Stamp collecting promotion posters from the 1980s and 1990s on NAK website

The South Korean government has been promoting the digitization of archives for several decades now. This is great for stamp collectors, as highly detailed information on South Korean postal and revenue stamps has come to light thanks to the efforts of South Korean archives. If you can read/write (type) Korean, a lot of information can […]

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North and South Korean Issues During the Korean War: Ideological Conflict

Much has been written on the logistics, causes, and effects of the Korean War (25 June 1950 – 27 July 1953). Charles Armstrong was correct to assert that the Cold War was a campaign of propaganda and psychological warfare,1 with the Korean War being no exception. It was not just a physical conflict, it was […]

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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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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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