Post Offices, Postal Agencies and Postmarks

The Sudan Study Group has undertaken a major project to re-classify the postal cancellations (datestamps) of the civilian post offices and postal agencies in the Sudan from 1867 to 2005. The work started several years ago and when complete will result in a publication to replace the book published by Edward Stagg in 1974 entitled Sudan: The Postal Markings, 1867 – 1970.

Stagg recorded over 270 Post Offices and postal Agencies, however research, including information obtained from the Sudanese authorities, indicates that the true figure is nearer 750 although by 2005 only approximately 200 Post Offices and Agencies remained open.

A list of recorded post offices and postal agencies is available to members of the Group. Originally it was intended to illustrate every cancellation used by each post office and postal agency. However that method has proved impossible and a new system of classifying cancels by type and applying it to each office has been devised.

The new system is based upon the physical characteristics of groups of cancellations identified without reference to name of office/agency, dimensions, date and purpose. Therefore they fall into the following groups:

Group H - Hatched Circles


Group D - Double Circles

Group S - Single Circles

Group T - Twin Circles

Group O - Oval Canels


Group R - Rectangular Cancels

Group M - Machine Cancels

Several sections of the new classification have been completed with significant contributions from members around the world.