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Stamp Atlas

Welcome to the Stamp Atlas! Click a link from the list below to get started or skip down to the Introduction...


  • Europe

  • The Americas

  • Australasia

  • Asia

  • Africa

  • The Indian Ocean

  • The South Atlantic

  • Antarctica

  • How to use the Stamp Atlas

  • General Index

  • Index of Maps

  • Acknowledgements


  • Introduction

    It is almost impossible to assemble a collection of stamps without some knowledge of or interest in the political history of the country or countries by which the stamps were issued. Moreover, the introduction of an increasing number of commemorative and other special issues will lead the student and general collector alike to an interest not only in the stamps but in the postal and social history of the territory or area concerned.

    For the postal historian, a knowledge of geographical changes and history is an essential part of his study, and this calls for an understanding of the political changes and military intervention which have led to changes in boundaries and allegiances. It was this problem of locating the relevant information which led the late Stuart Rossiter and John Flower who had collaborated on the famous Blue Guides to propose a Stamp Atlas. In particular, Stuart, who was a student of the postal history of East Africa, recognized the difficulties which face many collectors because of the frequent and apparently unconnected changes which took place in the stamp-issuing territories of the African continent. As a result he developed his ideas and began to prepare a manuscript on a country by country basis detailing the boundary changes and the political pressures which gave rise to them. These first thoughts were committed to paper and it was intended that they should be supported by maps prepared by John Flower and stamps or covers from Stuarts collection.

    Sadly, in 1982, Stuart died and for two years the project lay fallow with only three of the five continents completed. In 1984 the work began again when the outstanding sections were completed and the others were brought up to date. Thus the project which began as an idea in 1978 has at last been completed in 1986. It is hoped that this revised volume and information source will also find its way into the homes of many Philatelists and/or Postal Historians as a valuable addition to their general research library.

    Since the original volume was published some 14 years ago, many changes have occurred, notably in the Balkans and the USSR. It was therefore decided to correct and revise the original work and, at the same time to take advantage of the latest technology so that the work can be made available for home use on a CD-ROM.

    A work of this size and scope cannot hope to answer each and every question. It is intended as a work of general reference and one which will lead to a greater understanding of the boundary changes, stamp issues, and policies which have taken place. However, it is also hoped that it will motivate collectors to look behind the simple facts of stamps issues and to think in more detail about the background history of the countries whose stamps they have chosen to collect.

    Stamp collecting in all its facets is probably the most popular indoor hobby that exists. If this atlas adds in any way to the reservoir of general knowledge about stamps and history, it will have matched up to the original intent of both Stuart Rossiter and John Flower. It will have served its purpose.

    The Stamp Atlas is available on CD priced £10.00, plus £1.50 postage and packing. Please email stamp@sandafayre.com if you wish to order a CD.

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