Exhibiting Rules

Exhibiting a Polar Collection

The ultimate goal of many philatelists is to exhibit their collections and, they hope, to earn a commensurate award. Although many of the processes involved in showing a polar exhibit are the same as those of exhibiting a general postal history collection, there are some differences. If an exhibit is to do well in competition, planning, deciding what to include, and preparing the exhibit are of paramount importance.

Each competitition will have their own rules, but shown below is an example of the type of rules that you could expect to see. Why not take the plunge and try a polar exhibit at the next philatelic competition?


Polar Philately covers the full spectrum of philatelic activity covered by the existing exhibition classes of Traditional Philately, Postal History, Postal Stationery, Thematic Philately, Marcophily Aero/Astrophilately, and Open Philately applied specifically to northern (Arctic & Sub-Arctic) and southern (Antarctic & Sub-Antarctic) polar geographic regions. Polar exhibits may be presented in whole or in part in any of the formats of these other classes, or in any combination of them, or in any other format that the exhibitor may prefer - flexibility is the rule rather than the exception.

Broadly, the scope of a Polar Philately exhibit can range through stamps and covers with all types of cachets & markings, including related support material such as correspondence, newspaper articles, photographs or pictures of bases and personnel, ships, and wildlife etc that relate to any activity or services regarding polar regions.

- Adhesive stamps issued specifically with a polar motif.

- An exhibit may also contain related material such as proofs, trials, imperforates, miniature sheets etc, a study of printing methods, paper varieties, perforations, watermarks, and printing & overprinting errors.
- Covers, cards, stationery and/or other items of mail despatched or carried to or from polar regions.
- Covers, post and postal cards, postal and communication stationery (telegrams, radio
message forms, etc).
- Inwards and outwards commercial mail.
- Philatelic mail - souvenir and First Day of issue covers, commemorative covers.
- Correspondence relating to polar exploration and development - scientific, political & social.
- Material relating to preparation and undertaking of polar exploration.
- Material relating to political territorial claims; polar congresses, treaties, conventions.
- Material related to polar scientific expeditions.
- Material related to the development of a polar postal service

- Routes for transportation of mails into, through and from polar regions.
- Material related to polar flights.
- Postal cancellations and postal markings.
- Base markings; expedition markings; ships' post offices; polar mail transit locations.
- Classification and study of postal markings; chronology of occurrence - earliest and latest dates of use.
- Labels (private or official), cachets, transit and other explanatory markings, as well as written endorsements, backstamps and relevant signatures. 2.5.1
- Base cachets; expedition cachets; ship's cachets.
- Expedition, base and or marine transit members' signatures.
- Material of a specific thematic or topical nature. For example: Wildlife; Expeditions - scientific, tourist; Explorers; Ethnographic; Geographic

Introductory Statement
As for any story, an exhibit must have a clear beginning, a central theme and a logical ending. The exhibit must begin with an introductory page which defines in full what the subject is, explains how it will be developed, and specifies what the self imposed outlines and limits are. It may also contain a short list of important documentary sources used.

Exhibits may be planned chronologically, geographically, by mode of transport/service, topically, or by any other way that the exhibitor may feel appropriate.

Photographs, maps and drawings should be shown to highlight elements of the exhibit. Ephemera should not exceed 50 percent of the total exhibited material. Illustrations of postal markings & cachets are necessary only when the originals are not clear enough to the onlooker. When it is desirable to illustrate markings on the reverse side of a cover, such markings can be illustrated with a reproduction, such as a photograph or photocopy, as long as it is clearly seen as such. Photographs or reproductions should be at least 25% different in size from the original.

Criteria for Evaluation of Exhibits

Treatment of the exhibit (20 points)
– The degree of advancement, originality, completeness of the exhibit: Does the exhibit show the greatest degree of advancement in terms of the material exhibited? Is the approach orthodox, or has an unusual or original interpretation been used? How complete is the treatment of the subject chosen? Has the subject been chosen to enable a properly balanced exhibit to be shown in the space available? Does the material exhibited properly correspond with the title and description of the exhibit?

Importance of the exhibit (10 points) -
The "importance" of an exhibit is determined by both the significance of the actual exhibit in relation to the subject chosen and the overall significance of that subject to the field of Polar Philately in general.
Philatelic and related knowledge, personal study and research (35 points)
– The exhibit should demonstrate a full and accurate appreciation of the subject chosen, and a detailed study of existing information. The jury should take due account of any personal study and/or research carried out by the exhibitor.If you have undertaken any such study or research, ensure that your efforts are clearly shown in the exhibit, on the title or introductory page, in the bibliography or on the page(s) concerned.
Condition (10 points) and Rarity (20 points)
– The items should be in the best possible condition. The jury should take account of any really exceptionally fine or rare items present and whether all of the known rarities in the chosen subject are included.
Presentation (5 points)
– The write-up must be clear, concise and relevant to the material shown and to the subject chosen for the exhibit. The method of presentation should show the material to the best effect and in a balanced way.
No advantage or disadvantage shall apply as to whether the text is handwritten, typewritten or printed.
Brightly coloured inks and coloured album pages should be avoided.Exhibitors should become fully aware of the need to consider carefully the various aspects which combine together to maximise the award that an exhibit can attract.

If you have a polar exhibit that you would like to see featured on these pages please contact the webmaster.  All contributions will be gratefully received!