“Libraries Lead”: Philatelic Writers and the APRL

As today marks the penultimate day of National Library Week we explore the relationship between philatelic authors and the American Philatelic Research Library (APRL). Libraries like the APRL take the lead in assisting writers in the world of philatelic research and journalism to the many different types of resources and references that they need for their columns and articles. Some authors want to discover what previous research has been done on a particular stamp or philatelic item, while other writers look to the resources of the APRL for a very specific reference or fact.

American Philatelic Society (APS) member and exhibit judge Alan Warren is a noted and award-winning philatelic author, columnist, and editor. In the course of his literary work he frequently visits the APRL in person to conduct his own research for his writing and also remotely accesses the resources of the library when necessary.

“As a stamp show judge I find the APRL is a vital source of information needed to understand and evaluate the exhibits I will be seeing. In my writing when I need to prepare a profile or an obituary of a prominent philatelist, the APRL and associated library catalogs reveal details about the person’s contributions to philatelic literature.”

When APS member and award-winning Papal States exhibitor Tom Pratuch first began to collect, his first philatelic steps led him to the APRL to conduct the needed research.

“Many people start by collecting stamps and develop their research much later in the process. After looking at some interesting stamps and covers, my immediate thought was I better do some research to learn what I should know to buy useful and worthwhile material. Taking advantage of my APS membership, I began searching through the online catalog.”

Now after exhibiting his material and winning several awards Tom has turned his hand to authorship and is grateful to the staff and resources of the APRL for their assistance along the way,

“Whenever I hit a stumbling block, the APRL staff were always able to suggest another approach or drag out some remote article on an unrelated subject that spoke directly to my problem. Whenever the [exhibit] judges compliment my research, I am grateful for the APRL.”

Philatelic authors look to the APRL to the lead the way to the resources and material they need in their writing.

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