The December and January acquisitions lists posted on this blog each included a number of volumes on Indiana county postal history. There was not sufficient space in the first quarter 2017 Philatelic Literature Review to list them all individually, so following is a list of the 88 volumes acquired by the library in December 2016. The library already had 2 volumes, so we now have 90 volumes covering all but 2 (Ripley and Vigo) of Indiana’s 92 counties. Continue reading “Indiana county postal histories”
This month’s featured resource has a lengthy title: Index of literature in the English language that describes postal stamp forgeries, fakes, reprints, fraudulent postal markings and other obliterations, and, Bibliography. In the library, we refer to it familiarly as the “Tedesco Index” for its creator, Theodore “Ted” Tedesco.
The index was originally published serially in our quarterly journal, the Philatelic Literature Review, from 2005 to 2009. Ted gave us a complete digital copy, which we printed and put in 3-ring binders for reference in the library. Because it covers the entire world, organized by country, and gives references not only to standard resources like The Serrane Guide and Album Weeds, but also to the many un-indexed journals in our collection and online resources, it is one of our go-to resources for forgery questions. Continue reading “APRL Resource of the Month: The Tedesco Index”
This article on Heinrich Köhler’s upcoming literature sale was submitted by Wolfgang Maassen.
The Wiesbaden auction house of Heinrich Köhler has had a good reputation among philatelic literature enthusiasts, at least since the now legendary special philatelic literature auction which was held on November 2, 2012 during the international IPHLA exhibition at the Town Hall in Mainz. That auction which offered a wealth of important material, with some 1,000 lots of literary works, periodicals, and auction catalogs, such as are only encountered on rare occasions. Accordingly, there was a worldwide response, a well-filled auction room, and quite a number of exceptional results.
Philatelic literature is still—and certainly will be in future—much valued by connoisseurs and experts. This is due to its rarity compared with most postage stamps, and because of the content that one can use for one’s own research. Many books and magazines from the 19th century are great rarities; many only exist in the form of a few copies or individual examples. Other printed items from this period may be found more frequently, but hardly in fine condition. Or they are notable for their elaborate bibliophile-type covers, which would have been costly for earlier owners. It would also nowadays be far easier to purchase one hundred beautiful “Saxony Threes” within a few years than a well maintained and well preserved library of the same number of publications from the 19th century. Continue reading “A “feast” for literature enthusiasts, presented by the auction house of Heinrich Köhler, Wiesbaden (March 21-25, 2017)”
APRL acquisitions, December 16, 2016–January 15, 2017. To request loans, copies, or scans, or to search our catalog, visit the APRL website.
As last month, this month’s additions to the library also include a number of volumes on the postal history of Indiana counties. In all, there are 90 volumes covering all but 2 (Ripley and Vigo) of Indiana’s 92 counties. There were so many they didn’t all get cataloged in the same month!
They were published by the Indiana Postal History Society, an APS affiliate. Each volume includes maps of the county and data for each town post office, such as dates of operation and postmaster appointments. The volumes were donated to the library by Art Hadley, and volunteers comb-bound them for the collection.
Asociacion “Coleccionistas de Mexico” = “Collectors of Mexico” Association [auction house] (Mexico, D.F.: Asociacion “Coleccionistas de Mexico” = “Collectors of Mexico” Association, 1967). [AUCTION Asociacion Coleccionistas de Mexico]
Burns, Ron. Shelby County postal history (Bloomington, IN: Indiana Postal History Society, 2015). [G4093 .S4 B97s 2015] Continue reading “New books at the APRL, January 2017”
A recent article from art blog Hyperallergic explores the art of the bookplate. Bookplates have been used for centuries to indicate ownership of books, and, as the article notes, can be used to trace the provenance of books.
The APRL’s collection includes many bookplates from famous philatelists, including Stanley B. Ashbrook, Creighton C. Hart, and H.E. Deats. The next time you check out a book, you could be holding a book that was once read by a member of the APS Hall of Fame!
We also use bookplates to show that books have come to us as part of a society library, for example the State Revenue Society or the Polonus Philatelic Library, or in honor or memory of an individual.
Brian Birch has written a nearly 1,000-page book on philatelic bookplates, which you can read online via the FIP Literature Commission website.
In March 2016, a roof leak caused by construction activity damaged items in the APRL’s rare book room. Through quick action and assistance from Penn State University Libraries, we were able to minimize the damage. We sent five books to Penn State to be frozen and then dried, and these have now been returned to us.
All five were extremely wet in March. They have been safely dried, and Penn State’s book conservator gave each one special treatment.
Copy number 8 of 50 of Carroll Chase’s The 3c Stamp of the United States 1851–1857 Issue, revised deluxe edition, published in 1942 by Tatham Stamp & Coin Company, was discovered to have been previously water damaged, probably before it came into the APRL collection, and had mildew. Mildew is very dangerous for libraries because it damages books, and can spread from one book to another. After drying the book, the conservator carefully separated the pages, and cleaned the mildew using an alcohol solution. The book’s covers are warped, and the pages are wrinkled and in a few places have not separated entirely cleanly, but it is intact, usable, and safe to return to the rare book room.
Two copies of Marshall Cushing’s The Story of Our Post-Office, published in 1893, were water damaged. Both have water stains and a few wrinkles, but the pages were successfully separated and flattened after drying.
Hawaiian Numerals, published by Henry J. Crocker in 1909, is in relatively good shape aside from a little discoloration, but the binding has been practically destroyed. Luckily, the APRL has a second copy with an intact binding.
Swedish Letter Rates to Foreign Destinations 1855–1895, published in a limited edition of 200 in Sweden in 1986, came through in the best shape of the five books. The first few pages show a little discoloration, but the interior pages show almost no trace of the water damage.
On Friday, January 13, a truck from Canada arrived in Bellefonte with 114 boxes containing philatelic journals and auction catalogs for the APRL’s collection. Its journey from Ontario to Pennsylvania was just the last part of a happy story of international library cooperation.
In the summer of 2016, Helen Apouchtine of the Library and Archives Canada (LAC) contacted the APRL to inquire whether we would be interested in receiving materials that were being removed from their collections.
As she described it:
Over the years, LAC’s collection policy has evolved and we are now focused on acquiring titles published in Canada, by Canadian authors if published abroad or if there is substantial Canadian content.
Attached is a list of over 900 major philatelic serials issued by numerous foreign publishers. Many are long runs, some beginning in the late 1800s or early 1900s.
She was referred to us by staff at the Harry Sutherland Library at the Vincent Graves Greene Philatelic Research Foundation, one of our partners in the David Straight Memorial Philatelic Union Catalog. The list included issues of many diverse titles that will fill in some gaps in the APRL’s runs of foreign and domestic journals, such as Postas Argentinas (Buenos Aires), L’Annonce timbrologique (Liege, Belgium, 1890-1909) and Avion Constellation (Paris, 1948-1949).
As they proceeded with packing the journal material needed by the APRL, LAC also offered a list of material from nearly 700 auction houses. From this list, APRL will be able to add some missing auctions, many from companies in the United Kingdom and the British Commonwealth, such as Cavendish Philatelic Auctions, Cornish Stamp Company, and Treasure Hunters Ltd. (Hong Kong).
Three Penn State students, volunteering their time as part of Penn State’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, helped out at the American Philatelic Research Library today.
On Friday, we received three pallets of journals and auction catalogs de-accessioned by Library and Archives Canada. They were temporarily staged in the Morse Building at the American Philatelic Center, the former home of the APRL until the opening of the new library last year.
The students helped by opening boxes, putting the journals and catalogs on carts, in order, and moving them upstairs to compact shelving in the new library, where they await processing to become part of the APRL’s collection.
Beginning this month, the APRL will feature a “resource of the month” on this blog and in the APS e-newsletter. To get things started, I’ll share a unique collection for anyone researching U.S. issues, especially from the 20th century: the U.S. Stamp Files.
The U.S. Stamp files (shown above in their secure location in the library’s closed stacks) include files various sources, but primarily from three individuals: Forrest Ellis, John Stark, and Belmont Faries. They are organized by Scott number and collectively make the APRL a leading source of information on 20th-century U.S. stamps. Continue reading “APRL Resource of the Month: The U.S. Stamp Files”
The APRL has received word of two digitization projects of interest to anyone researching the U.S. Post Office Department or U.S. Postal Service.
For those interested in more modern information, the Smithsonian National Postal Museum Library has digitized the annual reports of the Postmaster General for the years 1999, 1996, 1994, 1993, 1991, 1990, 1978, 1977, and 1971-1972. The reports can be accessed via the Smithsonian Libraries Digital Collections, and a link has also been added to the APRL’s catalog record for the annual reports.
Going further back in history, as part of the Crawford Library digitization project, the files for United States reports and correspondence of the Postmaster General have been split into smaller, more manageable files for web access.