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Worldwide/(All) : How do you organize your British Colonies?

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thebiggnome
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27 Apr 2015
05:34:45pm
I've been thinking about starting a collection (rather than an accumulation) of British colonies stamps. Organizing them alphabetically seems a tad boring to me, so I thought I'd ask about how others do it.

Organizing them by regions seems more pleasing to me, keeping Caribbean, African, SE Asian, etc. colonies together. Does anyone do it that way?

It occurs to me that my father used to repeat the old saying about "the sun never sets on the British Empire." Remembering him, it might be nice to organize them longitudinally, starting at, say, Greenwich and traveling West with the sun. I'd have to spend time making a list, unless someone else has already made one.

Other ideas of which I may not have thought?

Chris
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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
27 Apr 2015
06:06:48pm
re: How do you organize your British Colonies?

year founded (or discovered or conquered or...)

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Anglophile
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RPSL, APS, EPA; US, GB, Ireland, British Europe, Italy, Mauritius Classics
27 Apr 2015
06:13:07pm
re: How do you organize your British Colonies?

Mine are organized by region: British Europe in one binder, and the Caribbean in another. That's enough for me at present.

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Bobstamp
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27 Apr 2015
06:31:47pm
re: How do you organize your British Colonies?

Unless you're concerned about "completeness," you might consider limiting your collection to one or two geographical areas. Otherwise, you might not live long enough to even approach completeness. The omnibus issues alone would put a big dent in any pocketbook.

Deciding what to collect really isn't possible until you've actually started collecting something along the lines of you think you'd like to collect. Then your ideas might change radically. Perhaps my collecting experience will help to explain what I'm trying to say:

After I got back into collecting at about age 37, I decided to work on a "complete" Canada collection, and quit that when I realized that I'd have to spend money on the world's ugliest stamps, the red Centennial postage dues (1967-78). I sold my collection and switched to Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Eire, but within a few years realized that I could no longer keep up with new issues and, especially, Lighthouse album supplements. It wasn't a hard decision since I really didn't care for most of the new issues anyway, especially such abominations as "Love" stamps and their nasty ilk.

At about the same time I quit collecting individual countries, I was introduced to postal history, and also began learning about and collecting material related to the Second World War. Scope creep resulted in my starting other new collections as well — First World War, Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Algerian War, the mid-period of commercial aviation history, and astronomy. Today I purchase only stamps, covers and collateral items that I like or that can serve as illustrations for my web site, EphemeralTreasures.net. I only have one true country collection now, the U.S. from 1847 to 1947, and I've actually thought of selling that since I know it can never be complete, in part because I'd die of boredom trying to identify the definitives of the 1910s and 1920s. I just don't have the brain for that.

Good luck in your new collecting adventures, wherever they take you.

Bob






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Guthrum
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27 Apr 2015
07:34:24pm
re: How do you organize your British Colonies?

Do you mean British colonies literally? Are you planning to include the dominions? (That would treble your commitment, at least.) What about protectorates?

The history of colonialism is a messy one, to say the least, and material relating to it will be decidedly one-sided if you confine yourself to pre-independence issues. That said, a study of Britain's engagement with each colony from first-issue to independence would be instructive: what image of the colony is Britain attempting to convey through its stamps, and to what extent is that at variance with what was really happening there?

Geography is the simpler option, with areas such as Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific providing useful contrast and covering the majority of stamp-issuing entities you will be dealing with.

Chronology is also simple: confining your collection to a certain reign (mine is Queen Elizabeth to independence, a good one to start with as many of the stamps are very attractive and easy to obtain at a price that will not break the bank).

You will, of course, come up against that common bugbear: the issuing of stamps for no other purpose than to swell the coffers of the colony (sometimes its only source of GDP) at the expense of completist collectors. Such material is still costly. Some collectors avoid that problem by dealing only in identifiable covers - again a route which emphasises the geography of the colonies (major population centres, or post offices), as well as more esoteric areas such as postal rates.

Whatever you choose, good luck!

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thebiggnome
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27 Apr 2015
08:41:52pm
re: How do you organize your British Colonies?

I hadn't considered organizing by year of "founding" so thanks, I'll keep that in mind.

Perhaps I should clarify my situation. As a kid I was fascinated by the queen's head and how it was on so many stamps (and coins) around the world. Also, I thought everyone collected either everything in the world, or just their own country. I've wanted to collect British Empire stuff for about 35 years, since I first found out that that was a 'thing'. In the intervening years, I've amassed quite a few of the buggers in various glassines, boxes, old album pages, etc. but I don't consider them a collection because there is no organization to them. I just got some stockbooks and I'd like to finally start organizing what I have into a collection, but am unsure how I want to go about it. (I'm still leaning toward a regional approach; I think my longitudinal idea will probably keep everything in regions, just not alphabetical within a region.)

I'm afraid I don't know what the distinctions are between colonies, dominions, and protectorates. I might go educate myself, but it probably doesn't matter. If it has a queen head on it, I'll probably want it.

Chris

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Guthrum
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28 Apr 2015
05:27:07am
re: How do you organize your British Colonies?

"Queen's head" stamps will certainly limit your collection to a more manageable size! But it also forms a group which will exclude some colonial sets issued since 1952. You may also want to exclude the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, which do have the queen's head.

This list will be of great help to you:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Territorial_evolution_of_the_British_Empire

... especially if you take up David's idea of a historical organisation.

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cocollectibles
28 Apr 2015
05:31:17am
re: How do you organize your British Colonies?

I organize slightly differently by region, only because of the volume of stamps in some countries is high, whereas in others it is low for the QV stamps that I collect in Scott International 3-ring binder albums.

GB and British Europe
British Africa
Hong Kong
India
British Asia (other than HK and India)
Canada
British Americas (other than Canada)
GB stamps used abroad (e.g., canceled in Malta, Constantinople, etc.)

Within each album, they are listed alphabetically if more than one country, then chronologically within each country. Within each album I keep these separated:

Postage issues
Revenues and Fiscals
Postal Stationery
Cinderellas
Specialized cancels, freaks, errors, etc.

I know, way too anal retentive, eh?

Peter

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NBStamper
12 May 2015
12:56:04pm
re: How do you organize your British Colonies?

I have limited my British Colonies to a few of the island colonies (Antigua, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Pitcairn, Norfolk and a few others) and quit at 1970 or independence (whichever came first). I really like the Victorian issues through to George VI. Many of them are really nicely engraved and the sets look very attractive when nicely mounted. So, arranging them alphabetically works fine.

For now, am working on building up Barbados and Bahamas. If you really want to specialize, any one of these countries would be a great choice.

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auldstampguy
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Just one more small cover .....
12 May 2015
11:37:10pm
re: How do you organize your British Colonies?

I'm kind of boring, so I'd organize by Geographic area and then alphabetically by country. That would work well for me, but I'm a geek, what can I say? Day Dreaming

Regards ...Tim

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Jansimon
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13 May 2015
03:53:55am

Approvals
re: How do you organize your British Colonies?

Even though it is an interesting collecting area, I have limited myself when it comes to British Colonies. At this point, I have collections for the (former) Dominions Canada + provinces, NZ, Australia (+ territories Cocos (Keeling), Christmas Isl. and AAT), Newfoundland and South Africa.
Furthermore I collect SWA, Mauritius, Bermuda, Papua New Guinea, Gilbert & Ellice, Tonga, New Hebrides, Samoa, Norfolk Island, Fiji. I used to collect Malta and Pitcairn as well, but I broke up these collections.
Organization is pretty random: The large countries have their own books, which includes the associated territories / provinces. SWA is included with South Africa and all the pacific islands are grouped together in one stockbook.

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smauggie
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13 May 2015
09:27:55am
re: How do you organize your British Colonies?

I really don't care about completeness that much. I store them alphabetically. Some colonies I have pages for, others where I have just a few stamps, I use stockpages to hold them. I recently had to separate out my Canada, Australia and New Zealand to a separate binder to make more space. I do collect those three "colonies" (and their composite colonies) more assiduously than any others. I limit my collection to stamps issued during the reigns of Victoria through George VI.

As my collection grows I may wish to separate them by region.

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BermudaSailor
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20 May 2015
11:29:05pm
re: How do you organize your British Colonies?

Have you looked at any specialty albums? If so, which ones? What did you think about them?

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pre1940classics
06 Jul 2015
10:52:56pm
re: How do you organize your British Colonies?

All the earlies prior to WW 2 go into my Scott International Jr. I also have a separate album for my Canada collection.

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rrraphy
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Retired Ap. Book Mod. Retired Pres Golden Gate Stamp Club, Retired consultant
07 Jul 2015
05:20:11pm
re: How do you organize your British Colonies?

I am organizing my British Colonies by putting them on Approval Books and disposing of them. Yes I finally reached the conclusion that trying to do both French and British Colonies (plus Portuguese) was just not humanly possible...so ALL the stamps from my British Colonies are headed to Approval Books.
That being said, I can now work on my French Colonies, so the French Colonies duplicates will also head to Approvals.
If only these efforts paid off in clearing more space...I need a new room!
rrr..

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
08 Jul 2015
11:50:40am
re: How do you organize your British Colonies?

Ralph, I got the biggest chuckle out of your organizational approach.


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thebiggnome
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08 Jul 2015
03:30:52pm
re: How do you organize your British Colonies?

I have glanced at a couple specialty albums in the past, but beyond their prohibitive prices, they're just not for me. I'm just not interested in complete collections of them (at least not yet... Happy ), I just save monarch heads.

I don't remember their layout, but I assume most specialty albums would use an alphabetical organization? While in many cases alphabetization is perfectly satisfactory, it seems boring to me in this instance, so I would rearrange such an album anyway, reverting me to my original question.

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