Free resources for National Library Week, April 13-19

Celebrate National Library Week by doing some research!

Oxford University Press is providing free access to online resources in the U.S. for the week of April 13-19. The resources include Oxford Reference, Grove Art Online, American National Biography, the Oxford English Dictionary, and more.

ProQuest is providing free access to several popular databases, including ProQuest Obituaries and more.

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APRL gets second book scanning station

Book Scanner

The new book scanner in operation

Three years ago, APRL scanning services got a major boost with the installation of a book scanning station purchased by the Mighty Buck Club. This allowed us to reduce the price for our scanning service, provide a scanning station for library visitors at no charge, and digitize books and journals.

The book scanner has been so popular that there is often a wait to use it. Thanks to a grant from the David T. Beals III Charitable Trust, we have purchased a second book scanner for the library.

Book Scanner

Options on the new scanning interface

The new scanner is similar to the first scanner, but has faster hardware and an enhanced interface. We have upgraded the first scanner to this new interface, too.

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New books in the APRL, March 2014

APRL acquisitions, February 16-March 15, 2014. To request loans, copies, or scans, or to search our catalog, visit the APRL website.

book coverBassil, Semaan. An introduction to French postal history in Tripoli (1852-1914): in the age of steamships, French influence in the Levant, and the decline of the Ottoman Empire (Beirut [Lebanon]: Lebanese British Friends of the National Museum, 2013): 179 p.: ill. maps; 31 cm. [G7474 .T7 B321i 2013]

Carter, Paul T. Universal machine postmarks ([United Kingdom]: British Postmark Society, 2013-2014): 3 v.: ill., tables; 28 cm. [Shelved with the journal British Postmark Society Journal]

Catalogo dei francobolli d’Italia e dei paesi italiani (Roma: ”Sassone Editrice” S.r.l., [1992]): 2 v. (1078 p.): ill. (chiefly col.); 24 cm. [G6710 .A1 C359 1992c]

Catalogo dei francobolli d’Italia e dei paesi italiani / (Roma: ”Sassone” S.r.l., 2003, c2002): 1 v. in 2 (1475 p.): ill. (many col.), map; 24 cm. [G6710 .A1 C359 2003sp]

Catalogo dei francobolli d’Italia e dei paesi italiani :: Antichi stati, Regno, Repubblica, Trieste, San Marino, Vaticano, S.M.O.M. / (Roma: ”Sassone Editrice” S.r.l., 1985, c1984): 876 p.: ill. (chiefly col.); 24 cm. [G6710 .A1 C359 1985c]

» Continue reading “New books in the APRL, March 2014″

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The future of libraries

book scanner

A book scanner is one of the APRL’s most frequently-used resources, and a second scanner will soon be available for patrons, staff, and volunteers to use.

In an age when libraries are often considered dinosaurs – rendered obsolete by the rise of digital information – it might seem incongruous to build a new library. Yet, in many communities, libraries are busier than ever and library building and renovation projects are going full steam ahead.

A study of public library engagement in America conducted by Pew Research found that technology users are also library users (Turns out most engaged library users are also biggest tech users, PBS NEWSHOUR). The full report is available from the Pew Research Internet Project.

Meanwhile, the Boston Public Library, the “oldest public urban library in the country,” is undertaking a massive renovation project to make its main library more inviting (Breaking Out of the Library Mold, in Boston and Beyond, New York Times). The renovation will preserve access to traditional library resources while providing space for new technologies and activities.

The new APRL

Architect’s rendering of the new library space.

Philatelic libraries are increasingly using print and digital resources side by side to get the best information possible. Recently the Smithsonian Libraries digitized a John Tiffany manuscript, and have made it available for anyone to help with the transcription that will eventually make the 19th-century document fully searchable online. The Rocky Mountain Philatelic Library in Denver is producing a series of online videos. The Postal History Foundation has indexed its journal, The Heliograph, using the online Philatelic Union Catalog. The APRL has many digital projects in the works, including a growing collection of online exhibits, digital finding aids helping researchers discover and navigate unique archival collections, and an upcoming map digitization project. The new APRL space currently in progress will provide space for protecting and accessing our valuable print collections as well as space for digitization projects and for library users to scan a variety of formats and plug in their own devices.

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Canadian Stamp Collection to go on display

The Canadian Stamp Collection is a new permanent exhibit opening March 28, 2014 at the Canadian Museum of History. The exhibit will highlight the stories behind some of the 500,000 stamps in the Museum’s philatelic collection.

Read more about the Canadian Stamp Collection exhibit on the Museum’s website.

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Dutch philately in North America

Hans Kremer, a member of the American Society for Netherlands Philately (APS Affiliate#60), has written a brief history of Dutch philately in North America (PDF) and made it available online.

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Bellefonte Iron & Nail Co.

When I give tours of the library, I tell people that the APRL doesn’t collect stamps. This is mostly, but not 100%, true.

One of the exceptions is our collection of Bellefonte postal history. The collection ranges from the mid-1800s to the current century, and includes everything from stampless covers to picture postcards.

Charles Fricke recently donated a new item to us for this collection. It is an 1891 cover from the Bellefonte Iron & Nail Co.

Bellefonte Iron & Nail Co. coverBellefonte Iron & Nail Co.

This is our first cover from this company, but we do also have a bond in our collection.

Bellefonte Iron & Nail Co. bondBellefonte Iron & Nail Co. bond

According to the 1892 Directory to the Iron and Steel Works of the United States, the company had 53 nail machines.

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First quarter Philatelic Literature Review now available online

Philatelic Literature ReviewThe online edition of the Philatelic Literature Review 4th quarter 2014 issue is now available to subscribers. If you are a PLR subscriber and we have your email address, you can log in to the APS website and access the current issue.

Not a subscriber? Start a subscription today or contact Tara Murray for more information.

Features

President’s Message
From the Librarian’s Desk
— Tara Murray
Library News — Larry T. Nix
The University of Pennsylvania Philatelist — Gerald H. Strauss
50th Anniversary Celebration for the Spellman Museum of Stamps and Postal History — Robert Cagna
Classifying the Exhibits Collection — Betsy Gamble

Departments

About the Cover
APRL New Acquisitions
Book Reviews
Index of Advertisers
Literature Palmares: Chicagopex 2013
New Books Noted
Philatelic Literature Clearinghouse
Philatelic Literature Contributors
PLR Dealer Directory

 

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Help the Smithsonian transcribe a Tiffany manuscript

Philatelic IndexThe Smithsonian Libraries have digitized John K. Tiffany’s Philatelic Index manuscript and it is now available for crowd sourcing transcription. Anyone can participate in the transcription and bring the manuscript one step closer to being fully searchable.

Smithsonian National Postal Museum librarian Baasil Wilder has provided instructions to get you started, and transcribed one sentence himself to try it out.

You can go straight to the website and begin on your own. Everything is done on the computer.

First, create an account.

Then, read the tutorial.

You are now ready to begin transcribing the Tiffany manuscript online, and you can save your work and finish it later.

Once a volunteer decides they’ve “finished” and they’re ready for review, a different volunteer (who must also have an account on the site) can review the transcription and either send it back for edits, or complete the transcription.

The finished transcript is sent to the Smithsonian, where it may be used immediately, or undergo additional work.

Read more about the manuscript and the transcription project on the Smithsonian Libraries blog.

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Spellman Museum to host postal history symposium

The Spellman Museum of Stamps and Postal History will host a postal history symposium co-sponsored by the United States Philatelic Classics Society, and with support from the American Philatelic Society, on Thursday, May 1, a day before the opening of the Philatelic Show in nearby Boxboro.

The theme of the symposium is “Transition Periods in American Postal History.” The presenters include Alfredo Frohlich (“Panama: The Path between the Seas”), Gordon E. Eubanks, Jr. (“Creating the Postal Age and the Introduction of the Issue of 1851″), Douglas N. Clark (“The Transition of the Whaling Industry from Nantucket to Martha’s Vineyard”), and Ron Cipolla (“William F. Harnden’s Express: The Dramatic Catalyst that Changed America’s Postal System”).

Admission to the symposium is free but the Museum asks that attendees register.

 

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