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Author: Subject: Album options
Cmarsha
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biggrin.gif posted on 3/4/2006 at 15:21
Album options


Hello, back to the board after many months- just belatedly sent my dues in and am getting back into Russian philately again. I am sure this may be a topic that has been discussed in the past but am wondering how some of the other collectors mount and display their stamps? I started out using a Russia Minkus album, then Scott, then a few years ago remounted on the downloadable pages from Bill Steiner. I collect general Russia and Soviet up to about the early 1970"s. This limits my scope a bit but still it's a lot. I have just started a project creating my own pages- I dont know how far I will get or how limited it will be, am using a page creation program and doing my own writeups- hope to finish up the pre-1917 issues shortly. Am not sure if board rules will permit me to mention the name of the program I use so won't for now. Anyway would be interested to hear what others may be doing in this area.
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mlevy
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[*] posted on 3/7/2006 at 11:10


I am relatively new to this, but I have been thinking about albums quite a bit. I too am creating my own album, using (appropriately enough) a program called Pages, which is part of the Apple iWork suite. I am printing to Lighthouse pages.

To me there is a big problem with albums, namely what to include and what to leave out. My current strategy is to create a space for a mint and used copy of each issue (ordered by Scott Catlg#), with the following page having un-labbeled spaces for duplicates and variations. Thus for my Imperial Russia, I will have page 1 text and illustrations, page 2 spaces for #1-#20 (40 spaces in all), page 3 40 blank spaces and so.

This strategy will work very well for the part of my collection that is essentially inexpensive material, and where my collection is complete. For example, my Great Patriotic War section will be full. But my imperial Russia will be less than 50% unless I decide to spend the $'s to complete it.

I could have chosen to simply create pages for what I have now, but then I will be constantly reprinting/cutting mounts etc. This way, I think I have room to grow, and yet when I and my friends look at the stamps, they will be nicely presented and annotated.

Thats my 2c.
...Michael
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Gary
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[*] posted on 3/7/2006 at 18:12


Welcome to the hobby!
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Cmarsha
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[*] posted on 3/8/2006 at 20:08


Thanks for the input- the Lighthouse pages are very nice but my preference is for standard page size- its easier to work with and that's the only size my printer will handle. I use a program called 'AlbumGen' for the page creation; the same company makes the 'EZ' line of inventory databases and you can import images complete with frame lines onto the page program making album creation very easy. I just ordered their program for Russian stamps. I also like to use clip art and graphics to add to interest on my pages.
There is a British website offering printed Russian pages 'Ruskystamps'. Dont know if anyone else has run across this- they are about the nicest looking pages for this area I have ever seen, problem with them from my perspective is the page size and binding which is not standard American, it'd be difficult to find replacement binders and pages for them in the US. Thus I think my own approach is the best for me. I will try to include a space for each Scott major number and can later fill in additional ones for varieties.
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[*] posted on 3/9/2006 at 18:32


Thanks for the lead to Ruskystamps. But looking at the sample reinforces why we should make our own pages. I downloaded the sample pages, and one of the very first ones I looked as has errors on it. (See the image.)

Firstly, Matrosov is not "defending a snow-trench". What he is doing is using his body as a human shield against a German defensive position. In other words, he is committing suicide.

Secondly, "Luzak" is a poor transliteration for ЛЧЗЛН which Scott shows as "Louzan". Looks like the author mis-read the last letter on the stamp.

Of course, creating album pages is very hard work, and the layout Ruskystamps has done look really nice, but it seems to me that the pages should be carefully edited for corectness before they go on sale.

albumErrors.jpg - 25kB
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Cmarsha
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[*] posted on 3/9/2006 at 19:42


This is what I like about these boards- someone always has a better eye for detail than I- I had downloaded some of the pages and was impressed, now I am finding other issues with some of them. It is indeed a nice looking set and I suppose if someone isn't too worried about accurate notations (!) it wouldnt be a bad set. Actually after looking at these I also decided to go with my own but did use some ideas from them, my page headings for the Imperial issues looks very much the same- although I used an ornate border (looks sort of Czarist). Its going to take awhile but I think I will wind up with a very nice set of albums. Sometime I am going to start a thread about some of the incorrect and sometimes downright silly stamp descriptions in the Scott Russia section, but that's for another time.
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ruskystamps
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[*] posted on 3/15/2006 at 15:54


A RESPONSE FROM RUSKYSTAMPS.COM

Hi - just spotted the forum entries about my Russian stamp album - glad collectors are talking about it :-)

However, I do need to respond to what has been said.

I feel its a shame that 'Cmarsha' and 'mlevy' did not get back to me with any queries or concerns over the album accuracy etc before putting notes on a public forum - especially after we provided the huge batch of free downloads (password protected) in good faith! That said, the download page CLEARLY STATED that since the pages had been uploaded to the site, various corrections of known errors and cosmetic improvements HAD taken place but that they would still help show the general page layout.

I suppose with hindsight, I should have removed the download pages with errors to avoid exactly what has happened - i.e. people not reading the page notes! However, until I have the time to produce more PDFs from the Quark files, I have removed the download option altogether but left the 144 page previews.

A pack of 8 actual sample pages can be purchased post free (refundable on page set purchase).

Our very transparent and fair policy clearly states on the website that any purchasers discovering and then reporting a verifiable error is entitled to FREE replacement page/s at the very next print run - the website even has an error reporting page. Of course we need people to tell us - and directly!!!

So in short, all known errors WERE corrected before the album went on sale. I am by nature really nitpicky (ex publisher!), however, let's be real - nothing much in this world is perfect, in fact the very computer you are using to read this on has errors in its OS and programs, but these are corrected over time and does not stop people buying MS Windows etc.

I am very encouraged by what 'Cmarsha' and 'mlevy' said about the album's observed quality. I might be biased but think that the Ruskystamps album really is one of if not the very finest of its type on the market today, especially in terms of print and page quality, stamp information, snippets of history, watermarks etc. Certainly those experienced Russian stamp collectors who have already bought are absolutely delighted. I have not received one single complaint, however, I'm always keen to improve and refine if people work with us.

With regard to the stamp image captions/titles, these have actually all been taken from various well known and respected stamp catalogues (SG, Scott and Russian). Again, if the catalogue publishers are not told, how will these errors ever get corrected?

American collectors will be pleased to know that the album pages can be supplied with most other hole spacing/ page size options to suit other binders - to special order (no extra cost), but we are unlikely now to be going down the road of offering PDF files for 'print your own' DIY on a home printer, because I feel this with just cheapen the album and especially our branding. Besides our prices for archival quality printed pages are very competitive and are professionally printed on an 90,000 printer. The interest in my album has been astonishing with enquiries and web page visitors from around the world.

I do hope this clears up these few points. Ruskystamps is PERSONAL - more about sharing with others what I produced for myself than a fully commercial venture. I am a full time CEO of a Christian children's charity putting something back into the comunity, and not after making a fast buck.

By the way, I would be pleased to offer a 25% discount on complete greyscale page sets (saves the buyer 27.50!!) to all paid up and new Rossica members if this offer is of interest?

I will be joining Rossica myself shortly - a truly excellent site - keep up the good work.

NB. Could the webmaster please confirm if the email address for the author of this site is correct, because I have sent several emails since November last year asking advice re the album but none of which have even been replied to :(

David Farndale
Ruskystamps.com:):)
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[*] posted on 3/15/2006 at 20:55


Which email address and the author of what site? The webmaster email is webmaster@rossica.org, if that is what you are talking about.

If you sent me email about advice, I'm pretty sure that I suggested you post your queries here on the Samovar.

Cheers,

Jeff




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Cmarsha
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[*] posted on 3/16/2006 at 10:43


David,

First my apologies if my comments gave offense. I think sometimes those of us on message boards get caught up in the heat of discussion and may say things that on reflection should have been more reflected on. I still think your pages are about the best I have ever seen for this area. When I contacted you and got the downloads I was already into my own page project- my intention then and now- was to possibly get some of your pages for the post 1917 era which I would not have time to do myself- doing pages is very time-consuming as you well know, even with the best program to assist. I am sure your generous offer will be appreciated and hope you hear from other members who may be interested. Good luck!
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ruskystamps
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[*] posted on 3/17/2006 at 03:30


'Cmarsha' - Hi, it was nice that you replied. No offense taken, I just wanted to put the record and facts straight re the Ruskystamps - Illustrated Russia Stamp Album. Collectors can order album pages with complete confidence, also knowing that our customer service backup is excellent. Just let me know if you want any pages - we can also produce blank pages 'topped and tailed' for stamp variations, duplicates, blocks, etc.

Happy collecting!

David
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