Welcome to the Philatelic Research Center
named for Dr. Craig C. Howard z"l

Here will be concentrated a series of philatelic research resources, including our Handbook; links to our forthcoming Bulletin/s; organized links to original documents covering postage rates, postal procedures + much more. Grab a coffee and stop by for an eye-opening read.

If you enjoy the resources and would like to contribute to their expansion and maintenance, your contribution would be greatly appreciated:

 

Direct links to resources on this page:
the Handbook
the JerusalemStamps Bulletin
Kanner & Spiegel's "History of the Israeli Army Postal Service during the War of Independence 1948-49" (all 3 articles) & more
"Holy Land Postal History" Bulletin issues #73-99
documents from the Israel State archives
source data on Israeli postage rate
source data on historical postage rate of the Holyland and Palestine Mandate

 

Handbook of Holy Land Postal History & Philately

This is the cornerstone of our rsearch work at JerusalemStamps, a daily-growing repository of information on all aspects of postal history and philately of Ottoman Palestine, the Palestine Mandate, Israel and anything else related to the region. The information includes postage rates, routes, postal procedures and policies, circumstantial events which affected mail, and so on. A new edition is uploaded every few weeks.

The Handbook can be accessed here. I endeavored that it would be a searchable file in Adobe but my computer lacked sufficient memory for the character recognition process. I hope the next edition will be searchable, and in any case it will probably have to be split into a few files owing to its sheer size (900 pages weighing 300+ megabytes).

 

JerusalemStamps Bulletin

A periodical online journal of original research, representing the work we do behind the scenes here. The articles build on raw information, much of which is in the Handbook (above), and derive new findings on the basis of this raw information set against empirical evidence at hand - mail and stamps that we research. Information sources such as online archives, that help us in our research, are displayed further down here in the Center. The Bulletin is "organic", meaning that past issues may be updated at a later time as new information relevant to those issues' articles is received; later editions will notify readers of retroactive updates made to those past issues.

The 1st issue of the Bulletin is accessible here - this is now "revision 1" with new updates as of June 2022

 

"History of the Israeli Army Postal Service During the War of Independence, 1948-49" by P. Kanner and Y. Spiegel

Access the best history and documentation of the Army's postal service in 1948-49 here. The file contains all 3 articles from BAPIP Bulletins #35-37 from 1961. Some of their information is naturally now out of date but their articles are still presently the bedrock of our understanding of the APS during the War. These articles are "must have".

See also this compilation of documents related to the Army Postal Service of 1948, from "Aloni" (Ariel Amiad) who served as the communcations officer for Jerusalem & Gush Etzion in the war, and later as the IDF's chief communications officer.

 

"Holy Land Postal History" Bulletin, issues #73-99

The Israeli Philatelic Federation has uploaded some of the issues of HLPH, which can be accessed and downloaded for free. At the moment issues 73-99 are available. At the link here you can access issue 73-74, and those wishing to access later issues simply have to change the ending of the URL from "73-74" at the end to the next pair of digits, like "75-76" or "81-82" etc.

 

Documents from the Israel State Archives

The following is a growing list of repositories of informaiton from the State Archives which can help us researching postal history of Israel and the Mandate. The links direct visitors straight to the original repository at the Archive and the files can be downloaded. Much of the source information is in English though in the period of the Israeli postal administration the bulk is in Hebrew (though some English documents are in the files too). If any link is invalid we will upload the missing file/s.

Search engine for the national archives: https://www.archives.gov.il/en/
The archives arranged in date format – here quite interesting period May 1948, here the link is to 30 May but you can select a date from the menu on the right on that page.

Downloadable compilation of documents related to setting up Israel’s postal services in 1948-49

Downloadable Establishment of Israeli postal service, 13 May 1948, also accessible here.

Downloadable correspondence of the Secretariat of Jerusalem 25 May - 7 June 1948 – see 30 May letter of Avraham Renan on establishing the postal service (p.102-103 of the file)

Downloadable 1st annual report of Israel’s postal service 1948-49, also accessible here

Downloadable register of outbound correspondence, Mandate 1947-48

Downloadable Annual Report of the Department of Posts & Telegraphs, 1947

Downloadable Postal Concessions for Forces, March 1947

The original Jerusalem “Liberation” Postmarks of 16 May 1948

On Press Censorship – General Organization & Administration, 1944-1946

On Personnel for the Imposition of Censorship, 1939-1943

On General Police on Censorship in Palestine, 1942-1945

On Levant censorship – Palestine funding of imprest accounts, 1942-44

On Censorship labels & stamps, 1939-1943. Amusingly the Palestine administration did not known themselves which markings were used in Palestine and had to find this out in hindsight (see the letter from Downing Street on p.19 of the file).

On the Surprise Board of Survey on cash, stamps, postal orders etc. for 1947-48 - interesting statistical information.

On the Transdesert Mail Service by the Nathaniel Transport Service, 1944-48 - apparently Baghdad Overland service continued into 1948(!)

 

Israeli Postage Rates & Postal Policies

The following is a quick access listing of Israeli postage rates from Sept. 1948 - 2006 (and other issues related to the postal service) on a chronological basis, referencing the original documents containing the information; this does not include telephony or the postal bank (unless we find philatelic relevance to these). If any link is invalid we will upload the missing file/s.

These documents only exist in Hebrew; in time I plan on assembling the information and creating a 'master list' of all the rates and dates. The short comments use Bale's shorthand categorization of postage rate periods (DO - Domestic / SU - Surface mail / FA - Air Mail) - but his are both incomplete and mis-numbered so I don't rely too much on these. Some comments reference the issue number of the document affected by the rate revisions (KT = 'Kovetz HaTakanot' - the governmental compilation of Subsidiary Legislation).

The initial postage rates of Israel (as of 15 May 1948) were those inherited from the Mandate (via the 2-week interim period of 2-14 May). Even so, postal relations with most countries were suspended at this time and gradually renewed; mail routes, handling and even rates may have changed up to the 1st publish rates (below) of 29 Sept. Please view this period in the Handbook as it contains much information for this era.
29-09-1948 Domestic postage rate changes, eg. DO-2
11-02-1949 Surface postage rate changes, eg. SU-2
18-04-1949 Domestic rates update
23-09-1949 Railway cost of transporting mail
23-08-1951 The list of rates here is called "Takanot Batei HaDoar 1951" and cancels those of 29-09-1948 (Iton Rishmi 24) & 18-04-1949 (Kovetz Takanot 10); it seems these rates entered force 1 Aug 1951; per page 1538 the rates are published here in order to better present various rates that were published in various earlier documents.
24-01-1952 DO update / DO-03
20-03-1952 DO update2 / DO-03a
01-04-1952 Full Domestic/Foreign Postage Rate Guide
03-07-1952 transport of mail - fees postal service to pay
01?-11-1952 addendum to 01-04-1952 rates (scroll to p.17 of the file)
15-01-1953 transport of mail - fees postal service to pay
28-05-1953 DO-04
01-07-1953 Full Domestic/Foreign Postage Rate Guide - scroll to p.26 of the file
09-07-1953 transport of mail - fees postal service to pay
25-10-1953 DO update
05-01-1954 DO
14-01-1954 important corrections to rates in #415
23-09-1954 incomplete file, unclear if any postal issues
29-03-1955 DO update
29-07-1955 transport of mail - fees postal service to pay
05-01-1956 DO update / DO-06
08-01-1956 Full Domestic/Foreign Postage Rate Guide - scroll to p.49 of the file (repeats on p.73 - better physical copy)
12-07-1956 DO
29-11-1956 DO-07
05-12-1956 Full Domestic Postage Rate Guide (pages 92-101 of the doc)
01-01-1957 Full Foreign Postage Rate Guide (from p.102-123 of the doc - incl telephony)
07-06-1957 transport of mail - fees postal service to pay
27-06-1957 DO line item change to parcels
12-03-1958 income tax ordinance - provision #248 for free postage to income tax dept
01-12-1958 DO-08
01-12-1958 Full Domestic Postage Rate Guide (pages 124-133 of the doc)
01-12-1958 Full Domestic Postage Rate Guide (up to p.10 of the doc)
01-01-1959 Full Foreign Postage Rate Guide (from p.133 of the doc)
01-01-1959 Full Foreign Postage Rate Guide (from p.11 of the doc)
31-03-1960 DO update
01-09-1961 Full Domestic/Foreign Postage Rate Guide
15-09-1961 DO update
29-09-1961 DO erratum + update2
28-12-1961 update3 / DO-11
01-01-1962 Full Domestic Postage Rate Guide (up to p.9 of the doc; repeats on p.41)
01-02-1962 Full Foreign Postage Rate Guide (from p.10 of the doc; repeats on p.49)
Jan-Feb 1962 Revisions ("update #1") to the 1962 postage rate guide referenced above (scroll to p.115 of the doc - unclear if this supersedes the 2x above; repeats on p.191)
29-11-1962 transport of mail - fees postal service to pay
04-07-1963 parcels (specific countries)
18-07-1963 DO update
25-07-1963 parcels to UK & Finland by SU + FA
12-09-1963 SU parcels to western new guinea
26-12-1963 SU+FA parcels to Nyassaland
02-02-1964 FA + SU + FA parcels + SU parcels - MAY BE 1ST TIME PUBLISHED - does not reference any earlier KT to update from...
02-02-1964 Full Domestic/Foreign Postage Rate Guide (repeats on page 32 of the doc)
25-06-1964 FA
08-10-1964 FA parcels update
11-02-1965 FA parcels update2
01?-07-1965 Revisions ("update #6") to the 02-02-1964 Postage Rate Booklet (scroll to p.62 of the doc)
25-07-1965 FA parcels update
02-09-1965 FA update3 + SU update
09-09-1965 FA parcels update5(??) + SU parcels update2
03-02-1966 DO update
24-02-1966 SU update (surface parcel rate changes)
13-03-1966 DO-12
29-03-1966 FA update + SU update + OVERALL
21-07-1966 DO update (change to term #9 - rates/weights for book parcels)
11-08-1966 FA parcels update
22-09-1966 SU parcels update + FA parcels update
08-12-1966 taxes/customs on some mail related items
22-12-1966 transport of mail - fees postal service to pay
02-03-1967 SU parcels update2 + FA parcels update2
23-03-1967 telegrams
28-04-1967 postal bank
19-05-1967 telegrams
09-06-1967 telegrams
14-09-1967 SU parcels update3 + FA parcels update3
21-09-1967 FA update (Liberia)
12-10-1967 post bank, telex, telegram
16-10-1967 re. tax on postcards with recorded jingles
07-12-1967 DO update (change to term #48 - removal of rate for specific telegram service)
28-12-1967 foreign telex & telegram
11-01-1968 cancellation of ordinances
07-03-1968 postal bank
27-03-1968 re. tax on postcards with recorded jingles
04-07-1968 philatelic service
11-07-1968 parcels
14-11-1968 DO update (change to term #16 re. POB rental periods)
20-03-1969 philatelic service
27-03-1969 philatelic service
05-06-1969 emergency hours
01?-09-1969 Revisions ("update #1") to the "postage rate guide presently in use" (scroll to p.80 of the doc)
16-10-1969 DO update (to 2 services)
26-10-1969 postal bank
20-08-1970 DO
30-10-1970 DO update (DO-13?) + FA/SU - FA references changes to #1859
10-12-1970 domestic parcels
31-12-1970 FA/SU update (line item change to US Virgin Islands air mail rate)
01-07-1971 DO update2 + FA/SU update2
05-08-1971 correction to KT #2712 - erratum re. surface printed matter line item rate
09-09-1971 FA/SU (update 3 for 5731) - Section C line item changes
01-10-1971 FA/SU
11-11-1971 parcels
23-12-1971 DO update (line item changes) + FA/SU update (line item changes to Section C)
20-03-1972 FA/SU update2 (air mail line item changes, esp to Asia)
27-04-1972 FA/SU update3 (line item changes to Section C)
27-02-1973 FA/SU
21-06-1973 DO update (some line item changes) + FA/SU update (some line item changes)
27-12-1973 FA/SU update (line item changes to Section C) + cancellation of some ordinances
31-03-1974 DO
30-04-1974 FA/SU
31-10-1974 DO update
28-11-1974 FA/SU
01-04-1975 DO
20-04-1975 DO update (some rate revisions) + FA/SU update (some rate revisions) + erratum for #3317
26-06-1975 DO update2
07-10-1975 parcels
30-10-1975 FA/SU
01-04-1976 DO + FA/SU => 1st instance of handling fee for incorrectly franked foreign mail @ 1.65L (section C item #15 p.1293)
12-08-1976 DO update2 + FA/SU update3
01-02-1977 FA/SU => postage dues handling fee 1.75L Section C item #15 p.852
15-08-1977 DO + FA/SU update2 => postage dues handling fee 1.75L Section C item #15 p.2407
08-11-1977 DO update + parcels
13-11-1977 FA/SU update (changes to specific weight tranches & a few countries)
28-11-1977 DO + FA/SU => postage dues handling fee 2.00L Section C item #15 p.346
29-12-1977 parcels
01-05-1978 DO + FA/SU => postage dues handling fee 2.50L Section C item #15 p.1222
20-07-1978 FA/SU update (a specific line-item change)
30-07-1978 parcels
11-09-1978 DO update
30-04-1979 DO + FA/SU => postage dues handling fee 4.00L Section C item #15 p.1064
14-06-1979 parcels
19-07-1979 parcels
04-12-1979 DO + FA/SU => postage dues handling fee 6.00L Section C item #15 p.510
01-01-1980 parcels
25-01-1980 FA/SU update (rate change for Malta)
08-05-1980 DO + FA/SU => postage dues handling fee 9.50L Section C item #15 p.1560
15-07-1980 DO update
19-08-1980 DO update2 + FA/SU update2
14-11-1980 FA/SU update (term #11 change in Section C) + parcels
11-12-1980 DO update3
31-03-1981 DO + FA/SU => postage dues handling fee 1.50IS Section C item #15 p.826
30-07-1981 parcels
03-09-1981 DO update2 + FA/SU update2 => postage dues handling fee 2.00IS Section C item #15 p.1392
29-10-1981 parcels
03-01-1982 DO + FA/SU
02-03-1982 DO update2 + FA/SU update2
24-03-1982 parcels
20-05-1982 DO update3 + FA/SU update3
29-08-1982 DO update4 + FA/SU update4
11-11-1982 parcels
25-11-1982 DO + FA/SU
19-12-1982 DO update2 + FA/SU update2
20-01-1983 DO update3 + FA/SU update3 => PD handling fee now listed as term #8
13-02-1983 DO update4 + FA/SU update4
20-03-1983 DO update5 + FA/SU update5
15-04-1983 parcels
03-05-1983 DO update6 + FA/SU update6
17-05-1983 DO update7 + FA/SU update7
01-06-1983 update8 / DO-41
27-05-1984 DO-52
03-07-1984 DO-53
04-02-1985 DO update11 + parcels
04-02-1985 DO update + DO express update2 + FA/SU update
10-02-1985 price adjustments for Madad
14-02-1985 DO update
22-03-1985 DO update2 + DO express update3 + FA/SU update2
30-05-1985 DO update3 + DO express update4 + FA/SU update3
01-07-1985 DO + DO express + FA/SU
11-02-1986 DO update
10-06-1986 DO + FA/SU
05-02-1987 parcels
26-03-1987 DO + FA/SU
01-04-1987 DO + FA/SU
02-07-1987 DO update2 + FA/SU update2
12-12-1987 DO/FA/SU correction
31-12-1987 limitations on insured DO mail
19-05-1988 DO + FA/SU
01-11-1988 DO + FA/SU
18-06-1989 DO + FA/SU
07-09-1989 DO + FA/SU
17-05-1990 DO + FA/SU
31-05-1990 DO parcels
25-10-1990 DO adjustment to "printed matter" definition
18-12-1990 DO + FA/SU
17-02-1991 DO/FA/SU update (rest of file is all telecom)
25-04-1991 DO/FA/SU update
23-05-1991 semantic adjustments to existing provisions
08-08-1991 DO + FA/SU
19-12-1991 DO + FA/SU
12-03-1992 DO/FA/SU update
15-07-1992 interest on unpaid services
23-12-1992 DO + FA/SU
29-04-1993 DO/FA/SU update
10-11-1993 DO + FA/SU
05-04-1994 DO/FA/SU correction
01-09-1994 DO + FA/SU
19-03-1995 DO + FA/SU
25-04-1995 inspection of postal administration
20-07-1995 insurance on mail
21-08-1995 DO update
24-01-1996 DO + FA/SU
06-06-1996 DO/FA/SU update
22-10-1996 POBox rates
17-12-1996 DO + FA/SU
28-10-1997 DO update (line items)
23-12-1997 DO + FA/SU
31-03-1998 DO(?) change in date
13-05-1999 DO + FA/SU
02-09-2002 DO + FA/SU
25-11-2002 DO(?) line item change
14-08-2003 DO + FA/SU
18-11-2003 DO(?) update to specific service
07-09-2004 DO update to specific service
26-12-2004 DO(?) change in date
29-06-2005 DO(?) change in date
30-08-2005 SU/FA change in line item
29-12-2005 DO(?) change in date
26-02-2006 DO(?) update to specific service
01-03-2006 DO + FA/SU
29-06-2006 DO + FA/SU
29-08-2006 DO(?) change in date
15-11-2006 DO(?) change in date

 

Historical Postage Rates of Ottoman Holy Land and Mandatory Palestine

Here are links to original sources which show postage rates and procedures with regards to the Palestine from the Turkish period and since. If any link is invalid we will upload the missing file/s.

1843 Anglo-French Postal Convention shown in Hertslet's Commercial Treaties and conventions (1850 edition); see specifically page 244 onwards for relations with the British & French post offices in locations like Turkey/Levant/Egypt/Mediterranean, but the book contains postal agreements with more countries as well. Pay attention to the issue of postage rates for "prepaid" and "unpaid" mail. The book is downloadable for free - see the reddish-brown button on the top of the side column.

1854 amendments to the 1843 Anglo-French Postal Convention shown in Hertslet's Commercial Treaties and conventions (1856 edition); see specifically page 964 onwards for relations with the British & French post offices in locations like Turkey/Levant/Egypt/Mediterranean, but the book contains postal agreements with more countries as well. Pay attention to the issue of postage rates for "prepaid" and "unpaid" mail. The book is downloadable for free - see the reddish-brown button on the top of the side column.

1856 Anglo-French Postal Convention shown in Hertslet's Commercial Treaties and conventions (1859 edition); see specifically page 208 onwards for relations with the British & French post offices in locations like Turkey/Levant/Egypt/Mediterranean, but preceding page 108 are postal arrangements regarding printed matter and in general the book contains postal agreements with more countries as well. Pay attention to the issue of postage rates for "prepaid" and "unpaid" mail. The book is downloadable for free - see the reddish-brown button on the top of the side column.

Additional details regarding the coordination of the transfer of mail between the UK and France (ports involved / corresponding ports, etc) - see specifically from page 431. The book is downloadable for free - see the reddish-brown button on the top of the side column.