December 13, 2016

Not known at this address...

For many years I have thought that there should be an on-line edition of the Philatelic Bulletin. I also hoped that someone at the Bureau might also publish all the old issues. It wouldn't be a massively difficult task with today's scanning devices and there are even free search facilities that can be added to sites.

I remember seeing index pages around January or February too each year. They'd be useful on-line as well.

So I was delighted to see the reply to Mr Holbrook's query in the December 2016 Bulletin.



I did think that www.bpb.london/0594 was a slightly unusual address but, at least, it was nice and short and, if you knew the year and month of an article, you could find the issue it appeared in. I know that .london is a comparatively new domain suffix and guessed that bpb dot anything more familiar must have already have been taken. Nevertheless it struck me as a little odd but I hastily typed it in to my address bar anyway.

Nothing.

I tried the same address without the /0594 bit. I wasn't allowed to see that. I tried all sorts of variations but without any success. So I am not too sure how Mr Holbrook will be able to 'enjoy the read'.

I also made another trip to the Royal Mail website, thinking that there may be some news there. Typing 'Bulletin' in the search facility brought up nothing even vaguely of interest to stamp collectors. Scanning the many places we can visit in the 'Shop' I found nothing like Archives or even Bulletin so I gave up and decided to write this grumpy old man's article.

As collectors we make massive efforts to arrange our stamps, booklets, panes, covers etc., keep them neatly in albums, boxes or whatever and, whilst we may spend a little while looking for a particular issue we can share our past acquisitions with enthusiasm and ease. Nothing like as much effort would be needed to archive and make available the British Philatelic Bulletin's content over the years. Those responsible for these things at Royal Mail really do need to show some enthusiasm too and make some effort. I am sure it will be much appreciated across the customer base and by researchers generally.

There ought to be a budget for this. It need not cost a fortune and, if staff are already well-occupied with sales, then I have a suspicion that some collectors would consider lending a hand for little or no recompense to get the job done. So many wonderful illustrations, snippets of detail and, of course, expert articles and lists.

So, come along Royal Mail. It is time to bring The Philatelic Bulletin on-line and let us search its archives on-line too. Or to publish a url that works?


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