Philatelic Literature Review 2nd quarter 2017 issue features Roger Brody’s farewell, the Inverted Jenny sale, and more

The online edition of the Philatelic Literature Review 2nd quarter 2017 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 2nd quarter issue features APRL President Roger Brody’s farewell column, details about the sale of the Inverted Jenny owned by the APRL and recently recovered after more than 60 years, and an article on using stamp show programs for research. Continue reading “Philatelic Literature Review 2nd quarter 2017 issue features Roger Brody’s farewell, the Inverted Jenny sale, and more”

Resource of the month: American First Day Cover Society Archives

“What do you have at the APRL regarding the history of Artcraft Cachets?” was a recent reference request received at the APRL. Apart from some articles found in the American First Day Cover Society’s (AFDCS) own journal, First Days, and the various handbooks and catalogues which are housed in the circulating collection at the APRL that list, illustrate, and in some instances value Artcraft and other cachetmakers and their cachets, the APRL also holds another unique collection which over the years has grown thanks to contributions from the AFDCS and its members and that can assist in answering this question. Starting in the late 1970’s the AFDCS decided to donate its considerable archives of materials to the APRL for safekeeping and for use by future first day cover researchers. The initial donation comprised ten four-drawer filing cabinets but has now through ongoing donations by the AFDCS and its members grown to take up 45 linear feet of compact shelving space in the closed stacks area on the second floor of the APRL.

The AFDCS Archives consists of over 3,000 file folders labeled mostly by cachetmaker and arranged alphabetically with the files including such valuable research information as original advertisements, correspondence, unserviced cachets, biographies, article clippings, photographs of the cachetmaker and their cachets, as well as in some rare instances, serviced cachets. Not all AFDCS Archives file folders contain all of this useful information but many include a good number of the aforementioned items. Continue reading “Resource of the month: American First Day Cover Society Archives”

New books at the APRL, May 2017

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

book coverAmerican Air Mail Society. American air mail catalogue: a priced catalogue and reference listing of the airposts of the world (7th ed., vol. 3) (Mineola, NY: American Air Mail Society, [2017]). [HE6238 .A512ac 7th-ed.]

American Philatelic Society. Western expansion: an illustrated through postal history, APS On-the-Road Course ([Bellefonte, Pa.]: American Philatelic Society, 2017). [In process 000064329]

Baccarin, Claudio; Bordoni, Beniamino. Penne da collezione: Usfi, 50 anni sulla notizia (Castelfidardo (AN) [Italy]: Usfi Unione stampa filatelica italiana; Prodigi srl, 2016). [In process 000064044] Continue reading “New books at the APRL, May 2017”

APRL featured in American Libraries

The APRL is featured in the June 2017 issue of American Libraries, the magazine of the American Library Association.

Each month, AL features a special library on its last page. For this feature, an editor interviewed me about the APRL, the APS, and the kind of research we support. A photographer came to take pictures of the library and some of our unique collections.

To view the feature, visit the site for the June issue, click on the print version, and jump to page 96.

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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.

Internship in digital projects at the APRL

We’re hiring! The APRL is looking for an intern for the summer 2017 to work on a digitization project.

Under the supervision of the APRL Librarian, the intern will digitize journals from the library’s collection related to sports philately (collecting sports on postage stamps).

The intern’s primary tasks will include:
• Scanning journals using the library’s scanning equipment
• Running optical character recognition (OCR) software
• Performing quality control
• Entering metadata
• Packaging files for delivery to the customer

The intern will learn about library digitization processes and receive training on scanning equipment and software.

This internship is intended for an undergraduate or graduate student or new professional interested in pursuing a career in libraries, archives, or related fields. Prior knowledge of or experience in a library or archives setting is preferred but not required. Must have good computer skills, attention to detail, and ability to work independently.

The intern will be a part-time temporary employee of the American Philatelic Society, located in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, and compensation will be $11 per hour. The intern will work 15 hours per week from May through August. Schedule is flexible but must fall within the APRL’s operating hours (8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday). If the intern is a student, the internship may be completed for credit.

The American Philatelic Research Library (www.stamplibrary.org) holds more than 85,000 volumes and is the largest public library in the world dedicated to stamp collecting and postal history. It is located in newly-renovated space in an historic match factory building in the Victorian town of Bellefonte, just 10 miles from Penn State’s University Park campus. The APRL has 4 FTE staff and serves philatelic researchers around the world.

To apply, submit a resume, cover letter, and names and contact information for three references by May 31, 2017 to Tara Murray, APRL, 100 Match Factory Place, Bellefonte, PA 16823 or tmurray@stamps.org.

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.