This section contains a list of stamp issuing entities.
Goal and scope
The goal is to provide a comprehensive list of stamp issuing entities, past and present, within the scope of the four leading worldwide catalogs. As such, the list can be used to manage a worldwide collection. The catalogs used to create the list are:
- Michel: Deutschland, Europa and Überseekatalog
- Scott: Standard Postage Stamp Catalog
- Stanley Gibbons: Stamps of the World
- Yvert & Tellier: Catalogue de Timbres-Poste
The list contains the stamp issuing entities that are either listed in or referred to by the above catalogs.
From countries to stamp issuing entities
The starting point are the countries as listed in the Michel catalog, called ‘Major entities’. These are first broken down to departments, cities, shipping companies, airlines, armies and so on that have issued stamps, called ‘Minor entities’. Next, the ‘Minor entities’ are further broken down to different forms of government and periods of issue, thus resulting in ‘Stamp issuing entities’. ‘Major entities’, ‘Minor entities’ and ‘Stamp issuing entities’ are listed under the ‘Country’ heading and are the core of the list.
Contextual information is provided in other columns under the headings: ‘Continent’, ‘Period’ and ‘Line of succession’. ‘Period’ is the period in which an entity has issued stamps, ‘Line of succession’ shows how entities may have transformed and what their current political situation is.
Cross reference of catalogs
A cross reference of catalogs is provided in the columns under the heading ‘Source’. The cross reference indicates in which of the catalogs the stamp issuing entities are listed.
Manage a collection
The column ‘Collection’ allows one to manage a collection. One can indicate which stamp issuing entities one has and which are on a want list. Also, one can refine the scope of a collection by defining stamp issuing entities to be out of scope. In the version of the list on this site I show – as an example – how I have defined the scope of my collection and where I stand in terms of what I have and what is on my want list. At the top of the list, the box ‘Collection summary’ provides statistics about the collection. The image below – as an example – reflects the current status of my personal collection.
Differences between catalogs
The setup of the catalogs used differs greatly. Thus, a stamp issuing entity that is listed in the Michel catalog under country ‘A’ may be listed in another catalog under country ‘B’, or have a separate listing. Special issues may be listed at the back of a country listing or in between the general issues. In most cases, the description in the columns under the headings ‘Country’ and ‘Period’ should be enough to identify a stamp issuing entity in any of the four catalogs used. In a number of cases a reference is provided to specific catalog numbers.
From countries to stamp issuing entities
The list contains a number of counters. A summary of the statistics of the current version:
Worldwide catalogs compared
Also interesting may be how the four worldwide catalogs compare in their scope. The number of stamp issuing entities listed in each of the catalogs is:
The differences are largely due to the number of local and private issues listed in the catalogs. As such, they are the result of differences in the editorial policies of the publishers. The differences tell something about the scope of the catalogs. They are not, per se, an indication of which catalog should be preferred. For that decision many other factors come into play.
The list, in all probability, will always be a work in progress. New stamp issuing entities may be identified and forms of government may change. I will keep updating the list and will publish new versions periodically.
- Version 6.7 posted on 1 September 2016. Several minor editorial changes. The development of new country profiles led to 15 entities being removed and 25 being added. One country was removed by adding Gilbert Islands to Gilbert & Ellice Islands.
- Version 6.6 posted on 1 May 2016. Several minor editorial changes. The development of further country profiles has led to adding 16 entities and removing 5 entities. Two countries were removed by combining Antigua and Antigua & Barbuda to Antigua (& Barbuda) and likewise Saint Kitts & Nevis and Saint Kitts, Nevis & Anguilla to Saint Kitts, Nevis (& Anguilla). Finally, the Mexican Revolution issues have been fully revised.
- Version 6.5 posted on 1 January 2016. Several minor editorial changes. The development of further country profiles has led to adding 17 entities and removing 4 entities.
- Version 6.4 posted on 1 October 2015. Several minor editorial changes. The development of new country profiles has led to 1 stamp issuing entity being removed and 12 added for both newly identified forms of government and local and private issues.
- Version 6.3 posted on 1 August 2015. Several minor editorial changes. Fully lined up the list with the country profiles on this site. Thus 16 entities were added and 11 removed.
- Version 6.2 posted on 1 July 2015. Several minor editorial changes, 2 stamp issuing entities added – Spanish West Indies/Havana and United Nations/Montreal. Major change: specific start date/end date added for Russian Zemstvo issues as per ‘Russia Zemstvos’, F.G. Churchin, 1984.
- Version 6.1 posted on 1 June 2015.
In case you are interested in a change log of entities added/removed please leave a reply and I will send you a copy.
View the list
Below you can view the list. The box to view the list is probably not the most suitable way to view the list, given the size of the list. Please click on the icon on the extreme right of the bottom of the box. This allows you to view the list in Excel Online. From there you can download the list and customize it for your personal use.