Friday, February 3, 2012

Blue Skies are Here Again

Blue International collectors need no longer sing the blues, at least in lament for Jim's Volume 1 checklists. The checklists are back! Now there is no excuse for you not completing that Volume 1. Well, fewer excuses. If you aren't familiar with Jim's blog, scroll down and look on the right for the link to Big Blue 1840-1940.


Jim said...

Thanks Bob!

At the rate I am going,it will be several years before the checklist is completed, so procrastinators have plenty of time. ;-)

DrewM said...

I'm a bit confused. Is this a list of all stamps for which there are spaces in the Scott International album Volume 1? If so, that's a noble undertaking, but what is its goal exactly?

Also why was the list suspended, and why was it restarted?

From what I've looked at, perhaps the most useful feature seems to be the additional comments added about some stamps. Will the simplified continuation of the list omit that kind of additional information?

Finally, if the list-maker's goal is now to make a list of stamps which go into the Steiner albums, isn't that going to simply be a list of every stamp ever issued? In other words, a list which mirrors the Scott catalog? I'm not sure I see the point if we already have the Scott catalog?

I'm certainly not in any way intending to be critical. This is an immense undertaking, and I think I'd like to see it continue -- assuming I can fully understand how it will benefit others. I've saved the stamp lists up to this point, and I imagine they will prove useful. I'm just not sure I understand the goal -- or the answers to these questions. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. And thanks.

Bob said...

Drew, while I'll leave it to Jim to address your questions as he sees fit, I do want to say how essential I think a checklist is for the Volume 1 collector. For a person using the Vintage Reproduction reprints of the Brown volume or the Steiner pages, the Scott Classics Catalogue can be the checklist--as you indicate in your comment. But for the Blue which only contains about 40% of what is in the Catalogue, this won't work. Of course, you can circle or highlight numbers in the Catalogue to show what you own. The problem is indicating what you need. There are too many instances where there are multiple options for filling a space; sometimes dozens of stamps will work. I can't imagine any system which would let a collector mark up the catalog to indicate this. And even though I'm penciling in my album what goes in the remaining empty spaces, I find that Jim does a more thorough job that I do, catching options that I missed. And I especially appreciate Jim's diligence in highlighting stamps that one might mistakenly put in the space.

None of the above is meant to minimize how much I've learned from his comments about the philatelic history of each country and of the stamps (even if has revealed embarrassing holes in my knowledge of geography!).

You might consider posting your questions on Jim's blog. His latest post is on the first year anniversary of "BigBlue" and I would think any comments or questions about his blog's goals would go well there.

Jim said...

Hi Drew

Since you asked the questions here, I'll do my best to clear up any confusion. Bob, hope you don't mind the use of bandwidth. ;-)

1) There is no "checklist" for Deep Blue (Steiner album), as all the major numbers are included in the album, so what would be the point? ;-) However, I do include commentary, because Steiner sometimes includes minor numbers, sometimes not. Hence I might agree with his overall choices, or I may not. ;-)

2) There IS a checklist for Big Blue- the Scott International Part I. The "confusion" no doubt arose as I did stop the checklist for awhile, but now it is again going strong.

3) The reason I stopped the checklist for awhile is I migrated my own collection to Deep Blue. But to use a metaphor- with Deep Blue one is sailing the uncharted seas, and I found I needed some nautical charts. ;-) And I missed the usefulness of the BB checklists as a reasonable attainable goal. So back they are.

4)I've definitely expanded looking at a countries problematic stamps and issues with the WW classic era collector in mind.

5) The checklist is now "simple", rather than annotated. Rest assured, the same care is taken choosing the stamp(s) as before. But MAJOR problems for the BB collector are either discussed in the blog, or in the comment section after the checklist.

Drew-If this doesn't clarify, or you have questions, ask over at Big Blue. :-)

(Thanks Bob!)

DrewM said...

I appreciate the help here from both Bob and Jim and realize I probably should have asked my questions on the other website (now that I think about it!).

The list is a tremendous resource, and I very much hope you can keep it going long enough to get significantly further than the excellent progress you've already made. It may become a standard guide for those using the Scott Int'l Volume 1, and it wouldn't surprise me at all if it did.

I'm less inclined toward the massiveness of the enormous number of pages in Steiner's worldwide album, but I think I'm least happy just about the mundane "school notebook" size of the pages. I just like a larger 'frame' for my stamps. So it looks like I'll use Big Blue along with a combination of some specialized single country albums. Unless another alternative comes along . . . or I change my mind.

Jim's checklist is going to be a great help in making stamp by stamp decisions. Looking forward to updates.

Jim said...


I've crossed the half way point now in publication of the BB checklist.

It has certainly taken longer than either one of us would have thought. ;-)

A big big "Thank You" for the encouragement and support you have provided these past years!