International Year of Disabled Persons stamps

I recently received a message from a collector who is researching the representation of disability on stamps. He has created a list of verified issues for the United Nations International Year of Disabled Persons, which he continues to update. He has also created  a Pinterest board for stamp images.

Scott Rains welcomes contact from others with an interest in this area at


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New books at the APRL, September 2015

APRL acquisitions, August 16, 2015–September 15, 2015. To request loans, copies, or scans, or to search our catalog, visit the APRL website.

book coverAbdul-Mughni, Khaled. Kuwait postal history under Indian administration [exhibit] (Souk Al-Dakhly, Kuwait: Khaled Abdul-Mughni, [2007?]): 80 leaves: col. ill.; 30 cm. [G7601 .P856 A136k EXHIBIT]

Album for Roosevelt issues (New York, N.Y.: Globus Stamp Co., c1949): [24] p.: ill.; 15 x 23 cm. [In process 000057955]

Allen, Ron E. AFDCS Directory of current cachetmakers (Lexington, KY: American First Day Cover Society, 2015): 12 p.; 28 cm. [G3701 .C119 A512d 2015 VERT FILE]

Almurr, Mohammed Ahmad. The postal history of Muscat, 1868-1948 [exhibit] ([n.l.]: [Mohammed Ahmad Almurr], [2011]): 80 leaves: col. ill.; 28 cm. [G7564 .M8 A45p EXHIBIT]

» Continue reading “New books at the APRL, September 2015″

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APRL construction: in the trenches

Library constructionThe final phase of construction for the new APRL kicked off last month, and the construction crew has been hard at work ever since. Last week, they dug trenches for electrical conduit. This will allow us to add reading lamps and electrical outlets to the work tables in the main reading room.

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Flattening folded or rolled documents

In this new YouTube video from the Smithsonian National Postal Museum, a preservation specialist demonstrates how to use a humidification chamber to flatten a document.

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Does the APRL keep everything we scan?

book scannerIn the past 5 years, the APRL has made a shift from providing mostly photocopies of articles requested by members to providing mostly digital scans. The shift is due to a combination of factors: we acquired professional book scanning equipment, which allows us to make better quality scans more efficiently and consequently prompted us to lower our scanning fees, and more and more members are asking for library resources in digital format.

I often get asked if the library keeps and archives all the articles we scan for members so that we can reuse them or post them online. We don’t, for two main reasons:

1. Copyright law prohibits us from keeping copies of publications that are protected by copyright. The copies we make for individual members are made under the Fair Use provision of copyright law for individual research and study. We are not permitted to archive and reuse these copies or to share them online.

2. Archiving scans of articles would require good indexing so that they could easily be retrieved again, as well as significant server space to store the files. Because requests are rarely for the same article, saving these scans is not a good use of our limited resources.

Scott CatalogueThere are exceptions, however. When we scan a public domain work in its entirety, we can and do save and archive the scans, and later make them available online through our library catalog. There are currently more than 250 records in the Philatelic Union Catalog in the location “Online,” which means the record either has a digital file attached or contains a link to full text available from another source.

One example is the 27th edition of the Scott Catalogue (published in 1873), which we have scanned and made available online. For more examples, select “Online” from the drop-down box when you search the catalog or look for records with “Online” in the location.

In addition to saving scans of public domain works, our digitization strategy also includes proactively digitizing works in the public domain (such as pre-1923 publications and government documents) and works that we can secure the rights to (such as publications produced by and copyrighted by the APS or works the copyright holder has given us permission to digitize, such as our collection of online exhibits).


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Railway Mail Service Library to present program on railway post offices

The Railway Mail Service Library will be presenting an evening program about Railway Post Offices operating to and from Washington, DC, on Friday, November
20th at 7 PM.  The presentation is for the Washington Chapter, National Railway Historical Society, at a meeting room in the George Washington National Masonic Memorial, Alexandria, Virginia.

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Philatelic Literature Review 3rd quarter issue available online

The online edition of the Philatelic Literature Review 3rd quarter 2015 issue is now available to subscribers. If you are a PLR subscriber and we have your email address, you should have received an email with instructions for accessing the online edition.

The 3rd quarter issue features:

President’s Message — Roger Brody
From the Librarian’s Desk — Tara Murray
Library News — Sergio Lugo
APRL Final Construction Begins
Journal Project to Improve Organization and Access — Betsy Gamble

And our regular departments:

About the Cover
APRL New Acquisitions
Book Reviews
Index to Advertisers
New Books Noted
Philatelic Literature Clearinghouse
Philatelic Literature Contributors
PLR Dealer Directory

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APRL New Acquisitions, 3rd quarter 2015, continued

Due to space constraints, we could not include the full acquisitions list in the  3rd quarter 2015 Philatelic Literature Review, including the many periodical records added as part of our recent journal reorganization project. The remainder of the periodicals are listed here.

Newsletter (Greater Eastside Stamp Society) ([Bellevue, Washington]: Greater Eastside Stamp Society, [1988]): ill.; 28 cm. [JOURNAL Newsletter (Greater Eastside Stamp Society)]

The Newsletter Newsletter (Clarksburg, West Virginia: Harrison County Stamp Club, 1990): ill.; 28 cm. [JOURNAL Newsletter Newsletter]

The Newsletter of the International Security Endorsement Study Group ([Grandview, MO): International Security Endorsement Study Group, 1976): 28 cm. [JOURNAL Newsletter of the International Security Endorsement Study Group]

Newsletter of the Midwest Philatelic Society ([Kansas City, KS]: Midwest Philatelic Society, [1989]): 28 cm. [JOURNAL Newsletter of the Midwest Philatelic Society]

The North Star (Midway, Minn.: Henry Norman, [1893]): 23 cm. [JOURNAL North Star]

Northern Christmas annual (Manchester, [1890/1891]): 34 cm. [JOURNAL Northern Christmas Annual] » Continue reading “APRL New Acquisitions, 3rd quarter 2015, continued”

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New books at the APRL, August 2015

APRL acquisitions, July 16, 2015–August 15, 2015. To request loans, copies, or scans, or to search our catalog, visit the APRL website.

book coverAitchison, Jon. A specialised handbook and catalogue of the Nautical Chart ‘Map’ Stamps and pigeon post stamps of Herm Island 1949-1959 (Near Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom: Jon Aitchison, 2008): 74 p.: ill.; 31 cm. [In process 000056931]

Andrade e Sousa, M.M. de. A distribuicao domiciliara da correspondencia (Lisboa [Portugal]: Correios e Telecomunicacoes de Portugal, servico de edicao de publicacoes, 1976): vii, 18 p.; ill.; 20.5 cm. [In process 000056947]

Axster, Felix. Koloniales Spektakel in 9×14: Bildpostkarten im Deutschen Kaiserreich (Bielefeld [Germany]: Transcript, c2014): 247 p.: col. ill.; 23 cm. [In process 000056938]

Baptista, João Moreira. Selos clandestinos tipo “Ceres” Portugal e Ultramar ([Lisbon, Portugal]: Correios e Telecomunicacoes de Portugal (Lisboa: Serviço de Edicao de Publicacoes), 1976): vii, 35 p.: ill.; 21 cm. [In process 000056946]

Bath Postal Museum. Bath Postal Museum guide book (Bath [England]: Bath Postal Museum, 2006): [48] p.: col. ill.; 21 cm. [In process 000057366]

» Continue reading “New books at the APRL, August 2015″

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APRL construction begins

The long-anticipated completion of the new state-of-the-art American Philatelic Research Library has begun! The APRL Board of Trustees on Friday, July 31 approved plans for the library’s final construction phase, which started this morning.

The new library will provide secure storage for our unique collections and much-needed workspace for staff, volunteers, and visitors. I was so excited that I couldn’t resist pitching in to help take down a temporary wall in the new library space.

Read the press release for more information on the library project.

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