So, I decided to do a bit of "show and tell," instead... about the primary stamp project I am working on, and will continue to work on, during 2012.
|My original "Abria" France album from 1971|
This was 1971.
Needless to say, my collections have grown and morphed-- more or less continuously-- since then.
If you are a lifelong collector, perhaps it is just part of the journey that your interests become more and more specialized as you go along. For me, specialization was part choice, part necessity: I reached a point where "filling the next empty space" would cost me more money than I had available to spend on stamp collecting. So I went from "collecting one of each" to looking at "more than one" through plate flaws, printings and postmarks. This happened-- gradually-- in my mid-20s.
Of course, traditional pre-printed albums do not lend themselves to specialized collections. For a long time, I have kept my Denmark specialized in stockbooks. This served as an adequate-- but far from perfect-- solution, for many years. The upside of this approach is that it's easy to move stamps around, as you get new additions. But the main issue I have always had with this approach is that my "primary" examples of each stamp (and blocks and covers) have been in my pre-printed album, while my varieties and postmarks were separate in the stockbooks.
So, a few years ago, I decided I wanted to create my own albums for my Denmark collection.
|One of the first new pages, allows for multiples, cancels and more|
As I said, that was a few years ago...
I soon realized that "layout" is not as easy as it looks. Strike that... I realized that organizing a highly specialized collection requires a lot of planning and foresight, in order to avoid ending up with a giant uncohesive mess.
So, whereas I've actually had the binders and pages for six years... I have mainly been "studying" how I have organized and moved the stamps in my stockbooks. The lesson here, is patience. I don't want to have to significant undo and change anything, once I get going.
I am keeping it very simple. For a while, I considered printing pages with my laser printer, but decided against it-- the almost infinite potential for expansion of a collection that includes minor varieties and cancels would make this an almost impossible task. Instead, I am just using the plain pages with the black mounts... and annotating everything in pencil-- thankfully I have fairly neat handwriting... well... printing. Why pencil? Well, if I do have to move a few items around, it allows me to erase and rewrite descriptions.
|Individual captions done in pencil|
There is, of course, no "right" or "wrong" way to house a specialized stamp collection. My primary objective was to come up with something that works for me. Specifically, I wanted to end my previous problems of not being able to find specific items, because they could be located in an assortment of different books, boxes and albums.
Since I am not an "exhibitor," that was never part of my considerations, although I did want to come up with something fairly "presentable," for when I share with other collectors.
My advice to anyone who wants to create albums for their specialized collection is primarily to plan well. Spend some time looking at how you want to organize, then consider where you will (most likely) be adding more stamps... and where the collection is "finite." This will have a major impact on how you design your pages.
Happy New Year to everyone!