Siegel catalog for Inverted Jenny sale available

The catalog for the McCoy Inverted Jenny – position 76 sale by Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries is now available online.

The sale, scheduled for May 11 at 1:30 p.m. in New York City, features the American Philatelic Research Library‘s recently recovered Inverted Jenny stamp. The stamp, Position 76 of the famous McCoy Block, stolen in 1955 at a stamp show in Norfolk, Virginia, was recovered by the APRL at a public event in June 2016 during the World Stamp Show-NY 2016.

Proceeds from the sale will go to the APRL’s new library facility.


Students volunteer to help APRL

The APRL has worked with volunteers from Penn State’s Circle K Club several times. Today, 5 volunteers spent a couple hours at the Match Factory as part of a day-long volunteer event.

The students, 4 of whom had volunteered at the APRL previously, moved a few remaining archival collections from the Morse Building into boxes in the new library’s closed stacks, unpacked a recent donation of Swiss philatelic literature from Edith and Dale Eggen, and moved boxes of Rob Haeseler’s philatelic library onto shelves.

Circle K is a collegiate service organization sponsored by Kiwanis International. Thank you to the 5 members who worked in the library this morning!


New books at the APRL, March 2017

APRL acquisitions, March 2017. To request loans, copies, or scans, or to search our catalog, visit the APRL website.

book coverAlfano, Louis S. United States narcotic tax stamps (including marihuana tax stamps): a priced check list ([n.l.]: [n.p.], 1970). [In process 000063527]

American Topical Association. Membership directory 1990-1993 (Johnstown, PA: American Topical Association, 1990). [MEMBERSHIP DIRECTORIES]

Arveng, Knut. Fra vikingtiden til Afghanistan: Postkort med norske militærmotiver ([Oslo]: Krigs- og feltpostforeningen, 2016). [In process 000063558] Continue reading “New books at the APRL, March 2017”

Philatelic Literature Review 1st quarter 2017 issue features auction catalogs and search methods

The online edition of the Philatelic Literature Review 1st quarter 2017 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 1st quarter issue features two articles on auction catalogs and an article featuring search tips from APRL Reference Assistant Scott Tiffney.


President’s Message — Roger Brody
From the Librarian’s Desk — Tara Murray
Library News — Sergio Lugo
Search Methods — Scott Tiffney
An Oversight Corrected — Charles Freeland
Tainted Shanahan Catalogs Have Their Place — Steve Ellis and Charles Freeland


APRL New Acquisitions
Book Reviews
Dealer Directory
Index to Advertisers
New Books Noted
Philatelic Literature Clearinghouse
Philatelic Literature Contributors



Resource of the Month: Linn’s U.S. Stamp Yearbooks

This month’s featured resource are the informative and highly readable Linn’s U.S. Stamp Yearbooks. Begun in 1983 as an offshoot of various columns in Linn’s Stamp News regarding each year’s new U.S. stamps and postal stationery, the annual Linn’s U.S. Stamp Yearbooks go beyond the standard, or even specialized, catalog in providing a wealth of information regarding many aspects of each year’s U.S. releases in a convenient and thoroughly illustrated format. Continue reading “Resource of the Month: Linn’s U.S. Stamp Yearbooks”

New books at the APRL, February 2017

APRL acquisitions, January 16–February 28, 2017. To request loans, copies, or scans, or to search our catalog, visit the APRL website.

book coverAmerican Bank Note Company. [American Bank Note Company Archives] [R16 P2-3 CLOSED STACKS 2 and Lateral Files]

American Philatelic Association. Catalogue of the American Philatelic Association’s loan exhibit of postage stamps to the United States Post Office Department at the World’s Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 1893. (Birmingham, Conn.: D.H. Bacon & Company, Printers, 1893). [G4104 .C54 W927o 1893 RARE BOOKS]

Barron, James. The one-cent magenta: inside the quest to own the most valuable stamp in the world (Chapel Hill, North Carolina: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2017). [In process 000063502] Continue reading “New books at the APRL, February 2017”

Indiana county postal histories

The December and January acquisitions lists posted on this blog each included a number of volumes on Indiana county postal history. There was not sufficient space in the first quarter 2017 Philatelic Literature Review to list them all individually, so following is a list of the 88 volumes acquired by the library in December 2016. The library already had 2 volumes, so we now have 90 volumes covering all but 2 (Ripley and Vigo) of Indiana’s 92 counties.  Continue reading “Indiana county postal histories”

New books at the APRL, January 2017

APRL acquisitions, December 16, 2016–January 15, 2017. To request loans, copies, or scans, or to search our catalog, visit the APRL website.

book coverAs last month, this month’s additions to the library also include a number of volumes on the postal history of Indiana counties. In all, there are 90 volumes covering all but 2 (Ripley and Vigo) of Indiana’s 92 counties. There were so many they didn’t all get cataloged in the same month!

They were published by the Indiana Postal History Society, an APS affiliate. Each volume includes maps of the county and data for each town post office, such as dates of operation and postmaster appointments. The volumes were donated to the library by Art Hadley, and volunteers comb-bound them for the collection.

book coverAsociacion “Coleccionistas de Mexico” = “Collectors of Mexico” Association [auction house] (Mexico, D.F.: Asociacion “Coleccionistas de Mexico” = “Collectors of Mexico” Association, 1967). [AUCTION Asociacion Coleccionistas de Mexico]

Burns, Ron. Shelby County postal history (Bloomington, IN: Indiana Postal History Society, 2015). [G4093 .S4 B97s 2015] Continue reading “New books at the APRL, January 2017”

Rare books return from freezer

The very wet title page of Swedish Letter Rates to Foreign Destinations 1855-1895 in March 2016.

In March 2016, a roof leak caused by construction activity damaged items in the APRL’s rare book room. Through quick action and assistance from Penn State University Libraries, we were able to minimize the damage. We sent five books to Penn State to be frozen and then dried, and these have now been returned to us.

All five were extremely wet in March. They have been safely dried, and Penn State’s book conservator gave each one special treatment.

The discoloration on this book is from mildew.

Copy number 8 of 50 of Carroll Chase’s The 3c Stamp of the United States 1851–1857 Issue, revised deluxe edition, published in 1942 by Tatham Stamp & Coin Company, was discovered to have been previously water damaged, probably before it came into the APRL collection, and had mildew. Mildew is very dangerous for libraries because it damages books, and can spread from one book to another. After drying the book, the conservator carefully separated the pages, and cleaned the mildew using an alcohol solution. The book’s covers are warped, and the pages are wrinkled and in a few places have not separated entirely cleanly, but it is intact, usable, and safe to return to the rare book room.

The cover of Hawaiian Numerals has been discolored and warped by water damage.

Two copies of Marshall Cushing’s The Story of Our Post-Office, published in 1893, were water damaged. Both have water stains and a few wrinkles, but the pages were successfully separated and flattened after drying.

Hawaiian Numerals, published by Henry J. Crocker in 1909, is in relatively good shape aside from a little discoloration, but the binding has been practically destroyed. Luckily, the APRL has a second copy with an intact binding.

Swedish Letter Rates to Foreign Destinations 1855–1895, published in a limited edition of 200 in Sweden in 1986, came through in the best shape of the five books. The first few pages show a little discoloration, but the interior pages show almost no trace of the water damage.

Swedish Letter Rates to Foreign Destinations 1855-1895 shows only very minor wrinkling in the pages after drying. Compare to the wet photo at the beginning of this post!







APRL receives large donation from Library and Archives Canada

On Friday, January 13, a truck from Canada arrived in Bellefonte with 114 boxes containing philatelic journals and auction catalogs for the APRL’s collection. Its journey from Ontario to Pennsylvania was just the last part of a happy story of international library cooperation.

In the summer of 2016, Helen Apouchtine of the Library and Archives Canada (LAC) contacted the APRL to inquire whether we would be interested in receiving materials that were being removed from their collections.

As she described it:

Over the years, LAC’s collection policy has evolved and we are now focused on acquiring  titles published in Canada, by Canadian authors if published abroad or if there is substantial Canadian content.

Attached is a list of over 900 major philatelic serials issued by numerous foreign publishers. Many are long runs, some beginning in the late 1800s or early 1900s.

She was referred to us by staff at the Harry Sutherland Library at the Vincent Graves Greene Philatelic Research Foundation, one of our partners in the David Straight Memorial Philatelic Union Catalog. The list included issues of many diverse titles that will fill in some gaps in the APRL’s runs of foreign and domestic journals, such as Postas Argentinas (Buenos Aires),  L’Annonce timbrologique (Liege, Belgium, 1890-1909) and Avion Constellation (Paris, 1948-1949).

As they proceeded with packing the journal material needed by the APRL, LAC also offered a list of material from nearly 700 auction houses. From this list, APRL will be able to add some missing auctions, many from companies in the United Kingdom and the British Commonwealth, such as Cavendish Philatelic Auctions, Cornish Stamp Company, and Treasure Hunters Ltd. (Hong Kong).