Jean Brown tells you the best way to write up your collection.
When I first began collecting stamps and postal history (a long time ago), I carefully hinged every stamp onto pages and kept covers and other related material in a large box. The only time my treasures were brought into the light was when I had new items to add or someone asked to see my collection. After many years of amassing material I joined a Philatelic Society. At one of the meetings a speaker came to give a talk on ‘How To Display and Write Up Your Philatelic Material’ — it was a revelation. Suddenly I found a new and exciting way to enhance my collection.
At the moment your philatelic material may not be in any particular order, every aspect muddled together. In ‘Writing Up’ you are making this general collection a truly Thematic one. To do this sub-division is the answer.
As an example, my own collection of Space Philately consists mainly of the first 25 years of Soviet Achievements (and disasters). It is broken down into sections i.e.
From Tsiolkovsky to Sputnik
The Little Pioneers (the dogs)
Man In Space (Gagarin)
The Red Planet (the Mars Shots) and of course many more.
If you collect Astronomy on stamps you could have sections on:
The History of Astronomy
Observatories and Telescopes
and you could even branch out into Astrology which is, after all associated with the planets and their movements. All are possibilities.
‘Writing Up’ does take time and effort. You will find that 75% is research for relevant information, the other 25% is setting out your pages and selecting your notes.
It is not necessary to fill the page with writing. You will find that if you over-fill your page with notes people will get bored very quickly and just skim over the information, especially if they are not philatelists themselves. A title under the items to say what they depict and then a brief informative paragraph or two on the subject will suffice.
One important thing to remember however, is that you are putting your collection together for your own enjoyment. Later you may wish to give a talk on your particular subject, this is where your sheets become invaluable.
Of course, if you are thinking of entering competitions then that is an entirely different field which has many rules and restrictions on how you present your pages. Maybe we can elaborate on this at a later date.
In the meantime you may like to invest in a very good booklet called “Thematic Stamp Collecting” by Margaret Morris, published by Stanley Gibbons.
This will give you a much more detailed insight into Thematic Collecting. It is an excellent guide for both the beginner and more experienced collector.
Here is an example of how a write-up could look.
By Jean Brown (Mrs)