State of the Collection — April 2022

So I have a ton of work on my hands.  I’ve been scooping up material that I find interesting as well as bulk items that I feel like I’m getting a good deal on…  I should really set a moratorium on new purchases until everything I have is catalogued and identified.  But I won’t!  I’ll still see things that catch my eye from time to time.  But in the meantime I’m chipping away at organizing what I already have.  I’ll break it down by country/category and add a few pictures here and there:

Worldwide Stamps

I’ve been trying to keep this at the top of my list of efforts — because it is taking up the most space.  Due to a good deal I found on unsorted WW off-paper material, I currently am down to 6 (6‑quart, roughly shoebox-sized) bins.  And that’s after I’ve already sorted through 4 or 5 bins’ worth.  To save time, I’ve been breaking out the ten or so countries that I either collect or plan to collect, and the rest are sorted into piles by continent.  I think that’s the only way I’ll get through all of this material.  It keeps me from wasting time sorting countries I don’t collect at all (although if I want to come back and sort later, it will be easier to sort one continent at a time).  These are taking the longest, but once I get through these…I won’t be buying bulk worldwide stuff ever again.


The continent bags will sit for a little while — but I do still have a bunch of worldwide stuff sorted out from previous lots — countries I don’t presently collect are arranged by glassine alphabetically in long boxes.  The countries I do collect are in a combination of long boxes and Vario stock pages — I’ll address them individually below.


Austria is my main focus.  The very first time I purchased a large lot of worldwide material, I sorted it by country and Austria had the tallest pile, so it was the first that I started to catalog.  I fell in love with Austrian stamps.

My Austria collection from 1850–1937 are mostly in Vario pages in a large binder.  The Scott catalog lists semipostals as back-of-book stamps in their own category, but I’m in the process of switching to the ANK (Austria Netto Katalog) which is far superior for Austrian material.  Once I finish that, the semipostals will be mixed in with the rest of the general issue stamps by date — and re-done by ANK number.  I also have some work to do with varieties on some of the older stuff, the ANK lists a lot more varieties than Scott does, and the Ferchenbauer Handbook lists even more — so the first several issues from Austria will get a lot more information put along with the stamps.  But I haven’t gotten there yet.

The rest of the material — back-of-book stuff as well as issues between 1945–2020 — are in glassines in long boxes as well.  I have another album of mint sheets, and I have a large bag filled with blocks and panes that I plan to put next to the singles that are going into stock pages.  I also have two binders filled with postal history, as well as a box full of semi-modern first day covers that I need to arrange by date and label with the catalog numbers of the stamps on them.  But that’s a secondary goal — getting the main collection catalogued and outlined with more detailed information is a higher priority.

United States

I have pounds and pounds of US material — bins full of off paper examples, bins full of on paper examples, and as of now 11 long boxes of glassines sorted by catalog number.  I also have several long boxes filled with glassines and 102 cards that need to be identified and filed accordingly.  I have a few odds and ends that I have purchased with a little more intent, but I know a lot less about US material — so I tend to only pick stuff up when something catches my eye, as opposed to working through a running list of wanted items.

I also have two binders filled with postal history, one being general postal history and the other being a combination of Charlotte NC first flight covers as well as covers from towns I’ve lived in.  There are also three large bins of covers, two of which are first day covers, the third being general used postal history.  My US material is currently 3rd on my list of things that need attention and sorting, beneath finishing up the worldwide material, and redoing my Austria collection.  I sort of bounce between the three, doing a little here and there on one when I get bored with another, so it does allow me to have some variety between bins of worldwide stuff.


My German stuff is in several long boxes — one glassine is German Empire sorted by catalog number, the other boxes are simply separated by Empire / West / East / Unified Germany.  I also have some German postal history, most of which are inflation covers (another interest of mine).  I’m enjoying picking up a few old German States items here and there if I think I’m getting a deal — so this is also on my “to-do” list but isn’t a huge focus at the moment.

Other Countries I Collect or Plan to Collect

Most of these items are in long boxes filled with glassines simply labeled by country — these are the glassines that I’ve sorted out of the larger worldwide lots.  I have 8 or 10 long boxes, for Sweden, Ukraine, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, and Great Britain/Commonwealth (including Canada and Australia, as well as former colonies/territories).  I haven’t really done anything with these aside from have them in boxes by country — but when I get bored I’ll start cataloguing.  The only thing I’ve really catalogued in these so far are the Belgian railway/parcel post stamps that I’ve acquired.


I’ve always loved to have books around — so stamp catalogs fit nicely into that desire.  I try to get a specialized catalog for each of the countries I’m interested in — but that often results in needing to translate.  I also try to scan books whenever I can, so that I can have a copy on my devices when I’m on the go or watching TV while casually browsing eBay listings, etc.  It’s nice to have the best of both worlds.


So there’s the rundown of where things stand, and what my next steps with the collection will probably be.  I have more material than time — but I also get a lot of joy from researching and acquiring new material — so I don’t see that ratio shifting any time soon.  I’ll try to update from time to time to document my progress for myself as well as for anyone else that might find this interesting.

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