Although this is not a day to day web log, these comments contain an insight of my work on the website and my collection.
Time is scarce. I notice that every week. Four days per week by boss expects me in the office and in the rest of the time I have to combine six voluntary jobs and my hobbies. The last few months I bought over 250 new series and souvenir sheets for my UN collection and I still haven't put them in the albums.
And then there is this website. A lot of people manage to find it every week so I hope it gives them the information they need. And maybe it helps them understand the important work the UN and all related organizations do every day. Also I hope the website functions as some sort of historical overview of what the UN has done and still does.
Still there is a long way to go. Not only revising 77 countries and territories and dozens of subject pages, but also adding new ones to the website. It's going to be a lengthy process and I hope that you, the visitors, stay with me and keep supporting me.
The recently revised pages are:
person 003: Nehru, Jawaharlal
subject 023: The World United Against Malaria
subject 024: Atoms for Peace
subject 026: World Health Day
subject 029: ITU Centenary
subject 031: 2nd International Oceanographic Congress, Moscow
subject 032: International Hydrological Decade
subject 180: WHO Collaborating Centres
Since I am trying to revise a very large country at the moment, this is more of a provisional comment. Needless to say there are a lot of pages to restyle and revise now. Almost as many as I had to write originally. So this comment doesn't really count. I did find two sets of stamps that I decided to include. They were not here before. The first one is for the Second International Polar Year 1932-1933. I include them now because this year was organized by the International Meteorological Organization (the predecessor of WMO). The second is for the International Labour Exhibition in Turin, 1961. This exhibition was organized in cooperation with the ILO.
Also I added my first special postmark. Actually it is not the first one I have, because I have several shoe boxes full of envelopes and cards with some special cancellation. I'll just add what I find to the website and we'll see where it ends.
The revised and new pages are:
person 001: Vuchetich, Yevgeny
person 002: Lumumba, Patrice
subject 011: UPU Administrative Conference on Air Mail, The Hague
subject 012: Tehran Conference
subject 018: Artwork at the United Nations
subject 019: Let us beat swords into ploughshares
subject 020: World Forestry Congress
subject 021: 5th World Forestry Congress, Seattle
subject 190: CAPEX 78
subject 246: Second International Polar Year
Revising old pages is a lot easier than making new ones. Still one day I should start adding new countries to the website. There are more than 300 countries and territories on my list, and I have only managed to make pages of 86 of them. And as most of them are 'small' countries with only one or two series in the stamp catalogue, the real work has still to begin. However, today I can present six revised countries that are (or were) east of the Netherlands. And this makes 8 out of 86 countries completely new and improved.
These six are small countries (in UNOstamps terms) and all of them have disappeared over the years. You could say that present day Germany is almost the same as the old Weimar Republic, but in my list they are two different countries. The stamp issues of these countries also rise the question if stamps that were issued in honour of organizations in a pre-UN era can be counted as UN-related stamps. I know a lot of people start collecting UPU stamps only after UPU joined the UN as a specialized agency. In my collection every UPU stamp counts, so you will find stamps from 1924 on the website.
So if you want to collect them, make use of the information I present on the website. If you don't want to collect them, just ignore them. Newly added to the collection is a first day cover from Saarland.
The revised pages are:
country 012: Germany
country 013: Germany (Allied occupation)
country 016: Baden
country 017: Württemberg-Hohenzollern
country 018: Rhineland-Palatinate
country 051: Saarland
subject 013: Universal Postal Union
subject 014: UPU 75th anniversary
subject 015: International Letter Writing Week
subject 035: International Labour Organization
subject 129: UPU 50th anniversary
Country number two out of 86 is now revised and online for all visitors. It is the former homeland and 'independent' republic Bophuthatswana, one of four homelands that were declared independent countries between 1976 and 1981 by the South African government. Although not recognized by the international community, their stamps were accepted as valid on international mail. Both Bophuthatswana and Ciskei issued UN-related stamps for international years and campaigns.
I thought back in 2008 that I studied the stamps very thoroughly and the webpage was correct. But when I looked at the catalogue again and found more stamp images on internet I discovered that I overlooked one issue all this time. In 1978 Bophuthatswana, as did many other countries, issued stamps for the 75th anniversary of the first powered flight by Orville and Wilbur Wright. And what I saw was unbelievable: on the right of each stamp was the full name of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). This is not mentioned in the leading stamp catalogues. And the images in the catalogues are too small to distinguish the text on the stamps anyway. I have bought the stamps immediately and they are already in my album, next to the issues of Cyprus and Egypt.
As an extra 'service' I have put on the website a first day cover, a first day sheet and two first day cards from Bophuthatswana. They can be seen by clicking on the links above the corresponding stamps on the Bophuthatswana country page. My plan is to gradually add my fdc collection to the website. I have hundreds of envelopes with special postmarks and really have no idea what is in my collection at the moment.
Also new is a page with the names of the stamp designers. At the moment there are only the designers of the Bophuthatswana and Republic of Moldova stamps, but the list will grow as I revise more countries.
The revised and new pages are:
country 058: Bophuthatswana
catalogue 005: Stamp designers
subject 048: International Year of the Child
subject 056: International Year of Disabled Persons
subject 245: First powered flight 75th anniversary
The first country has been updated. It is the Republic of Moldova that has the honour of being the first of 86 countries to be fitted out with new scans, corrected links and extra information. Not only I have refreshed old data, but I have added new. For instance with every issue I have included the sheet size. And I have added new images of stamps I recently bought, like the Human Rights 60 issue and the imperforated booklet for the International Year of Astronomy.
Also I have discovered a 'new' stamp issue that wasn't included before. Apparently the stamps with children's drawings of 5 October 2002 were issued for World Post Day. The drawings were the winners of a special contest for that day. Since I can't stand missing any stamp in my collection, I have searched the internet for them. I found them with a dealer in Lithuania and they are on their way. As soon as they arrive the stamp images will be on the website.
Apart from the country page I have updated all pages that relate to the Moldovan stamps. This means that 15 subject pages and 1 person page are now revised. All links have been checked and new information has been added.
Here is a list of all pages revised:
country 006: Republic of Moldova
person 019: Heinrich von Stephan
subject 001: United Nations Year of Dialogue among Civilizations
subject 002: International Year of the Family
subject 007: UNO 50th anniversary
subject 009: World Post Day
subject 095: Membership of the United Nations
subject 096: Membership of the Universal Postal Union
subject 097: UPU 125th anniversary
subject 100: World Teachers' Day
subject 101: World Summit on the Information Society
subject 103: UNHCR 50th anniversary
subject 155: United Nations Headquarters
subject 183: Emblem and flag of the United Nations
subject 237: International Year of Astronomy
As most of my visitors have noticed, I didn't add anything to the UNOstamps website since 3 April. The reason is simple yet very frustrating. On Good Friday my computer crashed. I lost all the scans I made of my stamps. I lost most of the photos I took. I lost loads and loads of images and documents.
Fortunately I had made backups of some of my documents and photos, so not all is lost. So what happens next? I'll have to scan everything again. During this process I will revise all the country and subject pages. I'll check the information given (is it still accurate?) and the external links (do they still work?).
In a few months I will be back with new countries and subjects. This doesn't mean that there won't be anything new to see. I have bought new stamps and sheets from Aitutaki, Austria, Moldova, Belgium, as well as hundreds of series and sheets from countries all over the world.
Again, my apologies for the inactivity during the last few months, but UNOstamps is back and will be even better than before!
It has been three months since I wrote my last comment and worked on the website. The last few days I did some work on it and I hope to continue on a regular basis. This won’t be easy because of all the other things I have to do in my work and my other functions. Well, at least there is some new information for the visitors: four new stamp catalogues I bought recently and the data for two new stamps from Austria. There are no images yet, but I hope to buy them soon.
The next few days I will add new stamps from the
What else is there to tell? I didn’t make it to the
local council. My party however, got one seat (out of 37) and we are now
working to establish a real political presence in our municipality. Furthermore
in May we celebrate 65 years of the end of the Second World War, and I am
preparing the traditional exhibition on local history from 1940 to 1945. The
official opening is scheduled at
Is there time for fun? Yes. Apart from the visit to
the pub on Thursday, I am planning to visit the Belgian stamp exhibition Antverpia 2010 next week. Unfortunately the railways
chose exactly this weekend to carry out works on the railways between
The UNOstamps website only grew slightly with 7 countries, 9 subjects, 9 persons, and a lot of new stamp images. Also added were philatelic books and magazines and stamp catalogues. There were 5 newsletters and only 10 comments (including this one).
I didn't have much time to spend on my website in
2009. I did however spend a lot of time (and money) on my stamp collection. I bought
hundreds of new stamps and souvenir sheets from all over the world. A lot of
them were for the International Year of Astronomy. Last week I received the new
stamps (or are they?) from
As you have read in the comments below, this year saw
the publication of my latest book. Also I made a photo exhibition (which can be
seen again this month), wrote several press releases, had numerous meetings and
went to work four days a week. And at the end of the summer we started the
preparations for the upcoming local elections on
What can we expect this year? The local elections of
course, and maybe I end up being a local council member. In May we commemorate
65 years of liberation, the end of the Second World War. For this I have to
make another exhibition. And in October we host the 14th ILGA-Europe conference
As you can see a busy year. I hope to add new items, countries and other pages to the website regularly. But I can't promise that there will be daily updates.
I wish all visitors of this website all the best for the coming year.
I realise that it has been some time since I updated my website. These months fly away when you are not careful. If I didn't do anything on my own website, what did I do? Well September and October are very busy months. For the local historical society I prepared a small photo exhibition in the local library with recently discovered photos from the summer of 1945. The exhibition is part of the National History Week (Week van de Geschiedenis). Also we took part in National Monument Day (Open Monumentendag), National Archive Day (Landelijke Archievendag) and I gave a presentation on the history of one of my town's neighbourhoods, built from 1946.
Our local party is already preparing for the local
My stamp collection has been growing over the last few
weeks. Through the internet I bought stamps from
Tuesday I'm flying to
I hope the title of this comment gets your attention,
but first something completely different. The Gibraltar Philatelic Service
offers webmasters of philatelic non-profit websites a chance to earn some
pocket money. On the left is a link to their stamp shop where you can buy the
Some time ago I received an Award for my website. The award giver gave me this advice: "Use a somewhat smaller letter and you will have a lot more breathing space". At first I didn't take to much notice, but recently I found out that he was right.
I have always used two letter sizes for the pages on my website: small (like this one) and large. The large letter is used on the subject and person pages. The next few months I will gradually change all these pages to a smaller letter. The pages with the subject and person catalogues, the Newsletter and the links have already been changed.
Please let me know what you think about this change by
sending me an e-mail or writing
something in the guestbook. And while you
are here, check the new stamp images from
How could I have missed that? That was the first thing
I thought (well, in Dutch anyway) when I saw this stamp from
There is always a risk that I missed a stamp issue. Sometimes I just didn't realize that a stamp issue has a UN connection. And sometimes it is not clearly described in the stamp catalogues. For example: the Michel catalogues never tell you what there is to be seen on a souvenir sheet apart from the stamp(s) in it. This means that, for example, the sheets you will see on this site from Solomon Islands, Alderney and Ross Dependency are not described in the catalogues as an issue for an International Year, but for another reason.
I have also discovered a stamp from
As you might have seen there are a lot of new pages on the website. Since the last Newsletter I have added some 25 countries, persons, subjects, stamps etc. Also I have checked almost all external links on the country and subject pages. It is something I do at least once every year and every time a lot of links have changed. I hope everything is functioning normal now. If not, please e-mail me (firstname.lastname@example.org).
To conclude this comment, I have checked my website on several other computers and what I saw was quite disturbing. Sometimes my website does not appear the same way as it does on my own computer. There are horizontal scrolls at the bottom of the screen, there is a different letter type (it should be Trebuchet MS) and images are in the wrong place. Today I have downloaded the latest version of Explorer (IE 8) and when I looked at my website with this new programme everything was out of place. Then IE asked me to install something, and when I accepted my website was back to its original self.
As I can't see what my visitors are seeing, I ask everyone who thinks that something is wrong to send me a screenshot by e-mail (email@example.com) so we can sort out the problem together.
Well, this has been a lot of text in this warm summer. Enjoy your visit(s) to the website and please leave a message in the Guestbook or write something for the Newsletter. Remember that 30 July is the final date to send in your answer to the quiz. Good luck!
It has just been
Have I done any work on my collection the last few
days. Well yes. I am still working on putting all my new stamps that I bought
Also I wrote two articles for the magazine of the Dutch UN-UE stamp collectors club. When the new magazine is issued, I will put both articles on the website. They are of course in Dutch, but maybe it is a reason to study this beautiful language. One article is about the presentation of the new Dutch stamps on Astronomy and the other is about the way we look at the stamps in our collection. Or more how we not look at the stamps. A lot of stamps have a lot of small details on them that most collectors hardly notice.
This week I'll be working on the new edition of the Newsletter. And I hope to add some more stamps to the website. Please visit the site regularly to see what has changed. And of course you are invited to sign the UNOstamps Guestbook.
I have arranged all my UN related stamps very neatly.
First by subject and then in alphabetical order (from Abu Dhabi to Zimbabwe).
Lots and lots of stamps side by side in my albums. But... last Thursday I went
to the Briefmarkenmesse in
The Briefmarkenmesse itself was very crowded. Credit crisis? What credit crisis? People were spending money everywhere. And I also spent too much this time. A problem is that this year's Europa stamps have the theme International Year of Astronomy. So that means that more than 50 countries are issuing stamps and booklets and small sheets and souvenir sheets and... and... and... I get the impression that a lot of countries are just looking for a lot of euros at the cost of the poor stamp collector.
Thursday was the first day of issue of the new UN World Heritage stamps dedicated to Germany. The German post joined in with a special stamp as well. A lot of postal administrations sold their latest issues. UNPA was represented by a stamp dealer (see photo) so there was no special blue card. I must mention in a very positive way the Vietnam Stamp Company. This country sells almost every stamp that they issued since 1977, although their website says they have been withdrawn from sale. I have almost completed my Viet Nam collection and I even discovered some UN related stamps that the major stamp catalogues missed (in their description of the stamps).
Friday I bought two new albums to put all this new stuff in. Fortunately there aren't any more stamps shows, at least for a few months (until Antwerp and Apeldoorn in October).
Gradually I am adding new items to the website. The latest stamps from Jersey, Liechtenstein and the Netherlands are already there and Belgium will follow soon. I have added some English explanations to the Philatelic books page and rearranged the Philatelic magazines and made separate pages for the Comments 2006 and 2007. This enables the pages to download faster. New things will be added frequently, but as I wrote earlier, not as frequent as the last two years. Just come back to the website every few weeks and see what's new.
The last few months I have been very busy. Not with my stamp collection, but with all sorts of other activities. This meant that there hasn't been a Newsletter for months now. I apologize to all my readers and visitors for this. But now I'm back.
The coming months I can't spend as much time adding items to the website as I would like to, but I'll make sure that something new will be there every few days, or at least once a week. For now there are some new philatelic magazines and new stamps from Papua New Guinea commemorating World AIDS Day 2008.
This weekend I hope to add the latest stamps from the Netherlands and Jersey for the International Year of Astronomy. As you might know, the IYA is this year's theme for the Europa-stamps. This means that more than 50 countries will issue stamps, booklets and souvenir sheets. The first Dutch stamps were presented to the Minister for Education, Science and Culture and I had the privilege to attend that event. You will see the exclusive photos very soon.
One reason for not working on the website was the presentation of my latest book on local history. On 4 April 2009 I presented the first copy to the mayor of Westland during a meeting in the old town hall. One of the visitors made four short films that you can see on Youtube. The link for the first film is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vo7dJSvyvJE&feature=channel. The other three can be found on the same page. The films give a general impression. The whole meeting lasted for over an hour.
Thursday 7 May I will visit the Briefmarkenmesse in
I haven't been in Germany for years (not counting a brief transfer at Frankfurt Airport when I visited Sofia, Bulgaria, in 2006) and I have never been to a German stamp fair. I will have my (new) photo camera with me to make some pictures, at least of the UNPA stand there.
The final question I have to answer is: when will the new Newsletter appear? To be honest, I don't know yet. I guess the visit to Essen will give me enough new material to write about. In the mean time please enjoy the more than 400 page the UNOstamps website already has available for you.
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UNOstamps Comments 2006 (21 November - 31 December)
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last revised: 30 January 2011