Sunday, June 8, 2008

How many stamps do you have?

Seems like a perfectly reasonable question but a pain both to begin and keep current. I started with a quick and dirty count on the Scott International Volume 1 I purchased, but am now going back through and doing a more thorough job. I'm using an Excel spreadsheet keyed to country and page. (Pages in the Scott International aren't numbered--I've added numbers in pencil.) Once done I will copy and paste to as many columns as will fit on a page and then print the inventory. As I add new stamps, I will pencil these in on the printout. Then I will periodically update the spreadsheet and print out a new copy. At least that's the plan.

Addendum: I've completed the spreadsheet. I decided it would be easier to print if I copied the data from Excel and pasted it into Microsoft Word using a 3 column format. With margins at .75 inches and using Arial 9 point as the font, I was able to fit everything into 8 pages. In order to get each page count from the album to fit on one line, I truncated the listings to 25 spaces [=left(A1,25]. The resultant entries after pasting into MS Word look something like this:

343/345 Egypt 25
344/346 Egypt 30
345/347 Egypt 30
346/348 Egypt 18
347/349 Egypt 22
348/350 Egypt 9
349/351 Eritrea 2
350/352 Eritrea 0

The first column is the page number. Why the slash? Because I can't count. In retrospect, I should have done a more methodical numbering of pages. While I only made 3 mistakes, the worst was to misread my handwriting and skip 40 pages about one third of the way through! So in the example above, the 343 indicates my penciled in page number; the 345 is what the actual page number should be. Next is the country followed by the number of stamps mounted on that page (counting only those stamps matching the illustrations or that can legitimately be placed in one of the blank spaces). In my Excel spreadsheet I have an additional column for the actual number of spaces on the page, but I haven't done any count of these yet.

If anyone would like a copy of the Excel spreadsheet to use for your own collection, just let me know. Again, I have the 1969 edition although I'm not yet clear on what difference the copyright date makes.


Juan Villate said...

Great work Bob! I am interested in only two countries (Canada and Colombia) but if I can help in any way please let me know.

Juan Villate (Toronto, Canada)

Bob said...

Thanks for posting the first comment. I do hope you find this useful. I'm envious of how you've narrowed down your interests--I'm all over the place.