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Revolutionary New Stamp Album for Guatemala Collectors

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Revolutionary New Stamp Album for Guatemala Collectors

by Michael Bloom, Album Editor
 
When I decided to start collecting Guatemalan stamps one of my first concerns was how to mount the collection.  I loved the detailed descriptions found in Roland Goodman’s Guatemala-1 and Guatemala-2.  When I bought my first Guatemala collection it was housed in a Scott’s Guatemala Specialized album but I wanted to collect at the richness and depth that characterizes Goodman’s work.
I contacted Dave Reitsma, ISGC’s editor of the award winning El Quetzal,  who had the same idea some years ago and created a wonderful album.  However,  Dave’s album file was created in an antique software program that could not be exported or added to.  The decision was made to create a new catalog, based on Dave’s, but with a number of major enhancements.
Album Basics
Any album must take a stand on what material to include and what to exclude.  This one would include all stamps from the first issue to the latest Scott listings.  It would not include postal stationary in the first edition of the album but could in later editions.  It would be in black and white, and not color, to save on the production costs of a printed version.  Goodman numbers would be used but Scott numbers would be included if possible (an open issue at the time of this writing). Spaces would be provided for Goodman’s major numbers, but not for the minor ones.
Print vs. Software
In order to assure that the software program would continue to be supported over a long period of time we chose the industry standard  Microsoft Publisher.  It is expected that the album, in its first edition, will exceed 300 pages in length and include stamps to 2012.  Each page had to be carefully constructed with the appropriate amount of detailed information for each stamp.
We expect to be able to supply the album in printed form using the same format as the Scott Specialty series with 10 x 11.5 inch light beige card stock pages punched for 3-hole or 2-post binders.  The purchaser provides the binder.
Expandable and Customizable
One unique option is to print your own pages from a software version of the album.  The album will be provided in MS Publisher format as well as Adobe PDF.  You’ll need a wide carriage printer, like the Epson Workforce 1100, to print the pages.  These printers can be obtained for about $100.  Then you would need to purchase the Scott ACC110 pages or equivalent and binder(s).
If you have a copy of MS Publisher then you are really in for a great surprise.  You can edit any page and add space for stamps, blocks, sheets, covers, certificates, etc. by just using a cut and paste.  That’s the main reason I created this album!  If you don’t like the way a page is designed, go ahead and change it!
Hinges and Mounts
Most albums have box sizes and spacing assuming that stamps will be hinged in place.  This album is designed for the use of stamp mounts.  You can still hinge stamps but if you use mounts they will not look crowded.
Updates and Expansions
We hope that this album will become a living document.  With the help of ISGC members we can add information to existing pages and make corrections.  We will be able to produce annual or semi-annual supplements and add sections for postmarks, or postal stationary, or whatever our members would like to see.  We can continue using and updating the ISGC numbering system. Perhaps we could add color illustrations someday.
Stamp Concordance
During the production of the album a concordance was created, using Microsoft Excel, that matches the ISGC Goodman numbers to Scott’s.  Perhaps others will want to add Michel, or Stanley Gibbons, etc.  Importantly, this concordance can serve as your stamp inventory list.  You can add to it as needed and use it to see what you have and what you need.  You’ll be able to use this on your mobile device as a want list at your next stamp show.
ISGC Will Own the Album and Concordance
Once complete, the album and concordance will be donated to ISGC and ISGC will own it.  ISGC will publish it as a fundraiser to help  our coffers.  Prices have not yet been set and there will be a number of print and software options.  First printings are expected by August 2014.
Credits and Thanks
I would like to thank the following for making this possible:  David Reitsma who provided support and scans of his own collection; Enara L. Fitzgerald, my editorial assistant, who did much of the difficult work creating this album page by page; and, finally, the many members of ISGC who encouraged me in this effort.