The "Literature" class, a changeling?
At a stamp exhibiton most collectors first go to the traders, hunting for that one unique find or that specific stamp that is still missing. And if there is some time left, they can wander around between the boards where the exhibitors show large parts of their collections. Sometimes static, shown year after year, and another time made into an (interesting) story about birds, baseball or motorcycles. And then suddenly you come to a row of boards that only deal with books, magazines and articles about philately and stamp collecting; you have landed in the literature corner. Quickly away there, what is this doing on a stamp exhibition?
Well, on all boards that have been viewed before
there is a lot of information next to and between the stamps, and this must be found somewhere, or has to be checked somehow. And if it concerns philatelic items, you can write a book, magazine or article about it. And these writings can also be sent in for a competition group in stamp exhibitions. The entries are judged for accessibility (readability, is it understandable for everyone), importance and thoroughness. Next to that on some other aspects but these are not that important.
This class is often added to regular exhibitions, but for the 3rd time since people started discussing about philately there is an exhibition of philatelic literature only in Mainz, Germany: the IPHLA 2012 (1st time was Frankfurt 1989, 2nd time Leipzig 2007).
The exhibiton takes place from November 2nd to 4th, exactly 150 years after the first stamp collecting album and the first stamp catalogue saw the light, in the city where the inventor of book printing (at least according to the Germans) Gutenberg celebrates his 1000th birthday.
Where it is just the purpose of exhibiting stamps to improve and change the collection in between two exhibitions, this is absolutely forbidden with literature. Once sent in, writings may not be changed anymore. Sending in starts with a category 3 exhibition, and the same entry stays valid until the highest ranks. This is because it is not feasible for specialised members of the jury to read all documents again before each competition. Therefore the entry must be thoroughly checked before entering, and that is why it are often already existing books and articles that are more or less nominated for judgement.
competition boards often the sources and their processing to come to the book or article are shown, but it is not attractive to show a complete book of e.g. 260 pages.... Therefore next to the exhibition also the actual entry must be physically present, so that everyone who wants can browse through or read it. Thus it is quite complicated to judge the literature class or to participate in it.
To be continued....
Hans de Kloet
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