The type of publication used by OPAL to communicate with its members has changed
over the years. Up to the end of 1976 no distinction was made between information
about the internal affairs of the association, such as membership lists and auctions,
and information, or requests for it, about the members' philatelic and postal history
interests. All was combined in what began by being described as a newsletter and
later was dignified by being called the journal. Individual issues were numbered
through from No 1. For a time beginning in 1959 issues were grouped in numbered volumes,
but this was discontinued in 1981. As from issue No 142 (November 1976), the journal,
at least in principle, ceased to contain internal business, leaving it to be publicised
in a separate series of newsletters. This index does not cover these post-1976 newsletters
and omits references in earlier newsletters and journals to material which after
1976 would have been put in the separate newsletters.
In addition to the regular journal issues, the index covers three special journal
issues published jointly with the Tughra Times and fourteen supplements. The references
to the special journals and to the supplements are preceded respectively by the letters
OTT or S as the case may be.
The index gives for each reference two numbers, the first of which is the issue serial
number and the second of which is the page number. The most compelling reason for
including page numbers is that there are many instances of the same topic cropping
up at more than one place in a particular issue. Unfortunately there are several
issues which have no printed page numbers and for which the index compiler has had
to devise them. Similarly, the supplements issued without serial numbers have had
to be given numbers at this stage to facilitate their identification.
The chronology at the end of this preface is intended to give the index-user an idea
of the date at which the journals appeared. The corresponding information about the
joint issues and supplements is not available to the compiler.
Most of the contents of the journals has a geographical context. The index is therefore
mainly arranged alphabetically by the country headings familiar to users of stamp
catalogues. Below this level, an arrangement in alphabetical order is not practicable.
Instead, for countries with a large number of entries, sub-divisions based on philatelic
themes have been used in the hope that this will reduce the amount of searching required.
The few entries that have no geographical context are placed at the front of the
Turkey has been split between the Ottoman Empire and the Turkish Republic. The Ankara
issues have been treated as if the republic was already in being when they were made.
The compiler has tried to bring all references to the same subject into the same
entry. This has made it impracticable to carry forward the titles of articles and
names of their authors from the previously published index. Unfamiliarity with many
parts of the field covered may have led to failure to realise the connection when
the same subject is referred to by different names by different authors, especially
those who did not give such points of reference as dates and catalogue numbers.