The Following article reproduced from the FLASH, Nr. 84 - 2003, the official publication of the F.I.P.

By Leo De Clercq, Commission Chairman

1. Postal History Commission Meeting at Seoul on 8th August 2002. Report for the FIP Board and the Congress at Seoul on 10 & 11.08.2002 by Leo De Clercq (BE).
2. Report on the sessions concerning the use of illustrative  material  in  postal history exhibits given at the Commission meeting in Seoul on 8 August 2002, and in Amsterdam on 1st September 2002.  Report on the Seoul meeting  by Malcolm Groom (AU) Report on the Amsterdam meeting by Vit Vanicek (CZ). These  two  meetings  being similar, our secretary  Kurt Kimmel (CH) reported both simultaneously.
3. The  Chairman's  talk  around the  evolution  of  collecting and exhibiting in the "Postal History" class. 

Delegates 17 - Proxies 14
Observers 20
Total 51 from 36 different countries As first point of the agenda Mr. Vit Vanicek read the report of the open meeting in Brussels on 15th June 2001.

The Chairman mentioned that the Newsletters are only sent to the Commission Delegates, the FIP. Bureau members and the Chairman of the other Commissions.  Everyone else attending this meeting may request a specimen, which were distributed.

The Chairman announced that the Bureau proposed three periods of postal history

A. Postal History up to 1875 - pre UPU
B  Postal History 1876 to 1945
C  Postal History 1946 to date

The Commission then discussed the new genres of philately - Social Philately and Special Studies. After these discussions, it was proposed to study the possibility to take both into the Postal History under one concept "Social Historical and Special Studies".

The aims of our Commission to bring  more  illustrative  material into collections were presented by the four Bureau members and one invitee using projection of slides and transparencies. The contents of the intensive discussions about will be reported in the minutes of the meeting. 

By the present point system, if we wish any changes, it will be done to make them more clear and comprehensible for the collectors and the public. It was agreed after discussions to study the opportunity to compose a file of examples of pages containing illustrative material.

As part of the aims of the Postal History Commission to encourage the use of more illustrative material in postal history exhibits these presentations were made trying to generate discussion on the relevance, scope and value of including such material in postal history exhibits. With respect to Article 3.2 of the Postal History SREV's stating that: "A postal history exhibit may contain, where strictly necessary, maps, prints, decrees and similar associated materials. Such items must have direct relation to the chosen subject and to the postal service described in the exhibit."

Through the presentation of a range of pages from postal history exhibits containing such illustrative material and of pages from Social philately exhibits to give a further dimension on what is acceptable in exhibits in that experimental class, the attendees were informed and discussed the relevance of this material and the  opportunities  provided  to enhance postal history exhibits and make them more understandable as well as interesting to the viewer.

The first presentation was made by our guest from the USA, Kees Adema, who showed the use of early engravings on pages extracted from his collections of Dutch postal history which was partly exhibited in the Court of Honour in Amsterdam. The engravings related to the place to which the marking was attributed  thus  illustrating  how small some of these towns were a few hundred years ago.

Then the members of our Commission presented pages taken from their collections:

Kurt Kimmel started with pages from his exhibit "Postal History of the Valtellina 1484-1918" which has always been shown at FIP-World exhibitions including one or two pages in each frame with related illustrative material which tells the viewer that this area is in the southern part of the alps and was part of Switzerland until liberated with the help of Napoleon I in 1797. There were no post offices in the Valtellina before 1800. Therefore, we consider it  "strictly  necessary"  not only to show the cover but also the nice looking letter head of the French Occupation forces because besides of being attractive for the viewer it proves that this letter actually was written in this mountainous area even if the postal markings are from Como or Milano. From 1815-1859 the Valtellina was part of the Austrian Empire and etchings or lithographs of villages are more difficult to find than the letters of the same period. The art is to find a matching pair: an important postal history item and the illustrative material of the same place and period.

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