These censuses include only those provisionals for which an image was available. Any provisional for which no image was found is not included.
Although every effort is made to exclude fake items from the censuses, the inclusion of an item is not a guarantee of authenticity. An authentication service must make that determination.
The color images viewed on a computer screen may not be representative of the actual color.
A census is only as complete as the information available at the time it was compiled. There will always be another item to add to a census. It may not show up this week, or next month, or next year, but at some point, a new item will be discovered to add to the list.
These censuses are different from most censuses compiled in the past because each entry is accompanied by an image of the item, many in color, some in black and white and some only partial. While the image may not be of sufficient resolution or quality to determine a postmark date the features of the item provide the means to tell similar covers apart and to determine if an item is listed or new. This is particularly helpful if more than one cover has the same postmark date and address.
NOTE: The inclusion of an item in this census is not a guarantee of authenticity.
The following explain what is in each census:
Description and Notes describes and illustrates the different types of provisionals in the census of a town. It includes a count of the provisionals and other information about the provisionals. In both the “Description” and “Notes” provisionals are often identified by the last (third) set of characters of the catalog number. This section is broken into a “Description” and and “Notes” section in the newest censuses and revisions.
Description describes and illustrates the different types of provisionals in the census of a town. Also included is a table that contains a count of the provisionals. This section is found in the newest censuses and revisions.
Notes provides additional details such as a brief history, suspect provisionals, information on fakes, and references. This section is found in the newest censuses and revisions.
Mini Census presents in tabular format a basic census. It includes the postmark date, the position of the postmark and provisional, addressee name, town, and state, and a census number.
Full Census is much more detailed including a detailed description of each provisional, the full address, provenance, source of information, and an illustration. The components of the census are as follows:
Arrangement: Provisionals are presented in the following order: Adhesives – unused, used, and covers – postally used followed by unused. Off cover adhesives are included for provisionals only when the number is relatively small. Each different provisional type begins with a description of the type, followed by the 2012 CSA (Confederate States of America Catalog and Handbook) catalog number and Scott Catalogue number (in parenthesis). When there is no catalog number for the item, the basic CSA Catalog number is followed by an “x,” “y,” or “z.”
Date: The date given is the postmark date. This is obtained either by examination of an image or from descriptions in books, periodicals, exhibits or auction catalogs. Sometimes different sources do not agree on the date. In this case the description will mention two or more different dates. Dates are given as “Illegible” when the postmark date cannot be determined, as “Unknown” if the date portion of the postmark is missing, and as “No Postmark” if there is no postmark,
Description: A description of the cover and its markings. This may include details from the source or sources that are not apparent in the image.
Address: The full address is given as written on the cover with line breaks designated by a slash (“/”). In some cases, the address is taken from an auction description. In such cases the address is in brackets. In other cases, the spelling of a name (person or town) is so poor the correct spelling is given in brackets after the incorrectly spelled word.
Provenance: Provenances are given if the cover appeared in and was illustrated in a named collection sold at auction, in a book, periodical, an exhibit, or website. A table of all named collections and exhibits can be found in the Provenances Section
Source: These are the sources of information about individual provisionals. Sources are given by an abbreviation. The abbreviation is followed by a certificate number for authentication services; a page number or date and page number, if a book or publication or exhibit; and the date, sale number (if known), and lot number, if an auction. If the sale is part of the Ferrary, Caspary or Erivan sale the collection sale number follows the regular sale number. If a bound sale has more than one sale number only, the first sale is listed. When a public source is not available a private source is used. These are identified as “Private Collection.” Sources are listed in the following order: authentication services, books, journals, exhibits and auction catalogs. Within each group they are arranged in chronological sequence. Color images are indicated by an asterisk after the source. A table of source abbreviations can be found in the Source Abbreviation Section.
Census Number (CN): The number in brackets that follows the last listed source. This number can be useful in identify an individual cover or stamp, particularly for covers with the same date.
Version Number: From time to time corrections and additions will be made to the census. These are noted by the version number (v) following the date in the lower left corner of each page. The first census is v1.0 Corrections are indicated by an incremented sub number (v1.1). If a new item is added or an old one removed the basic version number is incremented (v2.0).
To aid the user each census is bookmarked in the left panel.