But then ... which one to choose ?
A lot depends on what kind of collector you are...
Are you a collector of your own country alone ? Then better look for a catalogue of your own country.
The numbering system is unique for your country, and it will tell you lots of details about your stamps, variations, printing errors, plate numbers, ....
Some countries used to have colonies in the 18th till 20th century and they might be included in the catalogue.
I call them 'local' catalogues, and I will come to that later on.
Maybe you don't collect only your own country, but also the neighbouring countries. Or specific regions, like the Scandinavian countries, Balkan area, Benelux, South America, the Middle East...
Then you're better of with a world wide catalogue, and some are perfect for this type of collectors.
But 3 or 4 'local' catalogues could help you out as well.
Or you're a idealist and you collect everything that comes your way... then a world wide catalogue is mandatory, as not all countries have their own catalogues, and with over 200 countries and many dissapeared countries it's impossible to buy each individual catalogue, unless you're a trillionaire.
And maybe you're not bound to countrywise collecting, but you have a weakness for theme collections.
Then you have several items from several countries, but buying a world wide catalogue is too much information for what you really need.
So let's start with some 'local' catalogues.
some asian ones :
|P R Lao (1st ed.)|
These are 'country' catalogues, I call them the 'local ones' ...
to be continued