From the APRL archives: Clipping files

A researcher scans items from the APRL clipping files
David Eeles scans items from the APRL clipping files

As promised, for American Archives Month, here is a peek inside the APRL archives.

The APRL has a vast collection of clipping files, assembled from donations of material from philatelists.

The collection got its start in the late 1980’s with a donation of some 120 file drawers from the estate of Ernest A. Kehr.

Kehr’s clippings cover the world, but the folders related to his collecting interests (air mail, Switzerland, the Philippines, and Egypt) contain the most material.

Most of the folders contain articles, but some contain correspondence, notes, and even philatelic material. One folder, labeled “Free Franking,” contains covers addressed to the President.

Cover from Kehr collectionAs the APRL obtained more clippings, they were integrated into the Kehr collection.

Files from Forrest Ellis, John Stark, and Belmont Faries on U.S. stamps are organized by Scott number. This collection makes the APRL a leading source of information on twentieth-century U.S. stamps.

Forrest Ellis’ files provide information on new issues and designs for U.S. stamps from the first half of the twentieth century.  John Stark specialized in stamps with fluorescence.

Ellis files
Stamp designs and notes from the Ellis collection

Faries served for more than two decades on the Citizen’s Stamp Advisory Committee to the postmaster general, and his files provide a wealth of information on U.S. stamp design.

Folders from the clipping files do not circulate, but APRL staff can make photocopies or digital scans (depending on the amount of material) for researchers.

4 thoughts on “From the APRL archives: Clipping files”

  1. Ms. Murray,

    Thanks for starting this blog. Thought you ought to know you have a regular reader.

    Ben Bump

  2. These clippings files are important resources and represent some of the gems of the APRL collections. In addition to these files there are files on cachetmakers provided by the American First Day Cover Society and frequently updated by Allison Cusick. They are a great tool for students of first day covers and illustrated mail.

  3. Does the APRL collect photographs too?

    Does anyone know if the correspondence and photos files from Harry Linquist’s STAMPS MAGAZINE were saved? If so, who has them now?

    Those files must have been extensive and would be a fantastic asset for the study of stamp collecting in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s.

    Linn’s must also still have a large amount of collector/dealer correspondence and photos. Seems like now would be the time for the APRL to start negotiating for the transfer of some of Linn’s historical material.

    Don DeWitt

  4. The APRL does collect photographs, and we do have some photograph collections. I think that most of what we have comes from individual authors or collectors rather than from publications, but we do have undiscovered gems waiting for someone to inventory them.

    The Hines Air Mail Archives contains many photos of pilots, which are indexed.

    Thank you for your suggestions!

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