The online edition of the Philatelic Literature Review 1st quarter 2011 issue is now available to subscribers. If you are a PLR subscriber and we have your email address, you should have received an email with instructions for accessing the online edition.
Highlighted in the 1st quarter PLR is the article “Obscure Philatelic Journal Holds the Key to Postal History Puzzle” — the final issue of Our Philatelia, one of the archival collections in the American Philatelic Research Library, provides the key to understanding a puzzling bit of postal history. This issue also includes “Treasurers from the Library” and “What’s on Your Bookshelf,” in addition to regular feature columns, book reviews, and buying opportunities through the Philatelic Literature Clearinghouse.
It is the middle of National Volunteer Week as I write this, and the APRL is bustling with volunteer activity. Our volunteers are a diverse group, including those from the APS membership, local community members, and current and future librarians. Some work at the APRL in Bellefonte and others volunteer from home. One thing they all have in common is that they help the APRL accomplish things we could not do without them.
Current projects include: completing a project to shelve all of the APRL books by subject; measuring the collection to plan where to shift books so we have room to grow; sorting and shelving new journals; and creating an inventory of the APS archives.
If you are interested in volunteering at the APRL, we have a variety of opportunities to suit your schedule and interests. Contact me for details.
We also invite American Philatelic Society members to come to Bellefonte for the second annual Volunteer Work Week, July 25-29, 2011. You’ll have the opportunity to work with members and staff on projects for the APS or APRL, as well as see the American Philatelic Center and use the library and other APS service departments.
Most philatelic libraries benefit from volunteer work, and some are even staffed entirely by volunteers. To all the volunteers out there, thank you for the time and talent you give to support libraries!
Do you have questions about caring for your philatelic library and documents? The Association for Library Collections & Technical Services, a division of the American Library Association, is offering two free webinars during Preservation Week (April 24-30).
The webinars are open to anyone with an interest in the topics: Accidents Happen: Protecting & Saving Family Treasures and Preserving Your Personal Digital Memories.
The following books belong to the APS Education Department and are now available for use in the APRL. Because the books do not belong to the APRL, we can’t loan them out, but many of these books are available in public libraries and bookstores. We hope that this list gives you some reading ideas for the young philatelists in your life. The titles range from picture books to young adult books.
Adler, David A. A picture book of Lewis and Clark (New York: Holiday House, c2003):  p.: col. ill., col. maps; 26 x 21 cm. [Call No. HE6184 .J97 A237p 2003]
Banks, Kate. Max’s words (New York: Frances Foster Books: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006): 1 v. unpaged: col. ill.; 26 x 26 cm. [Call No. HE6184 .J97 B218m 2006]
Bedford, Annie North. Walt Disney’s Mickey mouse flies the Christmas mail (New York: Golden Books, Random House Childrens Books, 2007, c1956): 1 v. (unpaged): col. ill.; 20 cm. [Call No. HE6184 .J97 B412w 2007]
Berger, Melvin & Berger, Gilda. Where does the mail go?: a book about the postal system. (Nashville, Tenn.: Ideals Children’s Books, c1994): 48 p.: col. ill.; 22 cm. [Call No. HE6371 .J97 B496w 1994]
Bourgeois, Paulette & LaFave, Kim. Postal workers (Toronton, Ont.; Niagara Falls, NY: Kids Can Press, 1999, c1992): 1 v. (unpaged): col. ill.; 23 x 24 cm. [Call No. HE6184 .J97 B772p 1999]
Alaskan Collectors Club. The Alaskan philatelist: comprehensive indexes, volume 1 to volume 45 1959-2009 (Anchorage, AK: Alaska Collectors Club99508, 2011): 1 v. (unpaged); 28 cm. [Call No. Shelved with the journal]
Archer, Jeffrey. A prisoner of birth (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2008): 501 p.; 25 cm. [Call No. HE6184 .L776 A671p 2008]
Argentina. Codigos postal y telegrafico dictados durante la administracion del Dr. C. Carles premiados en la Exposicion postal y filatelica Universal de Milan 1894 adoptados por el Congreso de la Republica del Paraguay (Buenos Aires: Compania Sud-Americana de Billetes de Banco, 1895): 3 v. in 1 (1444 p.): forms, tables, mounted stamps; 21 cm. [Call No. RARE BOOKS HE6812 .A5 1895]
Balagian, Greg. Wild cats in art (Carterville, IL: American Topical Association, 2011): 2 v. (357 p.): col. ill.; 28 cm. [Call No. HE6183 .A1 A512a no.161]
Baldus, Wolfgang. The classic postage stamps of Bokhara (Munich, Germany: Wolfgang Baldus, 2011): 92 p.: col. ill.; 21 cm.
The American Philatelic Research Library is more than just books. We collect many things, including journals, newsletters, microfilm, photographs, research files, and even philatelic music and plates. We do not, as a general rule, collect stamps.
We do, however, have a small collection of stamp albums, some of which contain stamps. We keep the albums for historical purposes, as a record of the development of the hobby. Like most of our special collections, these albums don’t circulate, but they are available for use in the library and staff can scan or copy pages from them.
The albums are arranged geographically and then by publisher. Most are easily identifiable, but a few do not have the name of the company that produced them anywhere on the album. Rather than just file them all under “unknown,” I thought I’d ask readers of the PL&R blog if you recognize any of these albums.
We’ve scanned the covers and representative pages from each and uploaded them to the photo-sharing site Flickr, where you can view all the images. If you recognize one, please let us know by leaving a comment on Flickr.
A fellow librarian recently told me about the Washington Calligraphers Guild. This is not a philatelic group, but there is some overlap because of calligraphers’ interest in letter writing.
The group is based in the Washington, DC area, there is much of general interest on its website. It also has a library, and you can browse the holdings online.
It holds an annual contest called The Graceful Envelope. The contest promotes calligraphy and also celebrates “the role of letters in binding people together and serves as a reminder that the people who deliver the mail are career government employees who take pride in their work and care about the communities they serve.” The contest began in 1995 and was originally sponsored by the National Postal Museum. Today the National Association of Letter Carriers partners with the Washington Calligraphers Guild to co-sponsor the contest.
This year’s theme is “Time Flies” and the deadline to postmark an entry is April 30, 2011.
The Sixth Annual Postal History Symposium will be held Sept. 16-18, 2011 at the American Philatelic Center in Bellefonte, Pa. in conjunction with a philatelic exhibition hosted by the United States Stamp Society (USSS). The theme is How Commerce and Industry Shaped the Mails.
The deadline to submit a paper proposal is May 1. See the call for papers for more information. You can also see papers from previous symposia on the National Postal Museum website.
The Postal History Symposium is sponsored by the American Philatelic Society, the American Philatelic Research Library, and the Smithsonian National Postal Museum. The symposium and philatelic exhibition are free, and we have blocks of rooms at two local hotels.
Afinsa Auctions. Coleccion de Ecuador (Martin de Bustamante) y seleccion de paises iberoamericanos: May 10, 1996, Seville, Spain (Sevilla: Afinsa Auctions, 1996): 349 p.: col. ill.; 22 x 33 cm. in slipcase. [Call No. NS Bustamente, Martin de]
Afinsa Auctions. Coleccion primer sello postal Espanol = First postage stamp of Spain collection: November 4, 1997 (Madrid: Afinsa Auctions, 1997): 288 p.: col. ill.; 27 x 27 cm. in slipcase [Call No. NS Magrina Mir, Enrique]
Aguirre, Eduardo (ed.). Specialized catalogue of the postage stamps of Mexico: containing in chronological order all officials and provisional issues, from 1856 until 1937, with the different kinds of paper colors, errors, and perforations, also the prices at which they can be purchased from the editor’s (Mexico, D.F.: Casa filatelica de Eduardo Aguirre, 1937): 184 p.: ill.; 20 cm. [Call No. CLOSED STACKS G4410 .A1 A284c 1937]
Andrews, James C. The Seebeck fiscals of Guatemala from the collection of James C. Andrews of Conway, New Hampshire (Conway, N.H.: James C. Andrews, 1994): 1 v. (unpaged): ill., map; 29 cm.
The APRL recently received a donated box of greeting cards from the first half of the 20th century. Most of them are Christmas cards, but among them are several valentines.
To celebrate Valentine’s Day, I thought I would share a few images of these cards with you. Click on the small images in this post to see larger images.
The first image is a valentine with a postal theme – natural, given that many Valentines were mailed to the recipients. This one is printed on folded card stock with a heart-shaped cutout.
The second image is a card made by Hall Brothers, which later became Hallmark. It features a fish on the cover and opens to reveal another fish with a three-dimensional mouth.
Because most of these cards have been removed from their envelopes, it’s difficult to guess the year they were made. However, given the name “Hall Brothers” printed on the back of this card, we can deduce that it was produced between 1915, when the company began producing greeting cards for Christmas and Valentine’s Day, and 1928, when the company began using the name “Hallmark” on the back of its cards (Hallmark Cards, Inc., 100 Years of Hallmark History).
The last image is a card for a mother adorned with a real red ribbon and opening to reveal a short poem. The back of the card reads “DA 308 Made in U.S.A.”
If you are interested in reading more about the history of valentines, the APRL has two books available for loan:
Lee, Ruth Webb. A history of valentines. Wellesley Hills, MA: Lee Publications, 1952. HE6184 .V159 L479h
Staff, Frank. The valentine & its origins. New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1969. HE6184 .V159 S779v 1969b
Of course, February 14 always brings to mind love stamps, and the Smithsonian National Postal Museum posted a gallery of love stamps on its Facebook page today.
The APRL would like to send some Valentine’s Day love out to everyone who donates special collections like these cards to us, and to Scott Tiffney, a new volunteer who took a break from a book cataloging project to sort through the box of cards and organize them by subject. Most of the cards are from the U.S. and Japan, but other countries are also represented, and some are still in their envelopes.