FAKES & FANTASIES
Vietnamese Military Mail Exhibit CD-ROM
by Andrew Crenshaw
Joe Cartafalsa's award-winning exhibit, "Vietnamese Military Mail: An Introduction to a Difficult Field of Collecting" is available in its entirety on CD-ROM from the Society of Indo-china Philatelists. A sample page is available here (407k).
This exhibit, consisting of 10 frames (160 pages) of postal history and stamp material, introduced many show judges and collectors to Vietnamese military mail. In his introduction to the CD-ROM, Joe writes, "The idea for this exhibit began as a combination joke and challenge in 1995. A fellow collector asked me why I do not collect something that could get a Gold Medal at a national level show, instead of "that box of trash from Vietnam."" The exhibit went on to win a number of awards, including the Grand Award at SARAPEX 2000.
The exhibit is arranged in two main sections, South Vietnamese military mail (1949-1975) and Communist military mail (to the present). It touches on all aspects of military mail from these areas including military postal markings; free frank stamps, stationery and stampless mail; Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Special Operation Forces and Paramilitary Forces Mail; mail from schools, prisons and camps; U.S. Prisoner of War mail; International Control Commission covers, invasion of Cambodia, Viet-Nam China War and South China Sea War covers; censorship and adversity covers; patriotic slogans; first day covers; revenue usages and international usages.
Students of Vietnamese postal history will be rewarded with information on rates, non-standard usages, postage due markings. The exhibit contains original research and finds, such as the discovery copy of the stampless South Vietnamese "leaping soldier" aerogramme and the first reported Naval cover from the post-liberation period. Collectors will undoubtedly find the exhibit to be an invaluable resource for identifying material and as a basis for further research.
The original exhibit pages are scanned at two resolutions; one set is optimized for normal computer viewing, the other, at 300dpi, is ideal for viewing details and for printing. The CD-ROM was produced using html, so it acts just like a web site except that the user does not have to be connected to the Internet to view the contents. A table of contents page links to each exhibit page, and additional links are provided in each section to further facilitate browsing.
The CD-ROM is viewable on both Windows and Macintosh computers. A web browser, such as Microsoft Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator is needed to view the exhibit. Web browsers may be downloaded free of charge from the Internet and are included with many software applications, so most computer owners should already have one installed.
The exhibit CD-ROM is available directly from the Society of Indo-china Philatelists. The price is $20 post paid in the United States, or $24 post paid to other countries. Back issues of the society journal are also available from Ron for $3 each.
To order, send payment to:
Editor / Executive Secretary
2600 North 24th Street
Arlington, VA 22207.