Press Releases

Press Releases

All Press Releases since 2010 will be found under the specific heading of Commission Meetings or Bureau Meetings unless they relate to matters outside these topics


06 June 2011: 2010 Activity Reprt of the Postal History Bureau

08 July 2010: Interim Annual Report to the FIP Board

18 January 2009: Annual Report to FIP on Activities of FIP Commission for Postal History

26 November 2008: FIP Board Submission on Jury Matters from the FIP Commission for Postal history

11 July 2008: FIP Congress report including introduction of Class 2C


6 June 2011

FIP Postal History Bureau Activity Report for twelve months to 31 December 2010

Biography Icon 2010 Postal History Bureau Activity Report (209Kb)


08 July 2010

FIP Postal History Bureau 2010 Interim Annual Report to FIP Board

Biography Icon 2010 Interim Annual Report (88 Kb)


18 January 2009

Annual Report to FIP on Activities of FIP Commission for Postal History

2008 Report of the FIP Commission for Postal History

Based on § 45.4 of the FIP Statutes the Commissions should report on their work in the preceding year. Therefore, we just report on what we have done since the Congress in Bucharest and not what we intend to do.

After eight years (2000-2008) of preparation work and many discussions finally the proposed SREV’s and Guidelines for Postal History were accepted by the Congress in Bucharest. This was a very important step for the Postal History Class and the future of Postal History as an
Exhibition Class. We have now implemented the same three time periods as the Traditional Class. Furthermore, besides the sub-classes 2A Rates and Routes and 2B Marcophily a new one has been introduced as 2C named “Historical, Social and special studies”. Non-philatelic material can be shown in all three sub-classes as long as it is relevant to the subject and does not overwhelm the philatelic material. This was communicated by our press release on July 11, 2008. Since then the SREV’s and GL have been translated from English into French, German, Portuguese and Spanish as published on our website.

The first Bureau meeting of the newly elected Bureau took place in Bucharest on June 27, 2008. All the Bureau members attended. The minutes are published on our website.

The realization of having an own website was the most important achievement in 2008. Malcolm Groom spent many hours until it was ready so that we could go public in August 2008. We have introduced a system of “questions and answers” and show faked covers on our “cover watch” in order to inform those who consult our website
which is linked to the FIP-website.

In September 2008 our last Newsletter on paper was distributed informing everybody that from now on they have to look up our website which is constantly kept up to date.

Since October 2008 we are working on “Streamlined Seminars”. All the Bureau members have contributed and these drafts have been considered by Dan and Pat Walker who are actually compiling three Seminars of about one hour each. The basic idea of this approach is to streamline our different opinions before these seminars will be given. That is important but time-consuming.

Massagno, January 18, 2009. Respectfully submitted,

Kurt E. Kimmel, RDP
Chairman of the FIP Commission for Postal History


Press Release

11 July 2008

The new regulations (SREV) and guidelines for Postal History were approved at the 70th FIP Congress in Bucharest. At the 2004 meeting in Singapore these ideas were initially presented to the delegates of the FIP shed postal history exhibits (rates and routes) and the “Marcophily” (Postmarks), to have a home for collecting areas like the historical exhibits which usually cannot show nice postmarks nor special rates, such as soldiers’ letters which either had a uniform rate or were completely free of postage. With the new sub-class these interesting exhibits can be shown in a more attractive way so that they will be easier to understand and hopefully shall get better awards.

Kurt Kimmel at AGM
Photo by Michael Lin Mao Hsin, Taiwan: The new Chairman Kurt Kimmel speaking to the delegates at
the Postal History Commission meeting in Bucharest, with Dr Andrew Cheung at the table.

Furthermore, a new division of Postal History exhibits has been introduced. Instead of a geographical division it will be one by periods:

1. before 1875;
2. 1875-1945;
3. after 1945.

Each exhibit belongs to the period where it starts or where its main contents lies.

The FIP Congress also confirmed the election of the new management of the FIP Commission for Postal History for the period 2008-2012 as follows:

Chairman: Kurt E. Kimmel, Switzerland; Secretary: JJ Danielski, Canada;
Members: Mrs Dila Eaton, Paraguay; Andrew M.T. Cheung, Hongkong; Per Fris Mortensen,
Denmark; Malcolm Groom, Australia; Danforth Walker, USA.

The new team intends to prepare Standard Postal History Seminars called “Streamline Seminars” which should be given by the delegates in their countries so that the jurors, collectors and exhibitors in Argentina will get the same advice and hear the same opinions as those in Australia and China.

Basically we shall try to maintain the popular collecting and exhibiting “Postal History” in such a way that it will neither degenerate to an unpleasant “cheque book competition” nor become a pure academic discipline. Our main aim should be to allow the collectors and exhibitors of Postal History to have more liberty and pleasure in creating their exhibits.



26 November 2008

FIP Board Submission on Jury Matters from the FIP Commission for Postal history

Suggestions for next FIP Board Meeting

1. New division of Traditional and Postal History exhibits

All the Operating Committees for exhibitions (FIP, Continental and National) should consider that after 1.1.2009 the Traditional and Postal History exhibits shall no longer be grouped by Continents but both classes should be grouped by the same three time periods (1. up to 1875, 2. 1875-1945, 3. after 1945). If there are not enough exhibits for the period after 1945 these exhibits should be judged by the team judging the 1875-1945 exhibits; not by the team judging exhibits up to 1875. This recommendation is made in order to give more modern exhibits a fair chance for a good award.

Postal History has three sub-classes A, B, C as per the new SREVes approved at the FIP Congress in Bucharest. Postal History sub-class A, B, and C exhibits should be grouped so that the Jury can compare them with similar exhibits e.g. all the Marcophily exhibits (sub-class B) of the time period up to 1875 should be grouped together and not mixed with Rates and Routes exhibits (sub-class A) or Historical and Social exhibits (sub-class C).

The One Frame Postal History exhibits should be exhibited together with the Multiframe Postal History exhibits of the three time periods and judged by the Postal History Jury. Obviously this should be done also in the other classes. A “One Frame Jury” judging all the classes is not suitable because no Juror can cope with such an immense scope of knowledge required to judge all classes and time periods of exhibits at a world exhibition. The wrong results in the One Frame class in Singapore 2004 and other exhibitions prove this.

2. How to improve the judging of Postal History (and other classes)

Unfortunately the jury procedures have deteriorated during the last decade. This results from shorter exhibitions, late distribution of judging preparation material, no quality control, wrong selection of Grand Prix candidates, accepting unqualified exhibits, and not enough time to judge the qualified exhibits. On the other hand, too much time is wasted with a few Grand Prix candidates, lengthy and boring Palmares procedures, etc.

a) Best of Class/sub-Class (=Best of Class Prix if at least 10 exhibits in a Class or sub-Class) should be introduced instead of the traditional time-consuming Grand Prix which make only two or three people happy but disappoint many! The present system encourages the Traditional jurors vote for a traditional exhibit, the Postal History jurors for a Postal History exhibit, the Thematic jurors for a thematic exhibit and the presentations exert an influence on some jurors with the result that the best exhibit does not win. The best Traditional should get a Best of Class Prix and the best Postal History should get a Best of Class Prix and the best Thematic should get a Best of Class Prix, etc. Only jurors of the class concerned should be allowed to vote. Open instead of secret voting would not only save time but also improve the correctness of the Best of Class Prix and shorten Palmares procedures. The number of Grand Prix could be reduced to one, only the Grand Prix of the Exhibition if there is a Champion-Class.

b) Exhibitions with over 100 Postal History exhibits (including the Postal History one frame exhibits) should have a Vice-President of the Jury who is not a Team Leader so that he has time to look at all the 100+ exhibits with the goal to harmonize the different Jury teams and avoid mistakes. Obviously that should be done also for the other classes if these have over 100 exhibits (including one frames which require nearly as much work and time as a well-known eight frame exhibit; some One Frame exhibits are as difficult to judge as a new five frame exhibit!)

c) Exhibitors should give more information to the jurors at the time they submit an application so that jurors can prepare better. Instead of many “synopsis” pages or no synopsis pages, every exhibitor should fill out a one page information form in addition to sending a copy of the title page and application so that the Operating Committees have better information for their selection of exhibits for the show. The information form should contain:

additional subject background information that is not stated on the title page (about 6-8 lines)
– important and rare items which are present in the exhibit (8-12 items)
– important items added and main changes since the last exhibition (4-6 items or lines)
– personal research and study? (3-4 lines)
– publications by the exhibitor on the subject being shown (3-4 lines)
– reference literature (which is only necessary if this is not mentioned on the title page)

The majority in our Commission is in favour of a pre-printed form with these topics so that the exhibitors are told what information the Jury wants to have in advance of the exhibition. As this form should be sent with the application, the Operating Committees could use it as a valid reason not to accept those exhibits sent without the title page and the additional information form. The Commissioners should be obliged to cooperate with the Operating Committees to require from the exhibitor an application, copy of the title page and the additional information form. Actually it would be much better to not accept exhibits lacking one of these documents versus the present system of not accepting qualified exhibits without giving a reason. This rejection without giving a reason is very frustrating for many exhibitors as it has happened to specific exhibitors again and again.

d) The Jury Secretary distributes the list of the Jury teams, the time table and list of exhibits to be judged to the appointed team leaders at least three months before the opening of the exhibition. Each juror should receive the title page and a filled out information form (as outlined in 2c) of each exhibit he has to judge at least two months before the opening of the exhibition so that he can prepare (get literature from the library, etc.). If a juror receives the title page and additional information form only a few weeks before the exhibition, it will be too late to get literature to prepare properly. We have to consider that it might be that some jurors are on a business trip or have left for a holiday combining it with the exhibition. It is the responsibility of the President of a Jury to make sure that his Secretary makes these distributions in a timely manner.

e) The amount of exhibits per team and when the teams can start to work on the exhibits determines how much time the team has to complete its work. The most efficient procedure is if all the exhibits are in the frames 36 hours before the show opens and the Jury can start judging 24 hours before the show opens and has at least 12 working hours to judge before the public is allowed to be at the frames. It is the responsibility of the Coordinator to make sure that the jury has this additional early judging time and that the exhibits are grouped properly (as explained in 1. above) so that a Jury team does not have to seek out exhibits in three different places as we had to do it in Vienna. In Bucharest the FIP Coordinator did not allow the Jury to start working the day before the opening although 80% of the exhibits were in the frame. On the other hand the Secretary of the Jury wanted to have the results before all the exhibits were in the frames! With the improved procedures recommended here the jury can do a proper job of judging the exhibits with less jurors and it leaves enough time to cross check the exhibits. Sometimes cross checking has to be done in less than one hour which is impossible especially if exhibits are in various rooms, buildings or even tents like in Spain and/or if they are not properly numbered so that one needs more time to find them than to look at them. The combined knowledge of all the jurors can only be maximized if the jurors have time to see and compare all the other exhibits before voting!! It does not help much if we see the wrong judgements after the Palmares.-

f) Some quality control must be introduced so that unprepared and incompetent jurors can be eliminated in a fair procedure. Only if three different Team Leaders have stated such shortcomings of a specific juror should the juror be deleted from the FIP list. The reports of the Team Leaders should go to the FIP Coordinator in charge of “Jury matters” who informs the FIP Coordinator and the Chairman of that class who in addition should survey the Team Leaders of his class and report to his FIP Coordinator. We used to have a similar system and it was a mistake to stop it. Although it sounds nice that we judge in teams and decisions have been made unanimously, we all know that this is not true and that in fact our judging procedures have become rather irresponsible considering that each exhibitor spends many hours if not his life-time and a lot of money to build his exhibit. It should be normal procedure that the FIP Board member in charge of a particular class coordinates with the Chairman of the FIP Commission for that class (who usually knows the jurors of their class better than anyone else) in order to weed out the incompetent jurors and have the best possible jurors judging exhibits. This is very important because incompetent jurors are detrimental to our hobby especially to those who have risen to the highest level. It takes decades for a collector to reach the highest level but only minutes by an arrogant judge to destroy it. We have to do what we can do to encourage such exhibitors instead of allowing incompetent jurors to frustrate them.- On the other hand it has to be a fair and positive procedure so that the accused juror will be informed and shall be given an opportunity to explain the situation. The aim should be that he gets a chance to improve.

Hoping that I have considered all the propositions received from our Bureau members – at least as far as possible – we kindly ask for a written feedback from the FIP Board on these suggestions in due course.

Massagno, November 26, 2008