User talk:TheVirginiaHistorian

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Hello, TheVirginiaHistorian. You have new messages at Ww2censor's talk page.
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ww2censor (talk) 18:33, 11 February 2014 (UTC)

The whole discussion from BHG's talk page, upon her request, has been copied to my talk page as linked above. Thanks ww2censor (talk) 23:38, 11 February 2014 (UTC)


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ww2censor (talk) 23:22, 16 February 2014 (UTC)

For you[edit]

Tireless Contributor Barnstar.gif The Tireless Contributor Barnstar
For your great effort of creating and building the Commemoration of the American Civil War on postage stamps article.
Gwillhickers (talk) 12:08, 28 February 2014 (UTC)


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Hello, TheVirginiaHistorian. You have new messages at Ww2censor's talk page.
Message added 23:35, 7 March 2014 (UTC). You can remove this notice at any time by removing the {{Talkback}} or {{Tb}} template.

ww2censor (talk) 23:35, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

For you[edit]

Looking for an appropriate barnstar I instead found this page.

BoNM USA Hires.png The USA Barnstar of National Merit
Louisiana Purchase7 1903 Issue-10c-crop.jpg
For your enduring efforts in creating, building and composing the Territories of the United States on stamps article.
-- Gwillhickers (talk) 16:03, 13 April 2014 (UTC)

Keep up the good work. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 16:07, 13 April 2014 (UTC)

Thanks, I took a lead from your airmail contribution, and added statehood airmails for Alaska and Hawaii. With Arago links for the original 13 ratifiers to the Constitution and Utah statehood, (Utah does have a territory commemorative), all 50 states and five territories (links) are accounted for. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 08:59, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

Disambiguation link notification for April 18[edit]

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Orphaned non-free image File:Roberto Clemente 1984 U.S. stamp.1.jpg[edit]


Thanks for uploading File:Roberto Clemente 1984 U.S. stamp.1.jpg. The image description page currently specifies that the image is non-free and may only be used on Wikipedia under a claim of fair use. However, the image is currently not used in any articles on Wikipedia. If the image was previously in an article, please go to the article and see why it was removed. You may add it back if you think that that will be useful. However, please note that images for which a replacement could be created are not acceptable for use on Wikipedia (see our policy for non-free media).

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Disambiguation link notification for April 25[edit]

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CSA edit[edit]

I am happy to catch such errors, or perhaps nonsense or even vandalism would be a better way to put it. The user who placed the edit has left a few edits of the same nature on different subjects in the past. My main area of substantive contribution has been American history, especially colonial Virginia, American Revolution and American Civil War. I also have done quite a bit of vandal reversion in the last year and a half. Vandalism would destroy Wikipedia very quickly if it were not reverted.

Many people keep watch, at least from watchlists, but there are times when vandalism that Cluebot won't catch can sneak through. It is a shame that people who might be making more substantive contributions are diverted by vandalism. It is a tough call to decide whether to protect the content, and the credibility of the content, that exists or to expand upon it but leave the content more vulnerable. I am not sure about the answer but I think I will probably cut back on the vandalism patrol, especially during the summer when there seems to be less of it.

Thanks for all of you contributions, which I have seen in quite a few articles that I have visited or briefly edited or commented on. Donner60 (talk) 22:23, 29 April 2014 (UTC)

Contextual significance[edit]

I posted these thoughts on my talk page but I add them here too to be sure that you see them soon.

The article is about the depiction of important persons and events in Virginia history on U.S. postage stamps. This stamp shows how the Postal Service depicted a notable event in Virginia history, the ratification of the U.S. constitution. It was issued for the bicentennial of the event but that fact is not shown in any way on the stamp so the stamp is not about the bicentennial event itself. (I would suppose stamps were issued for all 13 states.) Without a picture of the stamp, all you can have is a description. It certainly adds significantly to the context, and to the education value of the article, to show the actual image. It increases the understanding of the reader as to how the Postal Service depicted the event on the stamp. The image is used to show how the Postal Service depicted the event on the stamp, not as image to support an article or story about the event itself.

Contextual significance relates to the article topic, particular kinds of stamps. These are stamps that show persons and events in Virginia history. It is not about the events themselves. The events must be described briefly in order to show that the stamp in fact depicts a notable, historical event. Otherwise, all you would have is a collage of stamp images. But the stamp is not meant to support a description of the event, except in the broad sense that the image on the stamp has to have some relation to it or the stamp itself has no meaning or context. You in fact are identifying the stamp and the context in which it was issued, not the event shown on it.

I think you are correct. I have put my thoughts on this into my own words with an eye on the contextual significance point and some of the other points made in the WP Non-free content article. That's how I understand the point and can best describe it in this situation.

I hope this is of some use to you. You can certainly use these ideas or any point you can make from them. You asked for my opinion, not any sort of participation in the RfC. I think I should refrain from participating directly so no accusation of canvassing could be made. Donner60 (talk) 04:01, 3 May 2014 (UTC)

Thanks. No need to show at the RfC. I think there is a three-count limit which I have met if you count RfC notice to history and social-culture and notice to WP:STAMP. The discussion has so far advanced my understanding of stamp narratives considerably again, just as did the first trial where I had mostly posted just a brief identification of a stamp being issued. I am going to acquire the Encyclopedia of US stamps and stamp collecting, not available in my local library system, to further enhance the artistic and postal elements of a stamp description to meet additional expectations. The retirement budget requires I delay planting the next flowering crabapple tree. If this RfC effort fails, I will improve my write-ups across the ten USPS stamps now described, and try again, after additional improvement on my part. Thanks. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 08:56, 3 May 2014 (UTC)
You're welcome. It certainly is a complicated issue with the determination turning one way or the other on the exact facts with similar seeming facts leading people to different conclusions. I sense a bit of gut feeling is also invovled. It was educational for me to look at the non-free content material. Donner60 (talk) 15:40, 4 May 2014 (UTC)
Further there are distinctions on whether a piece is considered a list or an article, whether to consider a new classification 'long form' and 'short form', whether visual media can be substituted with text, and the discussion is stlll alive whether historical analysis can be admitted as equivalent to critical commentary for "contextual significance". The German WP apparently does not allow any NFC non-free content licensing, and that view has a following who are happy to join in the conversation. History of art has "minimal usage" of NFC images, although there may be 25, it is a small percentage of the article. But I am cautioned not to make this a numbers game. Yeah, gut feeling plays a part, and that may be the reason for so much heat in the discussions...calling policing admins "mafia" and such... I have stirred up a hornets nest that is bringing up years long-ago issues said to have been settled by Jimmy Wales, then the interpretation is challenged...with various levels of name calling, retractions, escalations etc.
Interesting that two senior folks who had been debating one another seem to be talking to me... when I tried to make a concrete proposal, some "exceptions" seemed to be possible including my one little old stamp. Spending a week of my adult life on this hobby project, I would like to see admitting historical analysis to meet "contextual significance" as an outcome. If not this time, next time after I further improve various encyclopedic text which a USPS image could appropriately illustrate. My wife is not sure this is "fun", but, really, literary criticism? where else can I talk about that sort of thing and not get eyes-glazed-over and a change of subject? TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 16:39, 4 May 2014 (UTC)

Finding existing stamps[edit]

As you've been adding stamp images to Wikipedia commons, sometimes when the given stamp already exists here at WP, I'd thought you'd might save time and effort if you knew how to locate a given stamp before you elect to capture, save and upload a same given image. There are categories for stamps of a given color. If you know the color of a stamp, you can check to see if it exists by looking into these categories. (These are Wiki-commons categories).

In your travels, if you see a stamp of a given color, and it's lacking a color category, add it to that category. If a stamp is two or more colors don't add it to a color category unless it is predominately one given color.

We also have:

-- Gwillhickers (talk) 02:42, 11 May 2014 (UTC)

New category for stamps[edit]

I just created commons:category:Multi-colored stamps -- Gwillhickers (talk) 02:13, 13 May 2014 (UTC)

I just renamed this category, as its scope was too broad to include multi-colored stamps of all countries.
See: commons:category:US multi-colored stamps

Also, I just created the article: 'U.S. Parcel Post stamps of 1912-13' a couple of days ago, and nominated it for DYK. Let me know what you think if you get a chance. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 01:40, 23 May 2014 (UTC)

Other categories of interest[edit]

-- Gwillhickers (talk) 02:40, 13 May 2014 (UTC)

Fun stuff. The Winslow Homer reminded me of The Long Leg by Edward Hopper reproduced on a 2011 USPS stamp. Is that one which might be uploaded because the USPS did nothing to alter the original artist's design. Examples of Edward Hopper's work at Wikimedia Commons has a prominent warning that they may be in copyright. NFC is everywhere. But I'm thinking of printing out a couple of stamp images for private use as a gift to brother-in-law who is a fan of sailing, enlarged and framed in an 8.5" x 11" suitable for a guest washroom.

My own essay into trains and stamps was limited to U.S., so I quickly branched out to transportation, horse, car, train, sail, steam, ships, bridge, canal, aircraft including lighter than air, and soon space, a work in progress, as now I think of adding on foot, the commemoratives of Fremont at the Rockies, or Boone crossing the Appalachians or Marquette in a canoe, well, work in progress. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 08:03, 13 May 2014 (UTC)

That's an awful broad scope for a singular topical article, one that includes all countries no less. (!) I'd be careful. Stamps depicting Ships, Aircraft and Trains are plentiful enough to warrant their own topical articles. Horses too. In any case, the various categories should help in checking to see if a given stamp exists here at WP Commons before you decide to upload one. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 21:34, 14 May 2014 (UTC)
Not all countries...just U.S. for my transportation fixation... backburner... but yes, thanks, different categories to check whether a stamp already exists at WP... I really appreciate your going the extra mile here with me.
Also interesting is the insight that the emperor has no clothes. --- NFLISTS#2 --Guideline -- is where the "such as" critical commentary is found for analytical text, it is not required for "contextual significance" NFCC#8. Contextual significance can mean historical analysis for the stamp itself, including its subject and its issue date. "Minimal required" means, "minimum required for the purpose", hence the stamp must be shown for the visual purpose of identifying the stamp itself when there is accompanying encyclopedic text. Still working on it, but the pieces are starting to fall into place. Requiring critical commentary on the art design represented is a non-sequitur since a stamp may not be used to illustrate the thing pictured; there can be no requirement to do the thing prohibited. Examples are telling. The upside-down airmail stamp is free use notable in its rarity, not as an example of air rates, air transport reach, or dual color printing --- and breast cancer research... notable in the non-government partnership apart from the stamp itself. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 05:18, 15 May 2014 (UTC)


I think input from the other main editors of the article is needed here: Wikipedia:Today's featured article/requests/Jefferson Davis. Montanabw(talk) 22:58, 13 May 2014 (UTC)


Due to a UI quirk and a finger fumble on my part, I accidentally did a rollback on your latest contribution to Wikipedia talk:Non-free content. I've reverted the rollback, but figured I owed you an explanation and an apology. Sorry. —RP88 (talk) 13:29, 17 May 2014 (UTC)

Thanks. I'm trying to engage others in collaborative consensus, none of this comes naturally, I'm an old-timer from the wrong side of the digital divide. ... also, it is not clear where or what sequence to follow up on a train of thought... I don't like the WP:BULLY edit war, so now I am trying the Request for Comment, but editors more experienced than me are not agreed what the venue should be, media copyright questions, non-free content, NFCR, village pump. Nevertheless, my understanding is enlarging and deepening each week. Hope you can contribute to the discussion. Stamps seem to be just a narrow part of the larger picture, so it is doubly hard for me, just entering the discussion at stamps. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 15:12, 17 May 2014 (UTC)

May 2014[edit]

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Philatelic E'books -- galore[edit]

For a wealth of philatelic information now in the public domain you might want to check out this list of Philatelic E'books. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 00:44, 26 May 2014 (UTC)

Good fun. In the guideline for commemoratives in 1957, published by the USPD, it notes that commemoratives no longer required specific legislation for initiation, although there is evidence of subsequent joint resolutions elsewhere. The American journal of philately dated 1868 looked at stamps world wide. Interestingly, if there was a pencil mark by a particular intro paragraph, you were delinquent in the return of stamps sent "on approval". Learn something new every day. Thanks. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 08:57, 26 May 2014 (UTC)
  • If you're into historic postmarks and cancellations you might want to check this E'book. Cancellations and Killers of the Banknote Era, 1870-1894. It's filled with many illustrations of cancels and such. On page 3 there's various illustrations of hand stamping devices and cancels, and on page 9 there are a good number of war time cancellations. I'm in the process of downloading (a few at a time, selectively) a fair number of these E'books. Excellent sources! -- Gwillhickers (talk) 16:20, 26 May 2014 (UTC)
I really enjoyed U.S. Parcel Post stamps of 1912-13. Parcel post looks like a source to explore for my U.S. transportation collection. The more I think about it the more it looks like a sandbox-only project...though I added a couple stamps to make up a Space category the other day... it's a nice safe place to go when wiki-fencing descends into crazy-making I-can't-hear-you non-sequitur.
I re-read an exchange from a year ago and I was happy with my sourcing for including islanders as a part of the U.S., disappointed in its utter absence on the part of the opposition, their relying on ad hominem attack, mis quoting sources, failing to read to the conclusion of sources, denying the need for sources beyond their own POV...which I called out as unethical, given WP ground rules --- but that now seems pointless to me, labeling seems fruitless here, however justified it may be. I failed to press for dispute resolution, because I do not see contention as a principle source of psychic income for this hobby, which puts me at a disadvantage when up against those who do enjoy haranguing as a past time. In the event, an administrator softened the article's exclusion of islanders in a related paragraph further down the narrative ---
And recently, I am encouraged at two weeks work at RfC for USPS stamps seems to have brought about acceptance for three NFC stamps in the same topically philately article for two weeks since. Masem believes the 2% of the article scope can be supported, passes the "feels right" test for no more than three in this case, including Virginia ratification and two modern African-Americans of note, Carter G. Woodson, the father of Black History Month, and sports star Arthur Ashe, a symbol of racial reconciliation. Once Masem conceded that an article organization might justify as many as five, but he does not want to make it a numbers game, but he sees a balance to be struck between "contextual significance" and "limited use", not only for each stamp, but for the article as a whole. Which I view as progress for the topical philately article at the English WP and more in line with my understanding of the governing NFCC and related policy. Thanks again for your support.
On another front, I'd like to learn how to use Word to write a chapter book with automatic chapter endnotes...take the text of my first draft of a History of Virginia and reformat it...there are several monographs on growth of American democracy and expansion of suffrage in the U.S. which include references to Virginia in context, which I would like to integrate into the usual 400-year narrative. As I parse through it I add as I can to Thomas Jefferson, History of Virginia, Virginia in the American Civil War, American Civil War, Confederate States of America, etc. ... which is where I get my main satisfaction here at WP. Happy Memorial Day; especially honor those who gave their lives in service to country. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 17:45, 26 May 2014 (UTC)

Puerto Rican Stamps[edit]

You know it is a pity that many were deleted as "orphaned". If I were you I would upload them once more with a rational of usage. Hey, my friend, in the article of Puerto Ricans on US Stamps, you should add Felicitas Mendez. She is Puerto Rican and her likeness and that of her husband are in the Mendez v . Westminster Commemorative Stamp. [1] Tony the Marine (talk) 20:17, 27 May 2014 (UTC)


What I would suggest is collecting the works in a bibliography. Then you need only cite as <ref>Adams, p. 12</ref> Incidentally, I enjoyed your philatelic history of Virginia article.--Wehwalt (talk) 00:05, 1 June 2014 (UTC)

Thanks. --- I was amazed at how many commemorative stamps hit the U.S. and Virginia History 11th grade Standards of Learning (SOLs). There was quite a learning curve to get not just one (Va ratification) but three USPS stamps since 1978, to include Carter G. Woodson and Arthur Ashe.
I have a little hope for developing a rationale to get a few more -- a couple in the Landmark section might be nice if I can persuade that (1) NFCC #3 "limited use" means not only "just a few, one or none", but also "limited for the purpose" ... of illustrating the stamp itself and (2) NFCC #8 "contextual significance" means not only "critical commentary", but also "historical analysis" of placing an important event in a significant context. However, as it is said, that is not how the policy has been administered for the last six years.
My health requires that I take the project as a hobby, not as a crusade, and having achieved something of a breakthrough with an article containing more than one-only USPS stamp per article, I am watching for a while to see how long it can last, as some fear a) it opens the door to publish "every stamp in the world", and WP will just become a stamp album, and b) the Foundation may "remove all NFC images of every kind" from the English WP if proper limits are not self-imposed by the gate-keepers. But of course I want neither of those outcomes from my little topical philately article, just the satisfaction of publishing an interesting article about Virginia History on stamps. Thanks. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 07:07, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
While the stamps post-1978 were certainly copyrighted, I wonder how efficient the USPS was at registering copyrights on its various publications that depicted stamps. The flyers, for example that were put up in post offices with details of the latest issues, and from time to time the catalogs they put out. Additionally, first day covers might be a useful means of attack, I doubt many cachet makers properly copyrighted (perhaps the large ones like Artcraft and Artmaster, but the smaller ones most likely not). Why would, say, a FDC of the Virginia Birds and Flowers stamp of 1982 be a problem? The stamp takes up a relatively small portion of the design, and so is incidental to the display of the FDC. If you could show it was not copyrighted at the time nor registered for copyright within five years. That would get you up to 1990, anyway.--Wehwalt (talk) 12:52, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
Promising idea, thanks. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 19:27, 1 June 2014 (UTC)

The 'new' media viewer[edit]

Are you happy with the the 'Media viewer' that's now used when you click on an image? Not me. I resolved my problem, but you may want to check this out. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 04:36, 4 June 2014 (UTC)

RfC for Media Viewer[edit]

Opinions are needed at RfC about Media Viewer being the default image viewer. Please help in the effort and pass this notice on. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 19:36, 7 June 2014 (UTC)


-- Gwillhickers (talk) 04:24, 17 June 2014 (UTC)

Amazing, just a quick glance at Pony Express, and the name "John Hockaday" pops up, --- you can't make up this stuff.
In the Google book, interesting that it was speculated that the restriction on envelope use bearing the old stamps was not adhered to during the "turbulence of the time". TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 14:41, 17 June 2014 (UTC)

New category[edit]

We now have a category for U.S. Presidents on stamps which I created the other day. If you see any such stamps in your travels you might want to include them. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 19:31, 24 June 2014 (UTC)

Thanks, I will. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 11:25, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

Quoating you on war[edit]

I am writing just to bother you a bit and let you know that I like your words here: "a good war is hard to find." Historian (talk) 14:37, 27 June 2014 (UTC)

Thanks. I'm not a peace-at-any-price sort, but I would like a thoughtful, persuasive case for both the justness of a war and how it can be waged justly, before the onset, and periodically during its prosecution. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 23:14, 29 June 2014 (UTC)

U.S.Stamp locator[edit]

Here's something that hopefully will assist you in locating existing U.S. (and perhaps other) stamps, fresh off the press. If you know of any other categories to help in this effort bring them to my attention and I will add/edit them into the template.

-- Gwillhickers (talk) 19:49, 27 June 2014 (UTC)

Great good fun. picked up three horses, three wagons, three airplanes, one train for my sandbox transportation (trains). I aim to add Cherokee Strip commemorative to Horses on stamps category. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 12:47, 2 July 2014 (UTC)

New category[edit]

U.S. historical landmarks on stamps -- Gwillhickers (talk) 05:18, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

New category[edit]