Among the albums/pages most often mentioned are:
Michael Rys writes: There are several European albums which I only recommend when the total value of your collection surpases the costs for the albums:
Advantage: Stamps are put into a plastic display where you can look at the stamp from the back without having to take it out. You can use mounts to put a second stamp behind the stamp in the plastic display. If you specialize: Just add some blanko sheets with your own layout. Strong paper (not like Minuteman).
Disadvantage: Very costly.
Disadvantage: Only one stamp, have to remove to look at the back.
Disclaimer: I am not working for any of those companies or make money by recommending them. I am only a satisfied customer of some of the above mentioned companies.
Dean Veres writes: I agree with John Farrell, except that my collection has fairly rigid boundaries (1840--1940). The Hagner pages are good, too, and in some cases better because there are various sizes to protect both large and small items. For my large hermes heads, though, I use blank Lindner hingless pages because the control numbers on the backs of the stamps are of great importance in cataloging, and they can be easily seen with these pages. There certainly are different ways to attack the same problems.
Bjørn P. Munch writes:
> The major problem I've had in > the past with do-it-yourself mounts is that they tend to warp the album > pages (very noticeable ripples on the back side of the page).
I've never had this problem (or not so much that it bothers me). I use sheets of fairly thick, stiff paper which are made specifically for this purpose. To fasten the mounts (Hawid), I simply lick them, making sure not to get them too wet.
Martti Tolvanen writes: I like albums so much that I buy one (plain paper version + hinges) for the countries where I've reached a sufficiently advanced level (more than half of the main types collected). Then I have blank pages from the same maker (Davo) that I use for making extra pages for the variants that I want to add. I simply don't have the time to make pages for all the stamps. The collections that I have in the incubation stage I keep in stock books. As an exception, my UK collection is entirely self made, consisting of self drawn pages and stock book pages (Visir).
Barry Moss writes:
> Grant Brians (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes .... > ... I have noticed is that Harris pages and other similar > thin paper is quite prone to the curling, whereas the Scott Specialty > paper is quite resistant to the effect.
Now that you mention it, the albums that I had so much problem with were Harris albums. So it looks like problem is related more to the type of album page than the mounting method. I'll be starting my next project in a couple of weeks and I'll be using Lighthouse pages this time so hopefully the results will be better.
Steven G. Anderson writes: I have had the same problem. I bought a Citation album in 1972 and faithfully bought supplements until 1990 (now 4 volumes). As individual countries got more advanced I have bought specialty albums, either Scott or Minkus depending on the country. This too was beginning to get expensive, and I would rather spend my money on stamps, not supplements. My solution is to buy quadrilled pages and create my own pages. I like the layout a lot better than either Harris or Minkus. My next step is to create my own specialty album. I currently lay out the pages by hand and a ruler. I've tried some graphic tools on my workstation, but find them too awkward. In my spare time :-) I'm trying to write a C++ automatic page layout generator. Spare time is very short right now so I haven't gotten very far.
Barry Moss writes: You might also want to check out the Lighthouse hingless album which I believe is in the same price range as the Scott platinum. I have the Canadian Lighthouse album and have been very pleased with it.
Norman Hinton writes: For various parts of my collection I use Lighthouse looseleaf stock pages, in a 3-ring binder. My binder is simply standard black office-style, but you can get nice padded ones, etc. from office supply stores: no need to'pay Phailatelic Accessory prices for the binders.
I like the looseleaf because I can put a page of any size pocket anywhere I want to.
I keep my New Zealand bar code pairs, my ship topicals and my map topicals in these books, and various other things like U.S. booklet covers. (I am not a great topical collector, it comes pretty far down my list, so I don't need lots and lots of notebooks for those collections.
I will stick to Scott forever for my U.S. classics, and my two-volume Harris will handle *most* of my world-wides (just sent for another 6 or 8 packets, can't resist them). But increasingly I like the Lighthouse looseleaf approach.
Robert Beasecker writes: I have just purchased the Scott U.S. Platinum albums (six volumes) through a dealer advertising in Linn's. The price, which included the albums, pages (1847--1990), slipcases, and stick-on volume numbers, was $378 --- UPS shipping included.
I'm very pleased with the set and the quickness--about one week--at which it was delivered. Not wishing to give free advertising on this list, I won't mention the dealer. But those interested may send me a personal e-mail note and I'll be happy to share the info.
Barry Moss writes: I asked for opinions on the Scott Platinum album a few weeks ago and received the following information from Scot Kamins
"I have the Scott Platinum. It's currently available via mail order for under $500 for the complete set, including those box thingee's that you slide the albums into.
While there are spaces for souvinair (sp) sheets and coil pairs, as well as coil singles, there is >NO< space for imperf pairs!!! An incredible oversight, if you ask me.
Paper quality, etc. is all peachy. But the backings are all white. Would show off the stamps better if the paper had black borders framing each stamp or pair to show the stamps off better."
And yes, they have black borders around the stamps...
Norman Hinton writes: I use Vario pages all the time and have never had a problem with them. If you look around carefully you can find lower prices: I got a whole bunch for 35 cents per sheet at a sale a while back.
Caroline E. Bryan writes: I use Vario pages for all my stamps. I love 'em. I have not noticed any discoloration, but I've only been collecting for 3--4 years, which might not be enough time for damage.
Grant Brians writes:
> I have a couple of questions for you since I'm considering making a > supplement to my Lighthouse Canada album for some back-of-the-book > material that Lighthouse doesn't include. The major problem I've had in > the past with do-it-yourself mounts is that they tend to warp the album > pages (very noticeable ripples on the back side of the page). However, > I've noticed that the commericial hingeless albums such as Lighthouse > don't have this problem. Have you find a way of solving this problem? > Is it simply a matter of using less water, or a sponge type applicator, > or is there some special technique involved? Or do you simply not worry > about it? :-) > Barry Moss email@example.com
A technique I have used for both mounts and hinges is to apply light pressure to the pages before placing them in the album. Continue this light pressure overnight and then all should remain flat. Probably this is best used as a technique when the MNH stamps are not in the mounts, and when you have a `moderate' number of pages (5--20?) to keep flat. The other item I have noticed is that Harris pages and other similar thin paper is quite prone to the curling, whereas the Scott Specialty paper is quite resistant to the effect.
Barry Moss writes:
In a previous posting Bjørn P. Munch writes... > I've made my own Norway and Denmark albums from Leuchtturm > (lighthouse) binders and blank sheets, and am very satisfied with the > result.
I have a couple of questions for you since I'm considering making a supplement to my Lighthouse Canada album for some back-of-the-book material that Lighthouse doesn't include. The major problem I've had in the past with do-it-yourself mounts is that they tend to warp the album pages (very noticeable ripples on the back side of the page). However, I've noticed that the commericial hingeless albums such as Lighthouse don't have this problem. Have you find a way of solving this problem? Is it simply a matter of using less water, or a sponge type applicator, or is there some special technique involved? Or do you simply not worry about it? :-)
Bjørn P. Munch writes: An alternative to looking for ready-made hingless albums for `your' country, is to make it yourself.
It's probably cheaper, but the main advantage is that you can design it exactly as you want it. And you can re-arrange it if you change your mind.
The only problem is that it takes quite a lot of time....
I've made my own Norway and Denmark albums from Leuchtturm (lighthouse) binders and blank sheets, and am very satisfied with the result.
It doesn't have b/w pictures of the missing stamps, but personally I prefer just an empty space (with the face value and possibly colour).
David Carroll writes: I have an H.E.Harris Standard album that was originally one volume (maroon binder - it's over 25 years old) which I've expanded by buying extra binders (now gray) and annual supple- ments from Harris. The album is now 4 ungainly volumes, and frankly I'm less and less satified with either the coverage (inadequate spaces if you happen to have a fairly complete collection for a given year,given country - if I wanted to mess with `rolling my own pages' I wouldn't have this album) or the organization (stupid things like putting different countries back-to-back on a page - makes it difficult if you want to set up other than an A-Z global order.)
>So far i'm using lighthouse 32-page (64 sides) stock >books, which retail for around $35.00. Some countries take an entire >book, but letters 'D' and 'E' fit into one. Does anyone else use this >approach?
Well yes, but I don't recommend using fixed page stock books if your collection is growing. I use stock books in which each page is slotted into a plastic cover which is fixed in the book. Each book holds about 600 stamps, so as I get new stamps I can insert pages and reorder them. I only have a couple of fixed page books, and when a country expands you have to move the entire thing! Using the movable page system, you can swap countries between books very easily.
Even better is Hagner sheets, but they are a bit more expensive than the books I usually use, and not terribly versatile, e.g. you can't put a mini-sheet onto a normal page, the item must fit in the slot.
Dean Veres writes: I finally gave up on albums (or am in the process). I'm going completely to good stock books. It will take 20--30 to house my world-wide 1840--1940, but I will have room for whatever comes my way, such as shade and perf varieties, private overprints, covers, etc. Since everyone's approach to and attitude toward philatelic material varies, no album seems to fit the requirements of most of the collectors. Also, remounting of better copies and rearranging are far easier and at no extra cost for mounts (and you know what they cost these days). So far i'm using lighthouse 32-page (64 sides) stock books, which retail for around $35.00. Some countries take an entire book, but letters 'D' and 'E' fit into one. Does anyone else use this approach?
Marc Kaplan writes: I'd be interested in hearing from anyone who has the White Ace U.S. specialized albums for the Transportation Coils and the Great American series. How specialized are they? Do you like them? Would you recommend them? I'm interested in the various perf., tagging, precancel, and paper varieties.
David Harrison writes: I have a minuteman album for my used postage and I use Vario pages for my mint stamps. It is expensive, but I don't want the stamps damaged by ANYTHING. I hope that in time the Vario pages won't degrade my stamps.