Resource of the month: the APRL staff

Need to know the postcard rate in Czechoslovakia in 1920? Have a Scott catalog number and need to know the Michel number? Want to learn more about the Inverted Jenny?

Every day, APS members turn to the library staff with questions like these, and our library staff uncover the answers. We can help you search our online catalog, provide more information about a book or journal in our collection, and even recommend resources on your topic.

For National Library Week in April, we featured each of the APRL’s five staff members on this blog. We are experts in philatelic literature, and we can help you build your knowledge and enjoy your hobby to the fullest.

Visit our library services page to learn more about what we can do for you and how to get in touch with us.

Inverted Jenny Position 76 Sells for $295,000 in May 11 Siegel Sale

The McCoy Inverted Jenny Position 76 sold today for $295,000 at an auction conducted by Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries.

The identity of the winning bidder was not immediately revealed, but the stamp was sold to a bidder on the phone at the New York City auction headquarters. Floor and Internet bids also were accepted.

With buyer’s fees added, the winning bidder will pay $295,000 ($250,000 was the high bid) for the iconic 1918 stamp that shows a biplane flying upside down.

The sale featured the American Philatelic Research Library’s Inverted Jenny stamp recovered a year ago. The stamp was stolen along with three others during a 1955  national stamp show in Norfolk, Virginia. The block of stamps was owned by Ethel McCoy when they were stolen. Later, McCoy willed the stamps to the APRL. Two stamps were recovered in the late 1970s; one was sold and the other is retained and often exhibited by the American Philatelic Society, a sister organization to the APRL.

The stamps were part of an original sheet of 100 error stamps purchased in 1918 by William Robey from a post office in Washington, D.C. The stamps were printed hastily to help inaugurate the country’s inaugural airmail service.

APRL Librarian Tara Murray and Scott D. English, the APRL’s administrator and APS executive director, journeyed to New York City from the library’s home in central Pennsylvania to witness the sale. Pictured above is English (left) receiving a check from Scott Trepel President of Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries Inc.

Proceeds from the sale will go to the APRL’s new library facility at the American Philatelic Center in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania.

Postal history lives on in Bellefonte research library

This article originally appeared in the Centre Daily Times, April 29, 2017, and is reposted here with permission.

By Frank Ready (photos by Phoebe Sheehan/Centre Daily Times)

You could hear a pin drop.

One would not necessarily expect to find a preponderance of pins in the American Philatelic Research Library, but nevertheless, it’s nice to know that the option is out there.

Silence may be preferred among some of your finer book repositories, but at the American Philatelic Research Library, the waste of perfectly good acoustics probably had less to do with decorum than the realities of mid-morning foot traffic on a Tuesday in Bellefonte.

There was one visitor wandering the first of the postal facility’s two floors, a maze of towering bookshelves and rectangular research tables tucked way in the back of the refurbished Match Factory.

Navigation duties had fallen to Scott Tiffney, one of the library’s five regular staff members. Continue reading “Postal history lives on in Bellefonte research library”

New books at the APRL, April 2017

APRL acquisitions, April 2017. To request loans, copies, or scans, or to search our catalog, visit the APRL website.

book coverAmerican Topical Association. Chapter 5. ATA Chapter 5 (Wauwatosa, Wisconsin: ATA Chapter 5, 2016-). [JOURNAL ATA Chapter 5]

Australia Post Philatelic Group. Archives Section. Caring for your stamp collection (Australia Post, 1990). [In process 000063652]

Benner, Judith Ann. Fraudulent finance: counterfeiting and the Confederate States, 1861-1865 (Hillsboro, Texas: Hill Junior College, 1970). [In process 000063947]

Castillo, Williams. Conoce las estampillas, Escuelas 1871-1880 (Atlanta, Georgia, USA: , 2016). [G5281 .D313 C35c 2016]

Castillo, Williams. Introducing Venezuela’s 1871-1880 Escuelas stamps (Atlanta, Georgia, USA: , 2016). [G5281 .D313 C35c 2016z] Continue reading “New books at the APRL, April 2017”

APRL featured in the Centre Daily Times

The Centre Daily Times, the major newspaper serving the home of the APS and APRL in Centre County, stopped by last week to learn more about the library and the work we do.

The result is a feature on the front page of Sunday’s newspaper, which you can also read online.

The article includes quotes from me as well as our reference assistant, Scott Tiffney, and Gary Loew, an APS member and postal historian who has traveled to Bellefonte to do research.

APRL Librarian Tara Murray Honored

Tara Murray, librarian for the American Philatelic Research Library in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, will be recognized as a Fellow by an international libraries organization.

The Special Libraries Association will honor Murray and 11 other longstanding and emerging leaders in June at the SLA 2017 Annual Conference in Phoenix, Arizona.

Murray is one of five individuals who will be named as Fellows at the convention’s second general session on June 19. The SLA Fellowship recognizes mid-career information professionals for their past, present, and future service to SLA and the profession.

Murray joined the American Philatelic Research Library in July 2010, after spending nine years as an information services director for the Population Research Institute at nearby Penn State University. Murray oversees operations of the APRL, the world’s largest philatelic library, including leading staff and volunteers, managing the library’s collection and the APS and APRL archives, and responding to a steady stream of requests from society members and the public. She also helps other philatelic libraries share resources and information through the Philatelic Library Forum and the online David Straight Memorial Philatelic Union Catalogue. Murray works with the APS Editorial Department to produce the quarterly Philatelic Literature Review and participates in events such as Summer Seminar and the Postal History Symposium co-sponsored by the APRL, APS, and Smithsonian National Postal Museum.

The Special Libraries Association, a nonprofit international organization for innovative information professionals and their strategic partners. SLA serves information professionals in more than 60 countries and in a wide range of working environments, including business, academia, and government agencies. For more information about the honors and SLA, visit sla.org.

Tara Murray: an expert in making resources available online

Tara Murray is the Librarian and Director of Information Services for the American Philatelic Research Library. She manages the library’s operations and collections and leads digitization projects.

Jane King Fohn was interested in making her gold and grand award-winning exhibit, The 9-cent Alamo Stamp and its First Day Covers, available to a wider audience. A display in the American Philatelic Center would only reach the limited audience of those who can make the trip to Bellefonte and wouldn’t be permanent, so I suggested that Jane lend us her exhibit for scanning. When she agreed and sent us the exhibit, we scanned it and added the digital copy to the library collection. It is now accessible through the library catalog and the APS online exhibit collection.

 

Save

Save

Save

Siegel catalog for Inverted Jenny sale available

The catalog for the McCoy Inverted Jenny – position 76 sale by Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries is now available online.

The sale, scheduled for May 11 at 1:30 p.m. in New York City, features the American Philatelic Research Library‘s recently recovered Inverted Jenny stamp. The stamp, Position 76 of the famous McCoy Block, stolen in 1955 at a stamp show in Norfolk, Virginia, was recovered by the APRL at a public event in June 2016 during the World Stamp Show-NY 2016.

Proceeds from the sale will go to the APRL’s new library facility.

Save

Fred Baumann: an expert in finding just the right publication for our stamp-collecting patrons

Fred Baumann is a Library Assistant three days each week at the APRL. He helps patrons select materials, checks material in and out at the circulation desk, keeps a close eye on overdue books, processes payments for library services, shelves and locates books and periodicals, and prices donated books for resale.

When I moved to Bellefonte as an active collector a decade ago, I found the APRL both enchanting and intimidating. With hundreds of books and journals about the things I collected, the chief challenge was discovering what was indispensable and what was not. That task is even more difficult for patrons searching an unfamiliar online catalog from afar.

While I’m not a professional librarian, I do bring to the library an intimate familiarity with the stamp hobby both as a collector and as a writer for the last 33 years. My experience sometimes enables me to find precisely what a patron needs.

A collector requested literature about stamps of Bosnia & Herzegovina from the last years of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The best-known reference is an 87-year-old text, too rare and fragile to leave the library. What he didn’t know was that there’s a superb catalog in full color with current stamp values, robustly bound and in great shape, that we could lend him without a worry. He was delighted, replying that he “found some valuable info for just about every stamp in my collection.”

Save