During the past few weeks, there were some connectivity problems on our end that made it very difficult — impossible, at times — for Kloetzel to enter his work so that it would be available to us the next day.

Thankfully, two members of our information systems team, Bryan Klingshirn and Philip Fischbach, put in a good number of hours to correct the problem and restore the quick flow of data from Kloetzel to us.

Value changes are submitted on copies of the catalog pages that Kloet­zel mails to us for subsequent entering into the database.

This process will become more automated when database improvments are made that keep track of the number of value changes and allow us to see when a value has been increased or decreased.

Getting all this new information into the right places in the database takes time and, when the system is running slowly, patience.

Significant changes, such as a large group of new listings, will be exported from the database and printed as they would appear on the catalog page.

This is the easiest way to catch mistakes before the catalog goes to print.

So what is in store for the 2015 Scott U.S. specialized catalog?

I will have more to say about that in the editor’s letter that will accompany the volume.

I can tell you that there will be two special feature articles: one dealing with changes to the listings for the Liberty regular-issue stamps, and one discussing a substantial expansion of the revenue listings for the Danish West Indies and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Of course, there are thousands of value changes, new error listings and dozens of other improvements that will make the 2015 edition a desirable addition to your philatelic library.