Scandinavian Collectors Club


Postal Censorship in Finland 1914-1918, compiled and edited by Roger P. Quinby. CD-ROM, Alpharetta Ga., 2012. ISBN 978-1-4675-5160-1, $30 postpaid in USA and Canada, $40 or €35 elsewhere. Also printed on 416 pages, spiral bound, in color, $75 plus postage. Details from Roger P. Quinby, 12425 Dancliff Trace, Alpharetta GA 30009-8756, USA, or

            Previous editions of this work dated 2005, 2006, 2007 have been superseded with this 2012 edition that becomes the definitive resource for World War I period postal censorship in Finland. Roger Quinby, chairman of the Scandinavian Collectors Club’s Finnish Study Group and former editor of its journal The Finnish Philatelist, has brought together information from many Finland experts as well as government publications. The driving force was his own special interest in researching, collecting, and exhibiting such material.

            Most of the files on this compact disc are in PDF® format. He begins with a “Read Me” file that orients the user to the content that is further detailed in a table of contents. Users of the CD are urged first to read the 14-page article by Juhani Olamo, “Postal Censoring in Finland 1914-1918.” The article is an introduction to the subject and to the use of this CD and presents an overview of censorship in Finland at this time.

            The major section consists of the ten catalog listings by censorship office in the cities like Helsinki, Kuopio, Oulu, Pori, Tampere, and Turku among others. Within each of these ten catalog lists are the devices including hand-stamped censor markings, resealing tapes, and wax censor seals. Each device is not only described but also illustrated, most often on cover. The description provides sufficient detail to identify each item by dimensions, text wording, date of use (beginning/ending where known), color of ink, and color of paper for the sealing tapes.

Specific censor numbers are shown with the initials or signatures associated with them. A separate file gives a short summary of the two major types, and some minor subtypes, of the generic resealing tapes that have text in three languages—Russian, Finnish, and Swedish.

            The catalog listings carry rarity indicators such as Common Level 2 or RR. To learn what these mean one must turn first to the document file titled “Rarity Level Assignments.” The information was derived in part from earlier works but the system has been modified by Quinby for this compilation. Without assigning any specific values, the rarity scale at least provides readers with a feel for scarcity of the markings. A number of statements indicate that a specific number are known, for example two.

            Another document provides timelines for each year under discussion from 1914 to 1918. These contain in chronological order the historic events and references to postal regulations relating to censorship. The latter are referenced to specific bulletins and circulars from the Finnish General Post Office with number and date. A separate file contains all of these FGPO rulings by year and in English.

            The bibliography file on the CD is limited to pertinent articles that appeared in The Finnish Philatelist, published by the Scandinavian Collectors Club. A URL will connect the reader to these issues of TFP. The bibliography is arranged alphabetically by article title.

            In an Acknowledgements document, Roger Quinby cites the many authors and collectors who made this compact disc possible. A key role was that of translator Carita Parker who transformed Finnish language material into English. The result is a magnificent record of the details that a collector needs to understand the censorship arena in Finland during the critical years of 1914-1918. As exhaustive as this reference is, the author requests that any new discoveries be sent to him for future revisions.

Alan Warren