Publication date: March 2012Source:
The International Information & Library Review, Volume 44, Issue 1
Author(s): Mangala Anil Hirwade, Ujwala Anil Nawlakhe‘Postage stamps’, basically as a token for payment of postal taxes, are now being recognized as an information source and historical document in recording national achievements that visually convey four core elements: denomination, country name, graphical design, and the textual element. They are a valuable means of communication easily available anywhere to anybody. Realizing them as source of extra revenue, commemorative stamps are made available over time. The information technology (IT) wave changed the hobby of stamp collection to Digital Philately, while information and communication technology (ICT) developments accelerated the hobby further to Virtual Philately.This paper focuses on the aspects of digital and virtual philately. This study aims to evaluate The World Association for the Development of Philately (WADP) Numbering System (WNS) database, which provides free access to authentic postage stamps issued by Universal Postal Union (UPU) member countries and territories. A total of 48,159 stamps with 48 themes were found registered by 184 countries at the time of study. Indian stamps totaled 554 entries with the highest number of entries, 1258, from France, and followed by 1006 from Japan. A ranking was done using themes whereas “Fauna” was observed to be the most popular theme at 14.1% or 6800 stamps under study. For Indian stamps, politics and government, architecture and literature, press and comics are the most prevalent themes with 14.3, 9.8 and 9.8% respectively of the national contribution. The paper also presents a detailed analysis of the 15 Indian stamps commemorating the 14 Indian traditional universities issued over the 50 years of India’s independence.
Highlights ► Postage stamps visually represent a nation’s history, accomplishments, and cultural heritage. ► Advancements in information technology have created both digital and virtual philately practices. ► Traces worldwide and Indian trends in digital philately through an analysis of a leading international philately database. ► Universities are under represented in stamp issues in India.