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The PHSC On-Line Databases of Canadian Postal History

A database being developed here concerns a record of all post-offices in Canada and former colonies. At present, Newfoundland, Ontario, Prince Edward Island and the Yukon are complete. If you are interested in helping out with other provinces and territories, please contact us!

We are also developing a number of databases of Canadian postmarks. At present, we have the data from two published works, the book Canada Duplex Cancellations, presented by Stéphane Cloutier, and Bruce Graham's book Ontario Broken Circles. The latter formed the initial centerpiece of the Early Markings database, which contains in addition to the broken circles, many of the earliest Canadian postal markings as well.

The big advantage to having these on-line is that they are continually updated and hence always contain the best known information about these postmarks. As well, we are developing similar databases of postmarks from other provinces and territories. For example, Gray Scrimgeour and others are compiling data on the early postmarks of the western provinces and the northern territories. The Yukon Territory and Athabaska are already present and the rest should be added soon.

In addition, we have begun work on databases of machine cancellations. The centerpiece of these is the complete slogans database developed by Cecil Coutts, that was the basis of his print publication Slogan Postmarks of Canada. As well, we are developing more detailed expositions on the various machines used in Canada. To see what is presently available, go to the main machines page and once there, select items from the sidebar at right.

Several other types of postmarks have a presence on the PHSC website as well. An up-to-date database of the early Numeral cancellations of Canada is under active development. As well the Barrel Rollers study group is active again, studying the barrel cancels that were in use starting in the 1950's. In February 2010, Bob Smith released a book titled Canada's Barrel Postmarks on the barrel cancels, which is available to PHSC members on the study group webpage.