From the APRL archives: Clipping files

A researcher scans items from the APRL clipping files
David Eeles scans items from the APRL clipping files

As promised, for American Archives Month, here is a peek inside the APRL archives.

The APRL has a vast collection of clipping files, assembled from donations of material from philatelists.

The collection got its start in the late 1980’s with a donation of some 120 file drawers from the estate of Ernest A. Kehr.

Kehr’s clippings cover the world, but the folders related to his collecting interests (air mail, Switzerland, the Philippines, and Egypt) contain the most material.

Continue reading “From the APRL archives: Clipping files”

APC construction update

APC construction
Plastic sheeting surrounds the construction area in the APRL annex

You may have heard about the construction underway at the American Philatelic Center in Bellefonte, or even seen photos of the construction on the APS website.

Some of the activity is in a building currently used for the APRL annex, which houses our archives, excess material, and infrequently used items. A portion of the space in this building will be used for the stairwell and restrooms for the Match Factory’s newest tenant, Graymont.

All of the library’s collections are safe during construction. Library staff moved items away from the construction area, and the contractor has installed plastic sheeting, as you can see in the photo. We will continue to have access to the library annex during and after construction.

The other piece of the construction project is install new roofs on two buildings that will eventually be the library’s home.

The Stamp Collecting Round-Up

Stamp Collecting Round-UpReaders of Philatelic Literature & Research may also be interested in another philatelic blog, Don Schilling’s Stamp Collecting Round-Up. Don is an APS member and blogs about “interesting news, resources and links about stamps, stamp collecting and postal operations.”

In a recent post, he highlights one of our fellow philatelic libraries, the Rocky Mountain Philatelic Library.

Like the Postal History Foundation’s library, described in Larry’s post on this blog, the RMPL’s holdings are included in the Philatelic Union Catalog hosted by the APRL. At the bottom of the search screen, a drop-down box allows you to search each collection individually, or all collections simultaneously.

What's an archives?

Washington National Records Center Stack Area with Employee Servicing RecordsAs Larry mentioned in an earlier post, October is American Archives Month.

If you’re not familiar with archives, you might wonder what they are, exactly. The Smithsonian Institution Archives is celebrating American Archives Month with a series of blog posts on archives, and one from the Visual Archives blog, The Bigger Picture, offers an explanation of archives.

Read the explanation and find out why my post title is not as grammatically incorrect as it might seem!

Stay tuned for another post with a glimpse into the archives at the American Philatelic Research Library…

My first stamp

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the Winton M. Blount Postal History Symposium at the National Postal Museum in Washington, DC.

If you’ve read my introduction in the most recent issue (3rd quarter 2010) of the Philatelic Literature Review, you know I’m not a stamp collector — but thanks to the symposium, I have my first stamp.

Walt Whitman stampSteven Rod started off his presentation (“The Case of Thirty-five Esthetic and Political Messages: the Famous Americans of 1940”) by handing everyone in the audience a card with a Famous American stamp mounted on it. He paired us up, and had us talk about our stamp with a partner.

I was neither a stamp collector nor a historian, and my partner was from Denmark, but we nevertheless had an engaging conversation about the stamps’ designs.

Steven then began his talk about the stamps, shedding light on the issues we had discussed.

I was not the only non-collector in the room — the symposium drew a mixed crowd of philatelists, historians, museum professionals, and at least one librarian. Steven’s introduction got us all talking to each other.

At the end of his talk, Steven invited us to keep the stamps, which were duplicates from his collection: “For those of you who are not collectors, this can be your first stamp.”

Steven’s slides can be downloaded in PDF format from the symposium website.

Welcome to Philatelic Literature & Research

Tara MurrayWelcome to Philatelic Literature & Research, the blog of the American Philatelic Research Library. This blog supplements the library’s quarterly journal, the Philatelic Literature Review, bringing you the latest news about philatelic literature and research, as well as brief items of interest from the APRL.

I am the librarian at the American Philatelic Research Library, and I will keep you updated on the very latest happenings here at the library and offer tips for using our resources.

I’ve only been working at the APRL since July, so I am busy learning about philately and exploring the wonderful collection here in Bellefonte, PA. Follow along with me as I get to know the literature and uncover hidden treasures in our collection.

If you have questions or comments, you can post them here on the blog, or see the APRL website for contact information.

My co-bloggers, Larry Nix and David Straight, will introduce themselves soon.