Garuda Philatelics

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About the Catalog

Commemorative Postal Markings of French Indo-China, Viet-Nam, Cambodia, Laos through 1975/76

The catalog is attempting to document in a complete fashion, all commemorative events that were memorialized by some type of philatelic item. That includes all dated commemorative events, postage stamp issues, first flights, and other events of a philatelic nature. This clearly includes postal covers of any type. It also includes maximum cards, souvenir sheets, and booklets (although the vast majority of these were also documented with covers) and a somewhat unique Carte Souvenir issued in South Viet-Nam. More recently a different expression of a philatelic commemorative event was offered to the market - that being the South Viet-Nam "souvenir pages".

At present I am not including "slogan" markings, unless there is a date reference, but that is a natural extension to the basic catalog information.

The catalog is being prepared in CD-ROM format (two CD's priced at US$45.00 plus postage) and in printed-paper loose-leaf format to aid in inserting modifications in the future. Both color and black & white paper editions will be produced.

When I started collecting the philatelic material of South East Asia, I included the varied, colorful, and numerous First Day Covers (FDC's) of South Viet-Nam. As time passed, I extended this collecting interest to all of the countries of what once was French Indo-China. I discovered the practice of commemorating events, not only postage stamp issues, was wide spread during the French Indo-China Government period, including the war years, and subsequently until the current time. For reasons not fully understood (although the size of the market certainly was an influence), the majority of early commemorative material was produced in what is now Viet-Nam, with a scattering of material from other population centers in Cambodia and Laos. Forgeries are also included.

This catalog is a project long delayed and I believe very timely. Further, I believe that such a publication is long overdue for our mutual collecting area. I solicit and welcome your comments and suggestions, and wish to establish a dialog on various improvements and suggestions. I believe this is a great opportunity to solicit other collector feedback and contributions.

The catalog contains over 1000 pages, with many hundreds of commemorative markings, and thousands of covers. The images are scanned a resolution of 300 bpi, and in full color and are presented at approximately 45% of actual size. The detailed handstamps and cancels are scanned as required to allow for the necessary details and are presented larger than actual size. The catalog is in Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) and contains a full word index.

Each country and year of this catalog is a distinct section for ease of production, updating and distribution. The sections available are:

1. French Indo-China (1862 - 1948)

2. State of Viet-Nam (1949 - 1955)

3. Republic of Viet-Nam (1955 - 1975)

4. Kingdom of Cambodia and Khmer Republic (1950 - 1975)

5. Kingdom of Laos (1950 - 1975)

6. Democratic Republic of Viet-Nam (1941 - 1976)

7. N.L.F. of South Viet-Nam (1963 - 1976)

Generally, listings terminate in 1975 as a result of the change of government control and the installation of communist governments. The exception is Sections 6 (Democratic Republic of Viet-Nam) and 7 (N.L.F. of South Viet-Nam) that continue through the unification of Viet-Nam in 1976.

Identification and numbering are always difficult issues to address successfully in a new checklist or catalog. With the number system of “Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogues” copyrighted, use of that identification system is subject to licenses and potential fees. As this is a catalog of commemorative markings, which by their very nature represent dates, and events with dates, I decided on a non-numerical sequence identification system. Entries are identified by the commemorative date (in the international date format of, two-digit day, three-character month abbreviation, and four-digit year,) with an alphabetic suffix for different and distinct items, i.e. 10Mar1942A. In this fashion, revisions are easily accommodated, and new material can be added without renumbering adjacent items.

Items will use a suffix to the date format of DDMmmYYYY:

CS for “Carte Souvenir”, 

FD for First Day Cover, 

FF for First Flight Cover,

MC for Maximum Card,

PS for Official and Unofficial 'Presentation Sheets',

SB for Souvenir Booklet,

SE for Special Event, 

SS for Souvenir Sheet, and

SP for Souvenir Page.

 Different hand-stamps, cancellation designs or cachets will be listed with an alphabetic suffix, i.e. A, B, C, etc