Randy L. Neil will receive the 2017 Charles J. Peterson Philatelic Literature Life Achievement Award, which recognizes a person whose individual achievements have furthered knowledge through philatelic literature. The award is bestowed by the American Philatelic Research Library. Neil, a collector since childhood and a life member of the APS, has authored numerous articles for philatelic journals, and in 1987 wrote and published the seminal Philatelic Exhibitors Handbook. He continues to contribute to the hobby, serving as editor of American Stamp Dealer & Collector and The Philatelic Exhibitor. He also served as editor for The Confederate Philatelist.
Neil attended the University of Kansas school journalism and has applied his writing and editing skills to philately as well as other areas. He wrote the New York Times bestseller The Official Cheerleaders Handbook in 1979 and was the founding publisher of American Classic Screen magazine for the National Film Society. He operates Neil PRINT Media in Leawood, Kansas.
Neil’s career in philatelic writing began at an early age, when he became a columnist for Weekly Philatelic Gossip at age 14. His writing has appeared in numerous other journals over the years, including The American Philatelist, for which he wrote a column on exhibiting for a decade, Stamp Collector, and Linn’s Stamp News. In addition to his book on exhibiting, Neil also co-authored, with Jack Rosenthal, the United States Trans-Mississippi Issue of 1898. In 1992, he founded U.S. Stamps & Postal History, which continues today as U.S. Stamp News, published by John Dunn.
In 2000, Neil was recognized for his many philatelic achievements with the American Philatelic Society’s’ Luff Award for Outstanding Service to the society, the U.S. Philatelic Classics Society’s Distinguished Philatelist Award, and induction into the APS Writers Unit Hall of Fame. The St. Louis Stamp Expo presented him with the Elizabeth C. Pope medal for lifetime contributions to philately in 2005. Neil served as president of both the APS (1993–97) and the American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors (AAPE). The AAPE’s award for the best article appearing in The Philatelic Exhibitor each year is named for Neil and has been given annually since 2007.
The Peterson Award is named in honor of two-time John N. Luff award recipient Charlie Peterson, who set high standards in journal quality as editor of the APRL’s Philatelic Literature Review and the U.S. Philatelic Classics Society’s Chronicle of the U.S. Classic Postal Issues. His efforts with FIP and APS brought about the concepts of competitive literature exhibitions, and he served both nationally and internationally as a philatelic literature judge. He compiled indices for several major journals and generously mentored authors and editors throughout his career. Charlie Peterson served as president of the Writers Unit 30, the FIP philatelic literature commission, and the APRL.
The McCoy Inverted Jenny Position 76 sold today for $295,000 at an auction conducted by Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries.
The identity of the winning bidder was not immediately revealed, but the stamp was sold to a bidder on the phone at the New York City auction headquarters. Floor and Internet bids also were accepted.
With buyer’s fees added, the winning bidder will pay $295,000 ($250,000 was the high bid) for the iconic 1918 stamp that shows a biplane flying upside down.
The sale featured the American Philatelic Research Library’s Inverted Jenny stamp recovered a year ago. The stamp was stolen along with three others during a 1955 national stamp show in Norfolk, Virginia. The block of stamps was owned by Ethel McCoy when they were stolen. Later, McCoy willed the stamps to the APRL. Two stamps were recovered in the late 1970s; one was sold and the other is retained and often exhibited by the American Philatelic Society, a sister organization to the APRL.
The stamps were part of an original sheet of 100 error stamps purchased in 1918 by William Robey from a post office in Washington, D.C. The stamps were printed hastily to help inaugurate the country’s inaugural airmail service.
APRL Librarian Tara Murray and Scott D. English, the APRL’s administrator and APS executive director, journeyed to New York City from the library’s home in central Pennsylvania to witness the sale. Pictured above is English (left) receiving a check from Scott Trepel President of Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries Inc.
Proceeds from the sale will go to the APRL’s new library facility at the American Philatelic Center in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania.
Tara Murray, librarian for the American Philatelic Research Library in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, will be recognized as a Fellow by an international libraries organization.
The Special Libraries Association will honor Murray and 11 other longstanding and emerging leaders in June at the SLA 2017 Annual Conference in Phoenix, Arizona.
Murray is one of five individuals who will be named as Fellows at the convention’s second general session on June 19. The SLA Fellowship recognizes mid-career information professionals for their past, present, and future service to SLA and the profession.
Murray joined the American Philatelic Research Library in July 2010, after spending nine years as an information services director for the Population Research Institute at nearby Penn State University. Murray oversees operations of the APRL, the world’s largest philatelic library, including leading staff and volunteers, managing the library’s collection and the APS and APRL archives, and responding to a steady stream of requests from society members and the public. She also helps other philatelic libraries share resources and information through the Philatelic Library Forum and the online David Straight Memorial Philatelic Union Catalogue. Murray works with the APS Editorial Department to produce the quarterly Philatelic Literature Review and participates in events such as Summer Seminar and the Postal History Symposium co-sponsored by the APRL, APS, and Smithsonian National Postal Museum.
The Special Libraries Association, a nonprofit international organization for innovative information professionals and their strategic partners. SLA serves information professionals in more than 60 countries and in a wide range of working environments, including business, academia, and government agencies. For more information about the honors and SLA, visit sla.org.
Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries to Sell Recovered Inverted Jenny Proceeds of the Sale to Go to American Philatelic Research Library
BELLEFONTE, PA — The American Philatelic Research Library (APRL) announced today they have reached agreement with Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries to sell a recently recovered Inverted Jenny stamp. The stamp, Position 76 of the famous McCoy Block, stolen in 1955 at a stamp show in Norfolk, Virginia, was recovered by the APRL at a public event in June 2016 during the World Stamp Show-NY 2016.
The APRL Board of Trustees selected Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries from eight proposals submitted since authorizing the sale in October 2016. “The Inverted Jenny is one of the most iconic stamps in the world and Siegel has been a part of many notable stamp sales from that sheet,” said Roger Brody, President of the APRL, “That history should deliver a great return to the APRL.”
“Of the many remarkable stories associated with the legendary Inverted Jenny, the theft of the McCoy block and the long road to recovery of the stolen stamps is perhaps the most thrilling,” added Scott Trepel, President of Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries, “Position 76 is the third one to be found and reclaimed, leaving only one still missing. It’s a beautiful looking Jenny and has the distinction of surviving 61 years of felonious captivity.”
The stamp recovery press conference was held before an actual Jenny biplane in the Javits Center in June 2016. The plane was on display at the show courtesy of Siegel Auction Galleries. “This was one of the biggest moments and greatest images in the history of the hobby,” said Scott English, Executive Director of the American Philatelic Society, “By pure luck, the plane was already there to promote the sale of another Jenny and it helped make the moment special.”
Proceeds of the stamp, expected to sell between $150,000 and $200,000, will go toward the APRL’s new library facility in Bellefonte, PA. The $4 million library was completed and opened in October 2016. The facility spans 19,000 square feet in space at the American Philatelic Center and it is the world’s largest philatelic library. More information about the APRL is available at www.stamplibrary.org and you can also visit www.InvertedJenny.com to learn more about the Inverted Jenny stamps.
Here’s a quick photo glimpse of the new American Philatelic Research Library space in advance of our grand opening event that starts tomorrow,
October 28–29, at the American Philatelic Center, 100 Match Factory Place, Bellefonte, Pennsylvania.