Home > Current Issue (Fall 2001) > Editor's Laptop

Against all odds, PSR has survived two very difficult quarters. To briefly summarize the events of June through October, 2001... the tragic and ongoing illness of our co-founder, contributor, and good friend, David Heppell; excessive overtime at my day job; the loss of editorial content due to a computer virus; distractions associated with the World Trade Center bombing; and most recently, the transition from my full-time job to freelance project work. Most of these issues are now resolved. The most important remaining issue is David Heppell's health. Please join me in sending your thoughts and prayers to David, without whom PSR would not be possible. He remains hospitalized due to severe complications following a viral infection. He is recovering, and we look forward to his contributions next year.

As you know, Volume 2 Number 3 was missed. The issue at hand is the combined numbers 3 and 4. Consolidating two numbers will give us a chance to recover from this year's problems. Our first volume amounted to only one issue, published in October of 2000. This year's volume consists of three issues, and our third (2002) will be the first full volume of four issues, barring any unforseen problems.

The most important change this quarter is the introduction of our new tagline. Formerly the "Online Journal of Indian States Philately and History," Princely States Report is now the "Journal of Indian States History, Philately and Numismatics." The word "Online" was removed, because we are in the process of moving toward a "media-independent" paradigm—one that will allow us to deliver editorial content for web browsers, traditional print, and other media. Next year, we will offer print versions of our back issues, as well as simultaneously publishing print and online versions of new issues. The word "Numismatics" was added to our tagline to show our dedication to coin-related coverage. We have found that there is a large amount of overlap in the concerns of these disciplines, and it makes sense to treat them as equals in the pages of PSR. Note our first coin-related feature article—'Sikka' and the Crown, Genesis of the Native Coinage Act, 1876—by Sanjay Garg.

We will continue to deliver important information related to stamps of the Indian princely states. In this issue David Heppell provides a wonderful overview of Modern Indian States Forgeries (almost ready for publication—check back soon), and a shorter piece on the obscure 'Raj' Service overprints of Jaipur.

There is one line of questioning that seems to perplex all students of Indian princely states history. How many states existed, and what are their names? The numbers and names vary among contemporary and modern sources. PSR hopes to shed some light on this issue with the first edition of the Indian Princely States (IPS) Index. David Heppell, William Spengler and I collaborated on this First Edition. You can expect updated editions with each issue of PSR in 2002.

Those who have visited PSR in the past will note significant changes to the web site's overall structure and navigation. We've attempted to make the site easier to use and easier to maintain. If you have trouble locating a page, visit our Site Guide, where you'll find direct links to everything. We've eliminated a few elements that contributed to the site's aesthetic appeal but negatively affected performance. As a result, you should experience faster downloads.

PSR is free of charge, supported by Vahana Project and volunteer contributors. Earlier this summer, we considered introducing advertising in order to offset the journal's administrative costs. We contacted 20 potential advertisers, offering free ad banners as an introductory offer. Only two advertisers responded to our free offer. Based upon the lack of interest, we decided not to introduce advertising. It simply doesn't make sense to introduce ad banners, a feature that is considered irritating by the vast majority of readers, unless there is potential for significant revenue.

Have a wonderful year-end, and check back in January, 2002, for our next issue.

-Ron Rice, Editor (editor@princelystates.com)

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