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This article is from the May 24, 1999 issue of Stamp Collector . Copyright 1999 Krause Publications. Reprinted by permission.
The next time youšre surfing the net, you may want to take a look at a trio of web sites pertaining to the Confederate Stamp Alliance. In addition to providing detailed information on both CSA and material of interest to people who collect this area, these three sites offer a good lesson in how three completely different design formats can complement one another.
Gen. Dick Byne maintains the official CSA page, which contains information about the organization and its purposes. Membership applications are also available here. Visit the site at:
Beginning with an introduction to the group - which identifies its goals and describes its official publication, The Confederate Philatelist - the site lists services offered by CSA and provides a few philatelic links.
There is also a membership application form that can be printed, filled out and mailed in.
My first impression upon viewing this site is that Byne really knows how to pack a punch when it comes to design.
Greeting users at the top of the page are four colorful stamp vignettes, and the text below nicely echoes the colors used in the images. The choice to maintain a plain white background creates simple yet powerful view.
Among the links listed are a page dedicated to books on philately by the Philatelic Bibliopole (otherwise known as Leonard H. Hartmann); Stamp Auctions Central, including auctions and prices realized; and a gargantuan list of philatelic links maintained by Joseph Luft.
(Since this article was published, the Confederate Stamp Alliance now has a more extensive and newly designed home page which can be found at www.csalliance.org -- JLK).
(Note: A future installment of Stamps on the Net will be devoted to Luftšs page and the hundreds of links he provides to stamp-related sites.)
Possibly the most well-known service offered by the CSA is its Authentication Service, which has operated since the early 1950s. A link from the main CSA page takes users to an Authentication Committee page, which is maintained by Gen. Trish Kaufmann. The site is located at:
This sitešs main features are a background summary of the service and a fee structure chart.
Although I am by no means an expert when it comes to using graphics, I can say that the CSA Authentication Service page does a nice job with what it basically a text-only page.
The fee structure chart is rendered in a soft blue color with a light yellow bar at the top, which sets it nicely apart from the pagešs gray background and makes it easy to read.
Finally, Col. John Kimbrough maintains a very extensive web page covering General Issue stamps, fakes and forgeries, other stamps of the Confederacy, patriotic covers and so on at:
Kimbroughšs page is what I like to call "long format." What I mean by that is the main portion of his site appears as one lengthy page which users can scroll down, as opposed to a series of different pages for each topic he treats.
While there are still multiple pages to traverse when users pursue specific topics, I think that presenting much of the introductory information on a single page is much easier to navigate.
Outside of my preferences, however, this is a site that you should consider a must to visit if you have any interest in Confederate material. In addition to numerous graphics and other detailed information, Kimbrough devotes a significant portion of his site to the CSA.
Links can take users to articles from The Confederate Philatelist, photos from the groupšs convention and both the main CSA and Authentication Committee pages. The CSA members auction, fully illustrated, may also be found here. (The CSA members auction has now been discontinued. -- JLK)
Whether you have an interest in collecting Confederate material or would just like to view different ways of presenting information on the net, be sure to spend some time with these three sites. Happy navigating!
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