What Is A catalogue?

The question sounds simple, but the concept is central to most of the stamp collecting hobby and needs to be really understood as it pertains to the World Collector.

A catalogue is a list of items uniquely identified, usually by a number, that are priced and described.

Stamp catalogues are no exception. Stamp catalogues are all cataloging the same items so what is needed is to identify the differences between catalogues. Stamps are issued by a "Country" on a specific date, not always known, and have certain attributes that are factual as far as any particular stamp is concerned.

Different catalogues list the same stamps in different ways, using different numbers, or in some cases no number at all, different values and quite often assigning the stamps to different series titles. Quite a nightmare!

The first step for an programme is to ensure that all stamps can have a unique number, the World Collector does this with a catalogue number as explained here.

After this the application needs to mimic all catalogues, to do this it stores the catalogue number, mint value, used value and the series title for each stamp and each catalogue.  These are displayed when the catalogue is selected for the stamp display.

Remember that not all catalogues list all stamps so when searches for stamps are carried out the selection of a catalogue is crucial.

Catalogues can also be used by the collector. One example is tracking the amount paid for any item in the collection and it's location in the collection, for this a new catalogue can be used titles My collection the mint value and the used value can be entered as the price paid and the number can simply be a location reminder, leaving the series title alone will store that series title for the my collection catalogue. Another example could be for anyone with stamps for sale, create a catalogue with your or your company name then for each stamp for sale enter your catalogue number and use the mint and used values for your price for that stamp. The idea here of course is that you export your catalogue then allow anyone using the programme to download your catalogue file. After importing this file a user can simply select their wants list based on your catalogue and they can view all the stamps they want with the price you want for the stamp, even printing off a report or purchase list to send to the dealer. Swaps can be handled in the same manner, any collector can add a catalogue for all the stamps they have to swap and allow any collector interested in swapping to download and import they can then easily check if you have stamps to swap that they want.

More about this in the manual.

Posted in February 2018 by William Atkin