Thursday, July 10, 2008

Website Spotlight - BPMA Philatelic Glossary

BPMA Philatelic Glossary

From time to time even the most experienced philatelist will come across a word or phrase with which he or she is not familiar. This might be due to a new technology that is being developed or an area of philately that they have just now started to delve into.

The British Postal Museum and Archives (BPMA) has set up a section of their website where users or groups of users can create pages of information. In popular internet parlance, such sites are called a "wiki", the most famous of which is the popular, user-editable encyclopedia called Wikipedia. One of the wikis on the BPMA website is the Philatelic Glossary.

The Philatelic Glossary wiki is a user-controlled website in which dictionary entries for philatelic terms are listed. The glossary's entries are intended to be a brief description and not an encyclopedic entry. The site's intent is to give a short definition and not bog the user down with (usually) unneeded details.

However, the beauty of a wiki, and also its detriment, is that anyone can edit a wiki's definitions. Suppose you are an expert in pneumatic tube mail. There may be some terms that you find missing from the Philatelic Glossary that you think should be added. The Philatelic Glossary allows you to create new entries for the benefit of others. It is an excellent way of experts sharing their knowledge with more novice philatelists.

When editing the glossary, the user has access to an online HTML editor that allows the simple text manipulations. The user can choose to emboldened a word, italicize some text, or do several manipulations to make it more user friendly.

There is also a Google Group for discussion about the Philatelic Glossary wiki (and other wikis that are available from the BPMA website). I would strongly recommend that you participate in that group before making changes to the hard work that the others have done. I'm sure your ideas would be welcomed.

For its efforts in expanding the knowledge of philatelist everywhere, Stamps of Distinction is proud to recognize the BPMA Philatelic Glossary with a Website Spotlight.

The site can be reached at

Would you like to nominate a website for a Stamps of Distinction Website Spotlight? If so, read and follow the instructions on this link.

1 comment:

BPMA Wiki group said...

I regret to report that the BPMA Wiki has had to be temporarily withdrawn due to excessive spam attacks over the weekend. We are working on a solution and hope to have it back up and running soon. Please see news item on the BPMA website for more details.