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WikiProject Philately (Rated C-class, Top-importance)
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Might some information on the backstamp be included in this article? --Daniel C. Boyer

Added information about Postmark Award. Should this be on another page? --Daniel C. Boyer

This is semi-redundant with cancellation. Technically, "cancellation" should describe the "killer" part and this article the "town/date" part, but that seems like a confusing distinction for something that even specialists tend to treat as a single topic. Stan 17:02, 1 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Mailers Permit Postmark[edit]

Should mention MPPs. --Daniel C. Boyer 17:05, 21 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Digital Postmark[edit]

New developments regarding the digital postmark and the electronic postmark are very relevant to this entry. These technologies go beyond merely allowing people to print certified stamps on their own PC. It allows people to use email as a major communication medium at the fraction of the cost of traditional print mail and is being seriously pursued by Postal Authorities globally. I apologize for referencing ePostmarks in my prior entry, and will refrain from doing so in the future, but it is both the name of a company AND a technology that is changing the standard for authenticated email for B2C and B2B communications and transactions. This IS a type of postmark and its reference should be allowed in this article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by EPostmarks (talkcontribs) 09:43, 1 December 2006

Why 2 articles[edit]

I have difficulty understanding the need for this article, separate from the Article Cancellation (mail), which is much broader, with a good Bibliography, while this article seems to focus on the Anglo-saxon world. There should be a link between them, and a split in the scope. There should be a place to develop the Marcophily, it is much more than just 'the first day of issue' or other marketing tools. See Austria, but much needs to be written on old German states which have valuations of postmarks as well, including even Nachstempelungen (after 1871). Jacquesverlaeken (talk) 21:44, 25 February 2013 (UTC)[]

Merge from Cancellation (mail)[edit]

Stale. No responses since October. (talk) 05:12, 21 January 2021 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Postmark and Cancellation (mail) are an obvious WP:CONTENTFORK produced by well-meaning editors with very different focuses, resulting in redundant articles. I suggest that the latter be merged into the former, and that the article focus primarily on the regulatory purpose of postmarks/cancellations, and put the stamp-collecting aspects of the subject into a section. The respective "History" sections should just be directly merged. I think that "postmark" is by far the more common term, while "cancellation" is ambiguous, and that present redundant article's chosen disambiguator, "(mail)", is incorrect and misleading anyway: in the stamp-collecting segment, cancellations are often pre-applied to stamps so that low-end collectors (mostly children) can obtain them for less than their postal value. Thus, these pre-applied postmarks actually do not involve "mail" at all, but are better described more generically as "postal". But there is no reason for two separate articles on the same thing, anyway, especially since quite a lot of the content in Postmark is also redundantly focused on collecting not on regulation and routing of mail and packages. Reliable sources (e.g. here) use "postmark" and "cancellation" interchangeably; the latter is simply more toward jargon.

There's even a strong element of WP:POVFORK happening here, with unsourced, bold, and dubious assertions like "A postmark shouldn't be confused with the killer which are lines, bars, etc. used to cancel a postage stamp. Neither should a postmark be confused with overprints generally, or pre-cancels (stamps that have been cancelled before the envelope or package to which they are affixed is submitted or deposited for acceptance into the mailstream, they most commonly have taken the form of a pre-printed city name on the stamp) specifically, which generally do not indicate a date."  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  11:37, 30 July 2020 (UTC)[]

Oppose: These two articles should definitely not be merged. The two articles Cancellation (mail) and Postmark currently have a lot of overlap some of which does not belong in either and should be cleaned up. Postmark should be the main article because it covers a lot more ground that cancellation does not. There are several sub-articles an in the same vein cancelation should also be a separate one. Besides which a Cancellation is a specific kind of postmark, while all postmarks are not cancellations. Much of what is currently in the cancellation article should be in the postmark article and only cancellation related information should be there so as not to confuse. Perhaps we could draft two new refined articles based on the current content of the two existing article and see how that works out. ww2censor (talk) 09:17, 1 October 2020 (UTC)[]
Oppose: At first I was thinking that the distinction is real but not separate-article-worthy, but after re-reading the articles, I think there is enough unique material to justify two. The lede needs to sharpen up the distinction a bit, with more examples of "A but not B" and "B but not A", since the conflation is more a function of some post offices in some eras trying to get a single marking to do two jobs at once, rather than some kind of fundamental synonymy. Since there are dueling authorities, it's probably worthwhile to quote more of them. Stan (talk) 16:45, 24 October 2020 (UTC)[]
The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Cancellation needs its Own Page for differentiation and cross referencing[edit]

I believe Cancellation (mail) should have its own page, because of the Pictorial Cancellations which USPS uses to commemorate special events. The pictorial canncellation is a symbolic function that not only cancels the stamp, but also recognises a significant event. [1]. I will add more to this later. User talk:Karen Lile Special:Contributions/Karen Lile ~ 21:10, September 12, 2020‎ Karen Lile
In the United States, the word cancellation is distinctly different than postmark, because it is used in contracts between Art Directors and the United States Postal Service for significant Postal Cancellations to commemorate important events that are of symbolic importance to the city they are issued in. The creation of a special cancellation is a significant happening within USPS, especially now, that the decisions are made on a regional level. For me, as a creator of wiki articles about Special Postal Cancellations, it helps to have a page that I can reference with the word Cancellation (mail) in it, so that it flows in the sentence, and so that people unfamiliar with the symbolic and ceremonial role of the Special Postal Cancellation and its ceremony, can find out quickly what it means, in the bigger context. I am only knowledgeable about USPS postal history and usage. I realize that it may be different in other countries. But this is the reason why I would not recommend a merger.n User talk:Karen Lile Special:Contributions/Karen Lile ~ 17:23, 29 Sept 2020‎ Karen Lile
That's a very narrow and US-centric reason for keeping a separate cancellation article. These articles are world-views of the broad topics and should reflect that world-view and not because one current single country's commemorative cancellations exist. Besides which Karen Lile need to be aware of your conflict of interest which makes you biased but you have already been warned about that on your talk page. ww2censor (talk) 09:25, 1 October 2020 (UTC)[]
I accept your note about the conflict of interest related to the United States, because I am not only a historian, but a participant. As requested, I will not mention my own areas of personal expertise, and I apologize if I have caused any offense. My error was due to a lack of knowledge of the wikipedia rules in this regard. Setting aside the USA, I am also aware of postal cancellations that are commemorative of events in Japan, Peru and England as well. Others may have knowledge of other countries as well that participate in this tradition, as it is not unique to the USA. The special and pictorial cancellations are a special category of postmark that serves a symbolic and recognition purpose, not just a purpose to cancel mail. I assume this is common knowledge by experts in this area.

But, as long as there is a cancellation (mail) category that is well delineated and easy to find in Wikipedia. I could see it being done within one page or as a separate page. There is more than one way to do this.

I do have a question though. Isn't it helpful to create a subdivision (separate page) when a subject is extensive? There is so much more that could be written about cancellations that could reflect the world perspective- 00:48 PDT 21 Nov 2020 Karen Lile — Preceding unsigned comment added by Karen Lile (talkcontribs) 09:00, 21 November 2020 (UTC)[]

I think we're generally in agreement on all that. My intuition is that a single article on cancellations is about right for encyclopedia-level detail, even with material on all countries for which there is something significant to say (I note that featured articles are often quite long), with maybe a few extra articles for specialized subjects, a la fancy cancel. Stan (talk) 20:54, 21 November 2020 (UTC)[]


  1. ^ Lile, Karen. "USPS Building Bridge Special Postal Cancellation Commemorating 100th Anniversary Opening Day on the San Francisco Bay". USPS. United States Postal Service. Retrieved 17 April 2017.