INTRODUCTION FROM PUBLISHER
Indonesia Through Stamps is a book that uses postage stamps to depict Indonesia history, culture, flora, fauna, natural and human resources as well as international activities. The beautiful graphics of Indonesian stamps reflecting the history, culture and natural wonders of Indonesia have inspired us to provide information about these images. Initially, we designed a slim, simple text. It turned out that after studying each stamp individually, we realized there was a great deal of knowledge and history behind the issuance of any given postage stamp. As a result, we became even more deeply involved in writing this book as we realized that the historical journey of Indonesia could be traced comprehensively through stamps. Our growing passion led us to seek out additional stamps and widen our circle of resources to include various national and international institutions, among them the embassy of the Netherlands, France, Thailand, United States, the Ministry of Education and Science of Sweden, and so on.
We began to assemble our collection of stamps 1993. In fact, our collection barely grew. Most of our stamps were damaged due to frequent use and scanning. Given the high cost of stamps, we opted to borrow stamps, particularly older ones, from collectors who supported our project.
Our original search for materials, as well as preparation and storage of data files, was much more challenging than it is now. At that time, the Internet was not yet developed and we stored data on large fragile floppy discs. Although we had computers, we were more accustomed to using a typewriter. These conditions frequently forced us to redo our work as data would get accidentally erased or lost.
Once we collected all the material and data, descriptions were written in the Indonesian language. These descriptions were then translated into English. The translations were then edited by a native English speaker.
Due to lack of funding and human resources for our ‘ambitious’ project, progress has moved along at a slower pace than we’d hoped. We had to ‘gracefully’ witness other institutions publish similar books to this one, although none as complete as this final version.
To complete the manuscript, various libraries, museums, and institutions provided supporting data that we needed to organize the descriptions of about 2450 postage stamps in this book. Then we aggregated and classified them based on their images. Finally, we classified the stamps into basic groups which are set forth into12 chapters in this book (see each chapter short description)