Given the health and safety concerns during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, the APS, APRL, the National Postal Museum and the U.S. Philatelic Classics Society have decided to move forward with the 2020 Postal History Symposium as a virtual symposium. The biennial event, jointly hosted by the American Philatelic Research Library and the National Postal Museum, was initially scheduled for October 30-31, 2020, at the American Philatelic Center in Bellefonte, PA.
As introduced earlier the APRL has begun a funding campaign titled “Adopt-A-Book.” The idea for the Adopt-A-Book campaign is to afford members the opportunity to “adopt” a book from the APRL collection and then donate in its honor much needed funds to assist the library with its ongoing digitization projects. At this early stage, the idea of the campaign is not to select a specific book or resource for adoption to then have that book or resource digitized, but instead to assist the library in general funding with digitization projects going forward. Donors will be recognized for their donation to the Adopt-A-Book campaign with a special bookplate in the book or resource of their choosing from the APRL collection which will name the donor and acknowledge their support.
The American Philatelic Research Library has one of the world’s largest and most accessible collections of philatelic literature. With nearly four miles of materials that comprise over 90,000 items including 23,000 book titles and 5,700 journal titles, the need to provide worldwide access to these materials has never been greater. In keeping with this, in 2017 the APRL created its digital collections database, APRL Digital, and began digitizing journals, books, maps, exhibits and photos from its collection. Currently the database has over 500,000 pages of material which includes complete journal runs of the American Philatelist, the Philatelic Literature Review, Postal History Journal, Collectors Club Philatelist and the American Philatelic Congress Books to name a few as well as digitized books, maps, exhibits, photos and even a movie or two.
Today begins a
very special and, given the current times, very different week here at the
American Philatelic Research Library. First observed in 1958 and sponsored by
the American Library Association (ALA), today marks the beginning of the 61st
anniversary of National Library Week (April 19-25), a week commemorating
libraries and librarians. All across the country the annual event recognizes
the important contributions that libraries have within the fabric of society and
the role that librarians play as the organizers and facilitators of knowledge,
resources and research.
Truly these are very unique times for all of us as stamp collectors and as a community of hobbyists. In the world of social distancing, shelter-in-place and stay-at-home orders the role that philately can play to ease the boredom and isolation we now sometimes feel has never been greater. As we wait patiently for this time to pass, we can reinvigorate our love of the hobby through our collections and get back to some of the basic reasons why we enjoy stamp and cover collecting. The current time affords us the opportunity to re-affirm our passion for what we collect and to rediscover some of the basic philatelic resources we use to investigate and explore our collections further.
Have time to do some research or just read an issue or two of the Collector’s Club Philatelist or the Postal History Journal? Now’s your chance! While we’re all at home social distancing there’s no need to feel remote from the APRL! Until May 31 APRL Digital, the library’s digital collections database, will be open to both members and non-members. As we transition the database from its present home to a new responsive platform, be one of the first to experience the digital library’s new responsive address.