A brief biography of Helen Kingsbury Zirkle (1898 – 1976)

My interest in Chinese stamps has focused for the past few years on Manchukuo. During this time I have collected a number of books that have aided my research and one of the most useful has been a book with the catchy title “The Postage Stamps and Commemorative Cancellations of Manchoukuo/Manshukoku, Manchou Tikuo, Manchukuo”, written […]

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The Semiotics of the First Korean Issues

As a philatelist, my principal interest has been in the semiotics of the stamps, the meaning of their design. The first stamps issued by a national government or stamp issuing authority are particularly intriguing. This is a government’s first opportunity to present itself graphically to the world. What do they put on their very first […]

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Download (KSS members only): “Handbook of Philatelic Forgeries – Korean Empire”

One of the most challenging aspects of collecting Korean stamps is that there are many forgeries/counterfeits/fakes of both the stamps as well as the overprints and cancellations of the early “Empire” issues from 1884 to 1900. Very often, the stamps, overprints and the cancellations can all be forgeries. Fortunately, there are few or none known […]

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Download (KSS members only): “KSS Monograph 1: Korean Postal Stationery Catalog Errata”

In 1986/1987 KSS member John J. Sauer published “KSS Monograph 1: Korean Postal Stationery Catalog”. This 32 page publication can be download on the KSS website. A 2 page update to the original publication was published some time after as an addendum.

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Post Offices in Korea – December 1906

The primary intent in creating this list of post offices is to aid philatelists and researchers in the identification of postmarks used in Old Korea during the Japanese period. For the average Western philatelist not familiar, or somewhat familiar with Chinese characters, reading cancels or postal addresses can be a daunting task. This task is […]

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Download (KSS members only): “KSS Monograph 1: Korean Postal Stationery Catalog”

In 1986/1987 KSS member John J. Sauer published “KSS Monograph 1: Korean Postal Stationery Catalog”. This 32 page publication was published according to the front-page “in lieu of the missing volumes and partial volumes of the past three years”. 

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North Korea’s Interpretation in 1959 of the Korean War

On 25 June, 1950, the DPRK invaded the Republic of Korea (South Korea) in a war for the unification of the nation. Due to immediate United Nations military action this invasion was unsuccessful. An armistice agreement was signed between the UN forces and the forces of the DPRK and the People’s Republic of China on […]

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KSS Monograph 2: Korean English Philatelic Glossary

First published as a for print publication by Stanley Kim in 1993, this glossary is now being developed in digital form. Originally meant “to assist collectors using either Korean or English to organize their collections, literature, and their own write-ups for exhibitions or just in their albums” it can these days also be used especially […]

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Download (KSS Members Only): “Korean Kingdom and Empire Philatelic Catalog and Handbook”

The Korean Kingdom and Empire Philatelic Catalog and Handbook was an important milestone for the Korea Stamp Society, enabling members to deal with the confusing aspects of this period in Korean Philately. James W. Kerr, one of leading contributors to the KSS for many years, was the editor. He had the assistance of many other […]

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Korean Railroad Commemorative Ticket Traffic Card Catalogue

Question: what do railway tickets and stamps have in common? Answer: not much, unless they come in stationary made exclusively for the tickets. Which is what is shown, amongst all the tickets of course, in the “Korean Railroad Commemorative Ticket Traffic Card Catalogue”, published on March 26 2013. 

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Download (KSS Members Only): Korean Stamp Catalog (Luther Dilley, 1961)

One of the most detailed catalogs for Korean stamps (not including the Korean Empire), was published for the first time in September, 1959 by Commander L.L. Dilley , USN (Ret.). Commander Dilley, seen here in a photo from World War II, was in the Cryptanalysis Section of Fleet Radio Unit Pacific (FRUPAC) based in Hawaii, […]

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The Semiotics of Postage Stamps: Tiny Bits of Paper as Government Documents

There are many ways of collecting and studying postage stamps – for their intrinsic collectable interest, for thematic interests, as a representative of the history of the postal service in different countries, and many other aspects. One approach which I follow is to examine the semiotics of the design of stamps. That is, what is […]

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Download (KSS members only): “Monograph 3: The Postal History of the Korean War 1950-1953”

In 2000 the KSS published a monograph, the third in the series of KSS monographs, titled “The Postal History of the Korean War 1950-1953”. Written by Robert W. Collins, this monograph is no longer readily available. As a service to KSS members a scanned version of this document is available online. Some examples and texts […]

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North Korean National Identity, Expressed Through Postage Stamps, 1948-1970 (Conclusion / Bibliography)

[David Hall’s undergraduate thesis “North Korean National Identity, Expressed Through Postage Stamps, 1948-1970” is published in full on the KSS website. This part contains the Conclusion, several other parts such as abbreviations, and the Bibliography.] 

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