SWEDISH Swedish version



The yellow 3-skilling

Whole World-collecting has been a concept for stamp collectors since the earliest days of philately. It was not as difficult then as it is today, when such huge quantities of stamps are issued. In spite of this, the magic is still there and collecting The Whole World still attracts both young and old, however in new and varied forms. The primary alternative is to specialize, choosing for example a limited period, a special subject or a country (most often the collectors native country) and subsequently deepening ones knowledge thereof. Nothing wrong with that of course, but as a Whole World collector you never restrict your possibilities whatsoever. It is just your focus that shifts between countries, eras and themes. By structuring your Whole World collection in a purposeful way, you can transform a burgeoning chaos into the rich blend of knowledge and beauty that philately might be.  Suggestions on how to achieve this, is the purpose for the rest of this page.

One way of bringing a logical order to a Whole World collection is to organize countries geographically (rather than alphabethically). Imagine that, with the support of your stamps, you embark on a journey beginning in your native country. Next you travel through all the neighbouring countries. Proceeding on, your journey expands through the entire continent where you live, and in turn through all the continents of the world, perhaps ending up in Antarctica. Well, that would be a trip for the globetrotter!

You might, where possible, illuminate a country´s history by organizing the stamps chronologically, grouping the stamps into before and after an independence, highlighting periods of occupations and liberations. When a country has been divided into several stamp-issuing parts, you might arrange your collection so that it is possible to follow this development as well. The Czech Republic and Slovakia might serve as an example. The area  claimed independence in 1918 with the dissolution of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire. It was named Czechoslovakia and that gives us a starting point. In 1939 the country was divided into the German protectorate Bohemia & Moravia and the puppet state Slovakia. Both issued their own stamps. In 1945 the two states again federated to form Czechoslovakia, surviving as such until the communist breakdown in Europe, when the country again was divided. This time the countries were reborn as  the  Czech Republic and Slovakia. By arranging your collection like this, you can follow the history of a country as you turn  the pages in your collection.

A good idea might be to summarise a  country´s history in an informative introduction. This requires of course some research, but is greatly rewarded by raising the status of your collection and providing you with knowledge and deeper understanding of each country. One example that, when printed would fit in the first pocket of an ordinary Hagner-leaf could look like this:


Balkan republic. The country, lying at the frontier between several large cultures, has at various times been inhabited by  Goths, Romans, Byzantines, Serbs and Turks. Under the Roman Empire the country was divided into the provinces of Epirus and Illyria. During the 12th century an Albanian state was founded, that was later incorporated into the  Ottoman Empire (following the death of the national hero Skanderbeg in 1468). Not until 1912 was Albania declared a free and independent country. However, the eastern province Kosovo had to be ceded to Serbia. Albania was occupied repeatedly during the World Wars. 1946 the country was proclaimed a Peoples Republic.

The next desision to make is the number of stamps that are to represent each country. One idea might be to use one leaf with representative stamps for each country. Some collectors feel however, that it is enough with one stamp (!) from each country. In return, you might then allow yourself to include stamps from all the possible groups described in the following pages. Another suggestion is to collect the very first issues of each country (this can, of course, be an quite expensive proposition).  Finally, one might collect stamps up to a predefined year (stamps older than yourself, for example). The desired extent of your collection will perhaps advise you where to draw the line.

Lasse Hult, Sweden

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