________________ CM . . . . Volume XVII Number 31. . . .April 15, 2011.


Stanley Gibbons Stamp Catalogue: North America, including United States of America, Canada, Bermuda, Canal Zone, St. Pierre et Miquelon and United Nations (New York). 1st. Edition.

London, Eng.: Stanley Gibbons Ltd., 2011.
564 pp., pbk., 49.95 British pounds.
ISBN 978-0-85259-783-5.

Grades 10 and up / Ages 15 and up.

Review by Aileen Wortley.




With this salute to generations of scholars who have contributed to the erudite series of catalogues produced by the Stanley Gibbons Company, a new volume is added to their repertoire. This is their first edition covering the entire range of stamp issuing countries of North America, the only catalogue of North American stamps to do so in a single volume. It encompasses all the United States of America, Canada, Bermuda, the Canal Zone, St Pierre et Miquelon and the United Nations (New York), Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the Confederate States of America. It will have specific interest for collectors of Canadian stamps with its sections on Canada and St Pierre et Miquelon. The Canadian section includes separate stamp issues for British Columbia, Vancouver Island, Canada, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island before these colonies joined the Dominion of Canada.

     For each area included, introductory information is provided on early stamp issues, currency changes and the history of the country as it impacts the stamps. Stamps are listed in date order with any special features and variants, such as perforations, watermark, shade distinctions, overprint types and major errors. Price revisions made with the assistance of specialist dealers are listed in pounds and pence sterling

     For serious collectors, there are significant articles on the first Queen Elizabeth definitives for Bermuda and another on Fourth Bureau definitives of the United States that were issued between 1922 through to 1938. Other features have a more general interest, such as the easy reference design index for Canada, St Pierre et Miquelon, the United States and the United Nations (New York). There is also a list of International Specialty Philatelic Societies and a guide to using the catalogue.

     Even in terms of general knowledge, this volume is a wealth of esoteric and intriguing information. Where else would you learn that a strip of territory granted to the United States by the Republic of Panama in 1903, only five miles either side of the proposed canal lands, had its own postage stamps? Or who knew that the United Nations had its own stamps after it took the place of the League of Nations?

     By stamp catalogue standards, this is a relatively compact paperback edition of fewer than six hundred pages, and, given the amount of detail included, the print is necessarily very small. Illustrations are in color throughout, and the quality of the images is excellent. Price revisions have been made with the aid of specialist dealers

     internal artThe Stanley Gibbons Company has been at the forefront of stamp collecting for over 150 years. As with every other catalogue that this company has produced, one looks at the scholarship involved, the physical attractiveness of the volume and the detail of its contents and can only be in awe of all those generations who have cumulatively contributed to this scholarly work and others like it. I would recommend this title for purchase by all large libraries and suggest it also be considered for community libraries where stamp clubs exist.

Highly Recommended.

Aileen Wortley, a retired librarian, lives in Toronto, ON.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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