I would like to share with you some exciting news. A bilingual guide to modern Lithuanian postmarks just published:
Die Tagesstempel der unabhängigen Republik Litauen seit 1990 – Hand- und Begleitbuch zur Internet-Datenbank / The Daily Postmarks of Independent Lithuania Since 1990, Hand- and Companion Book to the Internet Database, in German With Summaries in English / Martin Bechstedt and Bernhard Fels – Bargteheide/Soest, 2022 : – 158 p. : iliustr. – ISBN 978-3-942841-04-7
This handbook continues the established standard work “Poststempel in Litauen 1918 bis 1940/41” by Vytautas Fugalevičius. However, not all postmarks since 1990 can be illustrated, their number has become too large. One of the main reasons for this is that until about the mid-1990s, reworked Soviet metal postmarkers were used. Then the Lithuanian post office decided not to buy steel handstamp, but instead bought comparatively cheaper plastic devices with rubber die from the Austrian companies TRODAT and COLOP. These did not always stand up to the stresses of everyday postal use and had to be replaced. This resulted in a large number of different postmarks.
So far, several thousand of the rubber die postmarks from 1994 onwards have been recorded. These cannot possibly appear in a printed work. The digital age expands the possibilities: The printed handbook explains how the large number of postmarks can be classified into seven different types on the basis of certain philatelic and technical characteristics. The description of each type contains information on the material of the stamps (metal or rubber), design, diameter, typeface and size, length of the country name LIETUVA, date lines, postal locations and distinguishing letters. Exemplary illustrations, extensive tables and a presentation of the history of origins and historical backgrounds enable a better understanding.
An Internet database provides illustrations and periods of use of all known Lithuanian postmarks, arranged alphabetically according to postal locations. New discoveries can be added indefinitely. Since May 2022, this database has been accessible to everyone on the Internet, also for downloading. Printed work and digital file are therefore not opposites, they complement each other, the advantages of a combination are obvious! This handbook is also a companion book to the database with instructions on how to use it.