BDR Database Search

Search the BDR database using one or more of the choices below. If you have the initials from the actual cancel (see the Precancel Types page of this site for examples), enter these initials in the first box. If you have fragmentary information from the cancel, use any combination of the other choices. Wild cards can be used in any but the first choice.

Help/Hints

Exact Initials for Complete Cancel (no wild cards allowed):

Name Fragment:

City Fragment:

Cancel Fragment (BDR Format):

Wild cards: use _ for a single missing character; use % for multiple missing characters

Example Search

The stamp at the right had an interesting cancel but was considered too poorly legible and set aside. However, with the BDR search feature above it was easy to resolve and turned out to be a proprietor which had not previously been seen on the RB20. The strategy was as follows. A fancy border can barely be made out, but fancy borders alone are probably too numerous in the database to search on this basis alone. Letters that can clearly be made out are a faint "H" in the left margin, and "&Co." above the date. In very small lettering, the city is illegible, but the state appears to be "Mo." Since we do not have a name fragment or a city, it is probably best to use wild cards and search by cancel. Since there might be characters before the "H" as well as cancel format information, we can start with a wildcard of arbitrary length %. Then the "H". Then the wildcard again for the missing characters leading up to the "&Co." which is clearly visible. Then a wildcard again to take us to the "Mo." which should be late in the cancel description. Putting this together gives the input: %H%&Co.%Mo. Type this into the cancel box and try it. Look over the search results for fancy boxes ("fcy bx"), and out pops HNL&Co. of Sanford Missouri.

Stamps Matching the Search Results

Detailed examination of this stamp with this additional description information shows a definite match. As indicated in the search results, RB21 and RB22 have handstamps in the BDR reference collection while the cancel on the RB20 had not been previously observed. Going into the reference collection under HNL&Co provided the known stamps shown at the right. Here the details of the cancel can be clearly seen. Considering the cancel on the RB20 and the cancel description, there are probably several search strategies that would be successful using the fragmentary information that could initially be read on the stamp.