A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzabar

A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzibar... Now what is between? For the world wide classical era philatelist and stamp collector, a country specific philatelic survey is offered by the blog author, Jim Jackson, with two albums: Big Blue, aka Scott International Part 1 (checklists available), and Deep Blue, aka William Steiner's Stamp Album Web PDF pages. In addition, "Bud" offers commentary and a look at his completely filled Big Blue. Interested? So into the Blues...

Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Big Blue Checklist Excel Spreadsheet Project - Part IA1 now available!

Canada 1919 Scott 157 50c dark blue
Schooner "Bluenose"
Into the Deep Blue

Update 1-25-2017: Al has completed Part IA1 Aden-Ethiopia!

The link is:


Download the Excel File, and enjoy for personal use!

Jim Jackson
This blog began back in 2011 primarily as a vehicle to provide a checklist for owners of the Big Blue (Scott International Part I 1840-1940 Album).

If one is unfamiliar with the checklist, this link can serve as an orientation.

The Big Blue Checklist - How it is done

And many readers are aware that the BB checklist is almost complete,, as the A-T countries have been published. (More specifically, posts released include Part IA1 Checklist for Aden-Ethiopia; Part IA2 Checklist for Falkland Islands-Latvia; Part IB1 Checklist for Lebanon-Quelimane; Part IB2 Checklist for Reunion-Zululand (In Progress).)

One of the strengths of the checklist is it mimics the spacial layout of the page.

One can easily pencil in the numbers, or determine quickly which stamps one has or doesn't have on a page.

But a spreadsheet it is not, with all the advantages of data manipulation.

I am most pleased to announce that Al, a user of the checklist, would like to convert the checklist into an Excel spreadsheet. Here is the information from Al....

I am attempting to create an Excel Spreadsheet to mirror the information provided by Jim in his blog.

The Spreadsheet's format reflects the layout of the 1997 Scott International Album.

The Spreadsheet contains the following columns:

* Country Name - Self Explanatory.

* Page Number - Page Number's restart with 1 for each new Country.

* Row Number - Row Numbers restart with 1 for each new Page.

* Stamp Type - Regular, Air Post, Postage Due, Special Delivery, etc.

* Issue Date - Issue Date as printed in Scott album.

* Catalog Numbers - The Catalog Number recommendations made by Jim for each space in the album. If multiple suggestions have been made, they are separated by slashes. For blank spaces, Jim's recommendations are shown in parenthesis.

The Spreadsheet also contains an introductory tab which echos the above information and explains how I personally use the document.

Before I get too married to this format, I would like input from others as to how to make it more useful.

I have uploaded a preliminary version (which contains only Australia)  to my account, at this docs.google.com site..../(Update Note: The link has changed and no longer works. For the completed part IA1 Aden-Ethiopi a,  use the link for 1-25-2017 at the start of this blog post. )

(The link will change (Update: has changed) when the real and final checklist(s) are uploaded.)

From there, you can save a copy to your computer using the menu: File -> Download As -> Microsoft Excel.

If you have any suggestions, please leave them as comment to this post.


Jim's Note:

Al told me the reason he is doing this is he wants it for himself - a very good reason!  But he would like to share his effort with Big Blue checklist users (or potential users).


The plan for now is to release the final spreadsheet checklists in sections, much like the current Big Blue checklists are divided. When Al has completed Section IA1 (Aden-Ethiopia), that would be announced here with a blog post and a link given, and the reader could then download the Excel file for his own personal use (non commercial).

This work is very labor intensive for Al, so I would expect it will be many months that the BB Checklist Excel Spreadsheet Project will be ongoing.

I can give no estimate (other than "months") when the first installment, the Section IA1 Excel checklist, will be ready.

But the project is in the early stages, so feedback on what is useful would be appreciated!

So, if you have questions, observations, or suggestions, now is the time to leave comments about this project!

Al is prepared to handle and answer the technical questions/comments, and I will try to cover the rest.



  1. Well, I would be more than happy to use something like this. Love the community here.

  2. And thank you Joseph for your effort to improve the accuracy of the checklist!

  3. Absolutely a great idea. Thanks Al.

  4. What a great idea (and what an undertaking...)! I'm thrilled that you're using the 1997 version, as that's what I have (he said, selfishly).


  5. How is the project coming along AL and Jim?
    Aragorn from SCF

    1. Hi Aragorn (kingshuk)

      I don't know if Al will respond, but I will give you a brief update.

      Al sent a note to me about 10 days ago, and it appears he is half way through Checklist Aden-Ethiopia Part IA1. That is remarkable progress!

      He is also very exacting (which is good!), so he has caught a few of my errors along the way.

      Nevertheless, it is a daunting task (Don't I know! ;-) and I expect it to be a number of months before Part IA1 will be ready.


  6. Wow. Exciting stuff. This will make inventorying ( is that even a word?) so much easier.Thanks Jim and Al

  7. I would be very much interested in this too. Trying to print out all of the checklist from the website is not the most efficient way, results in a lot of paper! It would be nice to be able to have the checklist on my laptop or iPad to take to a show. It would also be nice if it could generate a 'want list' based on your inventory.

    I look forward to seeing the first version of the spreadsheet!

    1. Chris- Yes, it should be a good alternative to my "traditional" checklist. !!

  8. Have we had any word from Al about progress on the Big Blue Excel spreadsheet version of the Big Blue Checklist?

    1. Yes, he is working on it. Not sure when there will be a further announcement, but it is definitely an active project.