Editor’s Insights — By Donna Houseman
The 2018 edition of the Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue celebrates the 150th anniversary of the Scott catalogs. The title pages of each volume of the 2018 Scott Standard catalog state that this is the 174th edition of the catalogs (and it is). In September 1868, John Walter Scott published his first stamp catalog. The catalog, titled A Descriptive Catalogue of America and Foreign Postage Stamps, Issued from 1840 to Date, is considered to be the first Scott stamp catalog.
The Scott catalog has come a long way since its humble beginnings as a 24-page bound pamphlet. The Scott Standard catalog now lists more than 700,000 stamps from more than 600 stamp-issuing entities. Today’s catalogs are updated annually.
Because the catalog volumes had grown so large that they were literally bursting at the seams, each 2018 Scott Standard catalog to be published in 2017 has been split into two volumes, A and B. And because of the sheer number of new listings each year, the Scott Standard catalogs now average more than 1,700 pages per two-volume set. More than 15,000 new issues are added to the Scott Standard catalogs each year. The number one request of catalog users was that we reduce the weight of the catalogs. For those of us who use the catalogs on a daily basis, we sympathized with our fellow collectors — and we listened.
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Splitting each volume has several advantages. The reduction in weight makes each volume about 50 percent lighter in weight than the volumes in the previous six-volume set, and the catalogs are vastly easier to handle. For the convenience of the user, each volume of the 2018 12-volume set includes its own introduction, editor’s letter, and index.
Vols. 1A and 1B have a total of more than 13,600 value changes and many editorial enhancements.
Collectors will be pleased to find the organization of countries per catalog is largely unchanged:
Vol. 1A, United States, United Nations, and countries of the world A through Australia; Vol. 1B, countries of the world Austria through B.
Vol. 2A, countries of the world C-Curacao; Vol. 2B, countries of the world Cyprus through F.
Vol. 3A, countries of the world G; Vol. 3B, countries of the world H through I.
Vol. 4A, countries of the world J through L; Vol. 4B, countries of the world M.
Vol. 5A, countries of the world N through Philippines; Vol. 5B, countries of the world Pitcairn Islands through Samoa.
Vol. 6A, countries of the world San Marino through Tete; and Vol. 6B, countries of the world Thailand through Z.
Vols. 1A and 1B went on sale April 1. A review of the changes in each volume is presented in the From the Scott Editors column in the April 17 issue.