For those that frequent the American Philatelic Society web page one of the most popular destinations on the website is the page that lists the new U.S. stamp issues. Collectors are eager to find out what the latest issues are and when they are due to be issued. Similarly here in the library, one of the lesser known items that are regularly received and added to the American Philatelic Research Library collection on a daily basis are what are known as New Issues announcements and forms. These often pamphlet-shaped materials are received in the library from numerous worldwide national stamp issuing agencies as a form of announcing their newest issues and providing ordering information.
These New Issues pamphlets often provide the first glimpse of a country’s latest stamp issues while also providing background information regarding production (date of issue, size, designer/engraver, formats, printing type and quantity). For the non-U.S. worldwide collector these pamphlets offer the philatelic specifics needed when considering the purchase of these new issues for their collections. The pamphlets are often in the language of the country of origin but many also include brief and sometimes complete English translations of their descriptions and contact information.
On occasion in the library we receive reference requests from country-specific collectors wanting to know, before the issues are even listed publicly in the latest catalogs, what are the current stamp issues for their particular country of interest, and more often they ask how to go about ordering these most recent issues. The New Issues pamphlets provide detailed contact information as well as payment and ordering options which we can then provide to the collector. Another interesting item that sometimes are included with the New Issues material we receive from these national postal issuing agencies are serviced first day covers bearing the latest stamp issue.
At the APRL the New Issues pamphlets are located in the second floor closed Archives area and are housed in archival containers. For many of the countries that are received and collected by the APRL the pamphlets date back to the first half of the twentieth century when these commercially produced announcement materialss first began to be produced. The New Issues collection in keeping with the mission of the APRL is a truly worldwide collection, even including an extensive section for United Nations material, and comprises a full row of shelving in the Archives area, over 150 linear feet. Due to their smaller size and rarity in some cases the pamphlets are not currently available for borrowing but they can be consulted for research by library staff or interested researchers. The APRL can also be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org for copies or scans of the pamphlets as requested.