“Libraries Lead”: Specialized Collectors and the APRL

One of the real strengths of the collection here at the American Philatelic Research Library (APRL) is the breadth and scope of the resources that are available for not only the general collector but also the highly specialized philatelist. As we celebrate National Library Week and this year’s  motto of “Libraries Lead” we are reminded of how the APRL leads specialized collectors and researchers to the resources they use in their collections and research.

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“Libraries Lead”: Philatelic Auction Houses and the APRL

One of the lesser known assets within the  American Philatelic Research Library (APRL) is one of the largest collections of worldwide philatelic auction catalogs and names sales. Researchers often consult auction catalogs to identify certain philatelic items as to their value over time or to see items that, if it were not for philatelic auctions, might not have been previously available for public viewing. Auction catalogs provide a history to the commerce of the philatelic world for both the hobbyist and the serious philatelist.

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“Libraries Lead”: Philatelic Exhibiting and the APRL

Yesterday as part of National Library Week and this year’s motto “Libraries Lead” we recognized the important role that the American Philatelic Research Library (APRL) plays in assisting a philatelic exhibit judge. Today we look a little further at this unique relationship of the APRL and exhibiting from the perspective of another distinguished philatelic judge as well as a renowned philatelic exhibitor. Both appreciate the important function the library plays in leading them to the resources they require for their different roles in the world of philatelic exhibiting.

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“Libraries Lead” : Philatelic Judging and the APRL

This week as we celebrate National Library Week with its motto “Libraries Lead” we recognize the role that libraries like the American Philatelic Research Library (APRL) play in “leading” a varied group of researchers and collectors to the philatelic resources and research needed for their enjoyment and enrichment of the hobby.

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National Library Week and the APRL: “Libraries Lead”

As part of a national celebration and recognition of libraries and librarians, today begins a very special week here at the American Philatelic Research Library (APRL). Sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA), today marks the start of the 60th anniversary of National Library Week (April 8-14). First observed in 1958, the annual event recognizes the important contributions that libraries and librarians across the country play in their role as organizers and facilitators of knowledge, resources and research.

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Student Volunteers Visit the APRL

Today was another day for volunteering at the APRL! A student group from the Penn State Circle K Club,  a collegiate service organization sponsored by Kiwanis International, spent part of their weekend with us here in the library.

Penn State Circle K Volunteers at Work

Eight volunteers, two of whom had volunteered at the APRL in the past, spent several hours at the Match Factory. The students spent their time packaging stamps for use in the Education Department and the Gift Shop. One group of four students packaged mint stamps for use by the Gift Shop as courtesy items, while another group of four packaged used issues that will be part of our educational programs directed at outreach.

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Resource of the Month – Name Sales

Here at the American Philatelic Research Library (APRL) the most common resources used or cited when researchers consult the library for their collecting needs are often either books or journals which comprise the majority of the library collection. Book titles detailing all aspects of national, state and local philatelic interests can be found on the first floor of the APRL’s public space, while journals dealing with worldwide interests are located on the second floor.

Name Sales Collection on First Floor of APRL

But in the over 30,000 titles and 80,000 individual items that comprise the APRL holdings there is a small  resourceful collection of materials which are a subset of the APRL’s vast collection of auctions catalogs, specifically name sales. Names sales are, as the title suggests, auction catalogs in which a particular or noteworthy collection is up for sale and the auction house has designated the sale by using the collector or the collection’s name.

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New Books at the APRL, March 2018

APRL acquisitions, March 2018. To request loans, copies, or scans, or to search our catalog, visit the APRL website.

Adema, Kees; Groeneveld, Jeffrey. The paper trail: World War II in Holland and its colonies as seen through mail and documents (London [Great Britain]: Royal Philatelic Society London, 2018).[IP67522]

Baer, Martin. CH perfins: Die privat Gelochten Marken der Schweiz = Les timbres perfores privees de Suisse = The private perfins of Switzerland (Zürich: Martin Baer, 1998). [G6041 .P438 B14c 1998]

Barrett, Rick. Buffalo cinderellas: the gentleman, the huckster and the Pan American Exposition (Houston, TX: Rick Barrett Publishing, 2018). [HE6184 .E96 B27b 2018]

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A Stamp For The Neighborhood

PBS WQED Television Studios in Pittsburgh, PA

One of the benefits of being fortunate enough to work here at the APRL is that every once in a while an opportunity comes along to attend an event that is truly unique to the world of philately. One such opportunity came recently with the chance to attend the Mister Rogers first day ceremony this past Friday, March 23, at the WQED-TV PBS Studios in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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Postal History: Alive and Well in West Chester, PA

Chester County Historical Society building in downtown West Chester, PA

This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend an informative lecture about the postal history between Canada and the United States during the Civil War. The talk was titled “Canada – British North America (B.N.A.) Union and Confederate Postal Cross Border Correspondence during the U.S. Civil War” and was given by prominent B.N.A. philatelist and award winning exhibitor Ron Majors. The talk marked one in a series of postal history lectures organized by APS member and noted postal historian Bill Schultz in conjunction with an extraordinary exhibit concerning postal history titled “You’ve Got Mail!” currently on display at the Chester County Historical Society Museum (http://www.chestercohistorical.org/) in downtown West Chester, PA from November 24, 2017 through April 28, 2018.

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