Philatelic Research Links

Do you have a question that you're trying to seek the answer to?  The chances are ten to one that the anwer is "out there" somewhere - the trick comes in trying to find exactly where the answer is to be found!  In the past, this was the job of professional librarians and researchers, today the miracle of the Internet puts so much of this material at all our fingertips, instantly, and no further than our computer screen.  But the overwhelming extent of all this information is such that many times one runs the risk of drowning in a veritable flood of information (eg, you enter a search request into a web search engine, and get 15,000 matches returned to you!).

This part of the website comprises both some helpful links to information that has been of use to other Russian philatelists, and also some hints and tips about how to dig this information out of the internet as a whole (currently estimated at comprising over 550 billion pages of data).

Last, <insert standard plea here!> :  If you have some ideas or suggestions, please let me know.  The site can definitely benefit from your advice and assistance!

Please note that all links will open in new windows.

How to Search for Information on the Internet

There are three main types of Internet Searching services.  Specialty services that concentrate on a particular field (eg the various sites), categorised services (such as Yahoo) and generic search engines (such as  Increasingly there is a blend between the categorised and generic search engines in a competitive effort to give you the best of both worlds.

While we all probably develop a favorite search site, if you're really looking for specific hard to find information, it is not enough to use only one search engine.  The internet is generally thought to comprise about 550 billion pages of information (no-one really exactly knows for sure, of course!), and by comparison, Google currently has "only" 1 billion pages indexed in its search engine, and AltaVista a "mere" 250 million (note that this information is as of August 2000, the numbers are all probably greater by the time you read it!).  This means that any search engine is unlikely to give you a complete and comprehensive set of results - the good and bad news is that the 15,000 matches that you get back from your search request - while an overwhelming number to review - is still perhaps only 0.2% of the total number of matches that potentially are out there.

We discuss some of the different search engines, and analyse some worked examples of their effectiveness, on this page here.  This page also includes some hints and tips on how to make best use of search engines to most effectively and efficiently locate the information you need.

We conclude that the best general search engine is Google.

Some Sources of Internet Information

The first source of information is this site here!  With close on 200 pages of data, there is a reasonable chance that you might find what you are looking for.  To make things even easier, we've added our own mini-search engine for this site - available on this page here.  And, if you still can't find what you want, please let me know - if enough people ask for something to be included, I'll endeavor to add it to the site.

The second source are the other philatelic related websites mentioned on our links page.  These may immediately contain the information you're looking for, or, alternatively, may be able to pass you on to another web site that gets you (closer to) the information you're seeking.

Note that few of these philatelic sites have much in the way of very useful information.  The clear "winner" in terms of providing a generous range of material is the World Society of Russian Philately site, and this should be added to your bookmarks for sure.

The third source are the search engines discussed on the search engine page.

A fourth source might be specialty web sites such as listed below.

Map Sources

Our own web site's Map page!  :)
I'm building up some maps available from this page

WSRP Map Page

This excellent site has a good range of map images and links.  The chances are you might find all you need here and not need to travel any further.  (To get to the maps, click either the members or the visitors button, then the "Library" link on the left, and scroll down to their map section.)

University of Texas Map Library
This is one of the best known internet map sites and has a reasonable number of Russia/fSU maps, although none dating back much more than 20 yrs

U of Tx Historical Maps of Russia

Some 1820 maps and a link to a list of other historical maps - these other maps are among the most postally useful I've found so far

Russia and fSU Resources - Maps

Al Osterheld has a staggering resource base on just about everything imaginable to do with Russia, probably the only similar one in terms of size, extent, and clarity of cataloging would be the Russophilia site of Rita Bogna (which, alas, doesn't have a category for maps).  Here is his section on maps.

Omni Resources Maps for Sale

Various fairly recent maps for sale.

Soviet Union 1921-29

This page tantalisingly promises more than it delivers.  A potentially valuable map, but it has been poorly scanned/rendered and the writing is almost illegible as a result.

Fondren Library Maps

A small collection of maps of the fSU.

Nevermore Used Books Map Section

This site sells used books, and has a section that sells maps.  The maps appear to be taken from National Geographic magazines, and while I suspect that the availability probably varies from time to time, currently it offers a historical Europe map and a couple of different Russian area maps, all at less than $5 each!

REESweb from the Univ of Pittsburg

The major index starting point for the University of Pittsburg's Russian and Eastern European Studies Internet Resource listing.  Lots of good browsing to be had from here.

Russian History on the Web

A metasite listing of Russian History resources on the Internet, including a section on map sources.


Acknowledgement :  This page came about as a result of an email exchange with Dr Peter Michalove, author of "A Philatelists Guide to Maps, Atlases and Gazetteers of Russia" and co-author of "Postal Censorship in Imperial Russia".  Peter generously contributed many of the map related links above (but the editorial comments are mine alone!) and provided the "seed" that got this page off the ground.  Thank you, Peter.