Filatelistisk Årbok, (Philatelic Yearbook) for the years 2003-2010, ed. Trygve Karlsen. Each book 160 pages, 5 ¾ by 8 ¼ inches, perfect bound, card covers, in Norwegian, Norsk Filatelistforbund, Oslo, Norway. $16, $18, or $21 each depending on year, plus shipping, from Jay Smith & Associates, Box 650, Snow Camp NC 27349 or www.jaysmith.com.
These annual volumes are quite different from the American Philatelic Congress books, the Swedish postal museum’s Postryttaren, and Finland postal museum’s Tabellarius. Those three hardbound books contain original articles. The Norwegian yearbooks are annual anthologies of a selection of articles that appeared during the previous year, mostly in Norwegian philatelic journals but occasionally taken from a Norwegian national exhibition catalog. Thus a wide variety of topics is to be expected.
Some years ago the articles were simply reproduced from their sources and cut-and-pasted into the book with different typefaces. Now they are reproduced in quality versions with the original illustrations and in a consistent standard format so that the collection is more like a handbook. Several characteristics are common to each yearbook. Pictorial cancellations that were used for special events during the year are reproduced, and the new stamp issues that were released are shown in color along with data like Norgeskatalogen number, denomination, designer, printing method, format (sheet, booklet, etc.), and the printing firm.
Beginning in 2005 several of the articles appear in color but black and white is used largely throughout. The table of contents in each volume lists the article titles as they appear on numbered pages (1-160). A list of authors in alphabetical order as well as a list of journal sources helps one to find a specific article. Each article begins with the citation to its original source. Some 20-30 articles will be found in each yearbook.
Collectors of Norway material will find something of interest in each yearbook. Articles pertain to a wide variety of subjects: ship and railway mail, postal history of a town or region, boy scout cancels, mail for the blind, pre-adhesive covers, revenues, paquebot marks, military mail, topical subjects, air balloon mail, the changes to Norway postal service logos over the years, occasional articles on Denmark and Danish West Indies, Hindenburg crash mail, and cinderellas among myriad topics.
The sources include postal history and military postal history journals, regional or major club journals, thematic collectors journal, maritime mail magazine, exhibition catalogs, Olympic and sports collectors journal, and many others. A collection of these yearbooks provides a diverse selection of articles for general collectors as well as specialists.