Using search engines and other sites to find stamp-hobby information
By William F. Sharpe
When you use Google, Bing or other search engines to look up information about stamps, you often get information not related to postage stamps as well. One way to avoid these extraneous results is to use sites that are limited to stamps.
StampSearch.info provides a customized Google search. You can search either for websites or images.
I entered “computer stamps” (including the quotation marks) in the search bar. The first result listed under the web tab was my blog entry at Linns.com, “Collecting computers on stamps.”
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You will get different results if you do not include the quotation marks around your entry. The quotation marks tell the site to search only for those two words when they appear together. If you leave them off, the search will find sites that include the two words anywhere on the site’s page.
If you want to view video or listen to audio recordings about stamps, enter either term in the search box on the main page.
To find images, click on the image tab.
I found the image search results a bit disappointing. My entry of “stamps” resulted in only 107 images displayed.
StampSearch.info also offers a price guide for British stamps issued between 1924 and 2006. The results give a brief description of the stamps issued each year, along with a value for each set of stamps.
As its name suggests, Stamp Link is not a search engine, instead it offers philatelic links. However, the site has not been revised since 2013, and many of the links are either outdated or the sites are no longer available.
You can at least find basic information on how to become a stamp collector by clicking on the Stamp Collecting Basics entry located near the top of the page.
The Philatelic Webmasters Organization offers a straightforward way to find stamp websites. When I entered “postal history” in the search box in the Title or Description section, I received a list of 110 sites related to that topic.
Selecting Software from the drop-down list in the “Category” section provided 35 sites.
Although the site states that all results are working links, I found a few that were no longer active.
Other sites might be outdated. For example, the link to PrimaSoft Stamp Organizer offers a program that runs on Windows 3.x and Win 95 computers.
In general, though, the links do work and provide useful information.
The last choice on the Philatelic Webmasters Organization links page is for a listing of all sites, which provides 1,748 items — each with a brief description of its contents. When I searched for new records for sites added in the past 45 days, no records were found.
Stampontheweb.com is a new site established by the Italian Association of Military Post Collectors. It’s not a search site, but it has references to hundreds of websites related to stamp collecting.
These are indeed worldwide links. You can click on a subject of interest on the left side of the screen and see a list of sites related to that subject.
Many of the sites appear in foreign languages, but Google Translate can usually provide an English version of text on a particular web page.
Personally, I prefer entering Google search directly for my stamp queries. Searching for “computer stamps” at Google, I found many more images available than with StampSearch.
The first 50 or so were all actual stamp images. As I scrolled down through the pictures, I found many other images that were not stamps and not related to computers.
If you are interested in a particular stamp and know its Scott number, just enter it. I tried “Scott 834” to find information and images of that stamp. Scott 834 is the $5 Calvin Coolidge stamp from the 1938 Presidential series.
If you don’t know the Scott number, you can search for “Calvin Coolidge stamp” and one of the results will display the correct Scott catalog number.
Searching Google for “Google search tips” provides interesting results that detail many ways of extending Google’s search capabilities.
Bing, the default search engine for the Internet Explorer and Edge browsers, offers similar methods and results.
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