The Graceful Envelope

The Graceful Envelope
The graceful envelope: A public program and exhibition presented at the National Postal Museum, Smithsonian Institution (from the APRL collection)

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.

Sixth Annual Postal History Symposium call for papers

Banking and Commerce, 1975The 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.

Attendees at the Fourth Annual Postal History Symposium at the APC
Attendees at the Fourth Annual Postal History Symposium at the APC

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.

New books at the APRL, February 2011

Coleccion de EcuadorAfinsa 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.

Continue reading “New books at the APRL, February 2011”

A Valentine from the APRL

Valentine
Postal-themed valentine

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.

Valentine
Hall Brothers valentine

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.”

Valentine
A valentine for a mother

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.

Meet APRL's Betsy Gamble

Betsy GambleThis month’s American Philatelic Society staff profile features Betsy Gamble, the APRL’s Technical Services Coordinator. Betsy processes all of our journals, auction catalogs, and price lists, and catalogs new items for the collection. She also oversees loading records from member libraries into the philatelic Union Catalogue hosted by APRL.

Rare books and Japanese stamps

Postage Stamps of Japan
Woodward's Postage Stamps of Japan and Dependencies, 1928 two-volume edition

One of philately’s rarest books is currently on display at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum in Washington, DC.

A.M. Tracey Woodward’s Postage Stamps of Japan and Dependencies was published in 1928. Only 100 signed and numbered copies were produced. The Smithsonian’s copy is on display alongside original pages from Woodward’s collection of the 1 sen issue of 1872.

The APRL also has a copy of Woodward’s book in its rare books collection. We don’t loan rare books such as this one, but luckily for researchers the book was reprinted in 1976. We have three copies of the reprint available for loan.

Plates of the Samps of Japan
Woodward's Plates of the Stamps of Japan and Dependencies, 1976 reprint edition

The plates illustrated in Woodward’s book came from the collection of F.J. Peplow. These plates were first reproduced and published in Plates of the Stamps of Japan 1871-6. This book was produced in an even more limited private edition of 25 copies. The APRL is currently working with Penn State’s University Libraries to digitize this book with high-resolution scans of the plates. I’ll update PLR readers as soon as we have more details about this book.

Philatelic Librarians Roundtable agenda

AmeriStampThe Philatelic Librarians Roundtable will meet during AmeriStamp this Friday, February 11 from noon-2pm.  The meeting is open to anyone with an interest in philatelic libraries.

Agenda

Union Catalogue update
Learn about the newest additions to the Union Catalogue hosted by the APRL, and learn about upcoming changes.

Journal indexing

Duplicates and want lists
Google Groups, the host of the Philatelic Library Forum, has changed the way groups share documents. Learn what this means for libraries sharing duplicates and want lists.

Philatelic Literature & Research blog
The APRL’s blog is the place to go on the web for the latest news about philatelic libraries and literature. Learn how you can contribute.

Digitization projects
Share projects you are working on or would like to work on.

Penn State students volunteer at APRL

Volunteers sort albums in the Library
The afternoon group of volunteers seemed to enjoy looking through the albums as they worked.

A group of Penn State students came out to Bellefonte on Monday to volunteer as part of a day of service honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Some of them spent their time in the APRL sorting our collection of stamp albums.

A larger group spent their time in the APS Education Department, and more pictures from the day are available on the APS Facebook page. Thanks to APS Director of Education Gretchen Moody for coordinating the day of service!

The APRL collects examples of albums (and stock books), showing how they have changed through the years. The collection includes many examples of Scott, Harris, and Minkus albums, as well as albums produced by postal administrations, topical albums, and albums for children. Many visitors like to see an example of their first album, but the collection can also be used to study the habits of collectors and the businesses associated with the hobby. Continue reading “Penn State students volunteer at APRL”

Philatelic library group to meet at AmeriStamp

United States Court HouseAnyone with an interest in philatelic libraries (including librarians, staff, volunteers, board members, and others) is invited to the Philatelic Librarians Roundtable at APS AmeriStamp Expo in Charleston, SC on Feb. 11.

The Roundtable is scheduled for noon-2 p.m. The agenda will include discussion of digitization projects, duplicate materials exchange, and the Philatelic Union Catalogue hosted by the APRL. If you have additional items you would like to discuss, please contact me.

In addition to periodic roundtable meetings, those interested in philatelic libraries can also communicate with each other using the Philatelic Library Forum, hosted on Google Groups. The Forum provides an email discussion list and a place to share duplicate and want lists.

New books at the APRL, January 2011

Arge Danzig e.V Rundschreiben (Wiesbaden; Berlin: Arge Danzig e.V, [1936?]-): ill.; 30 cm. [Journal]

ArGe Fiskal Philatelie im BDPh. Deutsche Stempeltarife aus einem Tagesnotizbuch des Jahres 1916: Jaresgabe 2000 (Solingen [Germany]: ArGe Fiskal Philatelie im BDPh, 2000): 21 cm. [Shelved with the journal Fiskal-Philatelist]

Cover StoryBasaran, Mehmet. Cover story: one man’s journey in to the unknown, part 2: Tughra stamps on cover 1863-1865 (Turkey: M.I. Basaran, c2010): 208 p.: col. ill.; 29 cm. [Call No. G7431 .S4 B297c 2010]

Bertazzoli, Enrico, Beppe Ermentini, & Gianluigi Roncetti. Perfin italiani: catalogo delle perforazioni commerciali de francobolli dell’area italiano, con valuazioni = Italian perfins: catalogue of trade perforations on stamps of the Italian area, with evaluations (Vignola (Mo), Italy: Vaccari, 2009): 299 p.: ill.; 25 cm. + 32 transparencies + 1 computer optical disk [Call No. G6711 .P438 B536c 2009]

Branz, Hermann. Deutsche Post in Marokko: Tarifanderungen im Uberweisungsverkehr (Berlin: Berliner Philatelisten-Klub, 1968): 15 p.: ill.; 21 cm.

Bundesmuseum. Europa-Marken 79: Geschichte des Post- und Fernmeldewesens: Sounderausstellung des Bundespostmuseums, Schaumainkai 53, 6000 Frankfurt 70, Geoffnet, Dienstag bis Sontag 10-16 Uhr: 3. Juni bis 7. September 1980 (Frankfurt [Germany]: Bundesmuseum, 1980): 32 p.: ill. (some col.); 21 cm.

Continue reading “New books at the APRL, January 2011”