Computers and Stamps — By William F. Sharpe
A blog, short for web log, doesn’t usually provide as much information as a standard website, but can be a source of fascinating details about the stamp world.
There are hundreds of stamp blogs on the internet. I wrote about one of them, Don Schilling’s Stamp Collecting Roundup, in a previous column in the Sept. 15, 2008, issue of Linn’s. Schilling’s site is still active.
The left side of Schilling’s home page includes recent posts. The right side of the page provides some information about Schilling, a couple of ads, and an alphabetical list of stamp-related links followed by the archives of all articles dating back to 2005. Pictured is part of Schilling’s home page from March 2005.
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The National Postal Museum’s blog, Pushing the Envelope, is dedicated to sharing behind-the-scenes stories, thoughts, and interesting discussion about the museum and its renowned collection.
My recent visit to the site provided several well-illustrated articles.
The article “This letter was left here for you. Yes, you!!,” by Ren Cooper, discussed a letter that had slipped into a crack within a mud wagon displayed at the museum as part of the “Moving West” exhibition.
The exhibition “details how the development of overland mail routes helped drive settlement of the newer territories between the Mississippi River and the West Coast in the mid-1800s,” but the letter is much more recent.
While anonymous, the letter mentioned the hashtag #moreloveletters, which can be traced to Hannah Brencher, the creator of The World Needs More Love Letters movement. Included at the end of the article were links to other articles about letters from either the National Postal Museum’s blog or its main site.
You can scroll down the home page to find previous articles. For example, I found “Benjamin Franklin: Philadelphia’s Postmaster,” by Nancy Pope, historian and curator.
You can also search for blog posts, choose from recent posts, select a category listing, or choose a monthly list of posts going back to September 2016 from entries on the right side of the main page.
The American Philatelic Society blog, uses a similar format, with recent articles on the left side of the page, and a search box, list of categories, recent posts, and archived posts on the right.
You can browse through the 40 pages of articles or use the search tools provided.
There’s also a calendar of the current month with the dates when posts were made highlighted.
The entries on Lloyd de Vries’ blog, date back to October 2013. When I visited the site, one of his recent posts covered the stamps issued for Canada’s 150th anniversary in detail.
Philately Today’s site is well laid out, but the most recent entry is more than a year old.
Filling Spaces offers opinions from a retired Florida collector, identified only as Bob. His interest is mainly worldwide stamp collecting.
One blog post from November 2016 includes a list of what he calls “certifiably large worldwide collections.” He explains that these are collections that “encompass 1840 to at least the 1950s.”
The largest one, offered for sale by Harmer-Schau in 2012, lacks only about 1,200 stamps with major Scott numbers and is mounted in more than 200 Minkus albums.
The most comprehensive single site I found was Bud’s Big Blue 1840-1940. (The big blue refers to the 1969 edition of the Scott International Album, Part I, 1840-1940.)
For more information, scroll down on the left side of the main page and click on Bud’s Big Blue — An Introduction and index.
The site contains scans of a completed edition of Scott’s International Postage Stamp Album, Part 1, 1840-1940. Remarks about most stamps are included, and visitors can post their own comments.
The site also includes monthly calendars with postmarks for all the days of the year. A large stamp image is provided for each date. The postmark for July 2 is shown. The site describes this stamp as “U.S. 1898 Scott R155A 2c pink, Type IV Blue Overprint, ‘Washington’ Revenue Stamp.”
In case you are interested in pursuing the subject of blogs further, Philatelynews contains links to other blogs from 19 countries, not including the United States, on its “philately links” page.