APS to honor authors in "Philatelic Articles of Distinction" archive

The American Philatelic Society is creating a “Philatelic Articles of Distinction” archive on its website to honor authors. All APS affiliates and chapters can submit one “best article” per year and the APS will post the article to the online archive, along with a link to the affiliate, as well as provide a certificate to the author.

More details and a submission form are available from the APS.

Philatelic Literature Review 2nd quarter 2011 features

Philatelic Literature ReviewThe online edition of the Philatelic Literature Review 2nd 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.

The 2nd quarter PLR includes such articles as “Where is A Librarian’s Guide to the Literature of Philately,” “Government Documents & Philatelic Research,” and “Finding Philatelic Literature Online.” Also in this issue are regular columns: “What’s on Your Bookshelf,” book reviews, and buying and selling opportunities through the Philltelic Literature Clearinghouse.

Philatelic Librarians Roundtable to meet by teleconference and in person

APRL and RMPL librarians meet during the Rocky Mountain Stamp Show
APRL and RMPL librarians meet during the Rocky Mountain Stamp Show

The Philatelic Librarians Roundtable, a group of staff, volunteers, and board members from philatelic libraries and other library supporters, has held in person meetings at APS StampShow and AmeriStamp for several years. In order to hold more frequent discussions and include more people, this year we started holding meetings by teleconference in between shows. The APS has hosted these telephone meetings.

Our next telephone meeting is coming up on July 12 at 1pm Eastern. If you would like to join the meeting, contact me and I will provide details.

We will also meet during StampShow in Columbus, on August 12 at 11am.

Recent discussions have included the Philatelic Union Catalog, journal indexing, digitization projects, and the exchange of duplicate materials and literature wantlists.

How Commerce and Industry Shaped the Mails

Banking & Commerce, 1975
Banking & Commerce, 1975

The Sixth Annual Postal History Symposium (“How Commerce and Industry Shaped the Mails”) and United States Stamp Society Show will be held at the American Philatelic Center in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, September 16–18, 2011.

Read more about the event in this press release from the APRL.

The Symposium, co-sponsored by the APRL, the American Philatelic Society, and the National Postal Museum, is free and open to the public – but please register online (at the National Postal Museum website) and book your hotel room early since this weekend is also Parents Weekend for nearby Penn State.

Philatelic treasure in non-philatelic libraries

Richard Boardman shows us around the map collection
Richard Boardman shows us around the map collection

Philatelic Literature & Research has focused, for obvious reasons, on philatelic libraries and research libraries with significant philatelic collections. Sometimes, though, the philatelic researcher must look beyond the usual places.

Earlier this month, while attending the Special Libraries Association Annual Conference, I had the opportunity to tour the map collection at the Free Library of Philadelphia.

Richard Boardman, head of the map collection, showed us some of the maps in the library’s collection, which is particularly strong in maps of the Philadelphia region. Following the tour, I asked him if the library had any post route maps, and was rewarded with several maps that the APRL does not have. Most of the map collection is not included in the library’s online catalog, and this is probably the case at many libraries.

In order to find treasures like this, you need to contact the librarian and tell them what you are looking for. You will probably also need to travel to the library to do your research if the materials do not circulate and have not been digitized. If materials do circulate, you may be able to request them through interlibrary loan at your local library.

What other kinds of materials might you find at non-philatelic libraries?

Continue reading “Philatelic treasure in non-philatelic libraries”

New arrivals at the APRL, June 2011

Blindman's MailAfinscat. Catalog multimedia de sellos de España = Multimedia catalogue of Spanish stamps: 1850-1960 [electronic resource] (Barcelona: Afinscat: Afinsa Multimedia, c1995): 1 computer optical disk + 1 booklet (11 p.)

Aries Auctions. Aries Auctions catalogue: a celebration of independent India philately [electronic resource] (Gurgaon, Haryana [India]: Aries Auctions, 2011-)

Armed forces Stamp Exchange Club bulletin (Clarksville, TN: Armed Forces Stamp Exchange Club, [2008]): 28 cm. [Journal]

Barthelemy, Emile. Catalogue obliterations speciales temporaires, France et colonies francaise, 1849 a Octore 1943 ([Paris]: Barthelemy Emile (Paris: Lang, Blanchong et Cie, Imprimeurs), [1943])

Baumann, Carl. Das Postwesen in Basel unter dem Kaufmannischen Direktorium (1682-1798): Inaugural-Dissertation zur Erlangung der Würde eines Doctor rer. pol. der hohen philosophischen Fakultät der Universität Basel (Weinfelden: Neuenschwander’sche Verl.-Buchh., 1927): 149 p.

Bautenserie 1948 e.V. Koln. Wir stellen uns vor Bautenserie 1948 (n.l.: Arge Bauten, n.d.): 14 p.

Bosshard, J.A. Katalog der Badischen Marken und Abstempelungen (Leipzig: Seifert, 1929): 69 p.

Continue reading “New arrivals at the APRL, June 2011”

New arrivals at the APRL, May 2011

This Royal ThroneAger, Donald R. Celebrazioni Colombiane (Christopher Columbus Philatelic Society, 2011): [8] p.: col. ill.; 28 cm. [Shelved with the Journal Discovery!]

American Philatelic Research Library and the National Archives Trust Fund Board, National Archives and Records Administration. M1918, Stamp bill books of the Post Office Department September 30, 1870-July 10, 1897 ([State College, Pa.]: American Philatelic Research Library; Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 2004): 3 p.; 23 cm. [Call No. HE6401 .A512s 2004]

American Philatelic Research Library. Forgery materials in the American Philatelic Research Library arranged by Library of Congress classification numbers ([Bellefonte, Pa.]: American Philatelic Research Library, 2006): 23 p.; 28 cm.

Arnould, Howard L. Danish West Indies postal history, the foreign mails before 1880 [exhibit] / ([Princeton? NJ]: by the author,, [1994?]): [ca. 100 p.]

Association of British Philatelic Societies Ltd. Philatelic Lecturers and Displays 2005 (London: Association of British Philatelic Societies Ltd., 2005): 72 p.

Continue reading “New arrivals at the APRL, May 2011”

Rocky Mountain Philatelic Library visit

Last week I was in Denver, representing the American Philatelic Society at the Rocky Mountain Stamp Show. While I was there, I visited the Rocky Mountain Philatelic Library.

Tara Murray and Ellengail Beuthel at the RMPLThe RMPL is an all-volunteer organization. Retired librarian Ellengail Beuthel has provided the expertise necessary to organize the collection and provide an online catalog (RMPL holdings are also included in the Philatelic Union Catalog hosted by APRL), but many others have pitched in to do everything from organizing the topical collection to woodworking and painting to gardening.

RMPL gardenGardening? Yes, the RMPL has a very impressive alpine garden for those visitors who can pull themselves away from the books.

In addition to the expected philatelic books, catalogs, and journals, the RMPL also has a western history collection, and provides space for the Scandinavian Collectors Club Library and for regional stamp club meetings. During the stamp show, the RMPL hosted a banquet and tour for the United States Stamp Society.

The RMPL has recently embarked on a digitization project, and two volunteers are scanning a collection of historical letters.

I had talked to several representatives from the RMPL and SCC Library on the phone, but it was very helpful to get to talk to everyone in person and to see the way the collections were arranged and the library space used.

Scandinavian Collectors Club LibraryThe visit also reminded me that libraries are much more than just a building and a collection of books – they are a community. It is truly amazing what a dedicated group of volunteers have been able to do in Denver – build a collection, purchase and renovate a building, and, most importantly, sustain a lively community.

See more photos from my trip on the APS Facebook page.

Mighty Buck Club helps the APRL collection grow

Mighty "Dollar" Bill checks out one of the APRL's new books
Mighty "Dollar" Bill checks out one of the APRL's new books

The American Philatelic Research Library collection grows primarily through donations. Thanks to the generosity of our members, affiliate societies, and philatelic authors and publishers, we add publications (old and new) to our collection almost daily.

Occasionally, though, we find ourselves in need of a publication that we are not likely to receive as a donation.

The members of the Mighty Buck Club have filled one such gap in our collection by providing funds to purchase 5 books on historical geography which will be useful to postal historians using the library.

Historial Atlas of the United StatesThe Shaping of AmericaThe books are D.W. Meinig’s 4-volume The Shaping of America: A Geographical Perspective on 500 Years of History and Derek Hayes’ Historical Atlas of the United States. Both will be used by students taking “Geography and Postal History: A ‘Writer’s Institute'” during the APS Summer Seminar week next month, and will be available for loan to APS and APRL members.

Thanks to the members of the Mighty Buck Club who have helped the APRL collection grow “one buck at a time!”

Stamp Bill Books pamphlet digitized

Stamp Bill BooksYou may have heard about the new book scanner purchased by the APRL, thanks to the generosity of the members of the Mighty Buck Club. Here’s an example of what the scanner can do.

We had to do a little rearranging in the library to make room for the new scanner. We moved our microfilm reader to a different spot in the library, and in doing so, a joint publication of the APRL and the National Archives and Records Administration came to my attention.

I had been looking for a small digitization project to show off our new scanner, and this publication seemed to fit our needs perfectly.

First, it is a publication of the APRL, and one of our top priorities for digitization is preserving and making available the history of the APS and APRL.

Second, it is a finding aid, which can be used by researchers to learn more about resources in our collections (in this case, the Stamp Bill Books which were microfilmed with funding from the APRL). If you don’t know about the Stamp Bill Books, read the pamphlet to learn more about this valuable resource!

Third, as a publication of the U.S. government, it is in the public domain and free from copyright restrictions.

Fourth, it is short (6 pages), not requiring extensive staff time or large amounts of storage space – perfect for a test. One of our APRL volunteers took a few minutes’ break from another project and scanned it for us.

To view the document, go to our Online Catalogue and search for “Stamp Bill Books” in the title field. You should see two records: one for the microfilm, and one for the book describing the microfilm. Click to view the full display for the book, and you will find a link to the digitized book. The PDF file is fully searchable, thanks to text recognition software built into our new scanner.

Watch for more from our new scanner – and remember that if you want to see what our new scanner can do for you, you can request scans of articles and book sections from the APRL.