What are we collecting? A report on the Members’ Survey


One of my tasks as Speciality Editor for the Society is to ask old and new members what their collecting interests are. This is the first report I’ve made public and I thought that many of our members would want to know what fellows members said.

South Korean paper types: 1956 Scott C18-9 Airmail Vertical and Horizontal Laid Paper. From KSS member Robert Finder’s collection.

First of all, I had 50 responses from my request for information. We are a truly global Society with members right round the world in virtually every continent, an indication that interest in Korea as a nation is increasing. Of these 50 respondents 30 expressed an interest in collecting Korean stamps – whether from the North or the South. A slightly smaller number indicated (27 in both cases) for either pre-colonial or colonial era materials.

North Korea “Bivouac Sites in War against Japan” Sheet (Scott A697). From KSS member Yong Yi’s collection.

There was a lesser, but significant, interest in post-colonial material in the period before the establishment of the two Korean states (27 people for pre-ROK materials, and 19 for pre-DPRK materials). This means that our members are strongly interested in stamps generally, and from all periods of Korean philatelic history.

Only a small number of people expressed an interest in thematic collecting. The two areas of most interest were stamps with a military reference (4 members) and Korean Art (3 members).

Complete sheet of 10 won South Korean revenue stamps of 1976, localized for Jeju island. From KSS member Ivo Spanjersberg’s collection.

Of the 50 respondents, 33 said that they were interested in Korean postal history. The period of greatest interest was in the period after the creation of the two states (20 people expressed interest in the ROK, and 22 for the DPRK). All other periods (pre-colonial, colonial, and the interim period before the establishment of the states) had between 16 and 18 people expressing an interest. This interest in postal history was not specific to any particular type or aspect, but just a general interest. The type of postal history which had the most interest was Korean War-era post, and military post, but this had only 4 people expressing a specific interest.

North Korean postal history: Scott 136a, 169a, and 170a, cancelled on 27 June 1959. From KSS member Kevin Mackeown’s collection.

Of specialist interest were watermarks (10 members), perforations (11 members) and paper type and printing (12 members).

Put together this means that we are generally interested in stamps in general from all periods of philatelic history, and that likewise our interests in postal history are broad and general.

So, what can I ask you to do? Please write a short article on some aspect of your collecting interests. Let us know what you do, and perhaps how or why you got interested in that kind of collecting. If you can’t provide illustrations of stamps, we can do that for you. So! I hope to see interesting material from our world-wide membership. Don’t be bashful!


1 thought on “What are we collecting? A report on the Members’ Survey

  1. Well, I’m just starting in the world of Korean philately, as such, I have a lot to learn about its history (and the history of Korea is quiet complex I feel). For now, I’m more interesting in knowing the culture and geography of the country and later, once I’ll be more familiar with its past, i will start digging early stamping.

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