PLR takes 4th place in Christoph Gärtner competition

The American Philatelic Research Library received the 4th place award in the Christoph Gärtner International Philatelic Promotion competition for 2017. American Philatelic Society President Mick Zais accepted the award and 700€ on behalf of the APRL at the ceremony today in Monaco during the MonacoPhil stamp exhibition.

The competition, open to all organizations and publishers of philatelic periodicals, was founded in 2013 to recognize promotion of philatelic research and the preservation of philatelic knowledge through publication.

The top prize in this year’s competition went to the Collectors Club of Chicago for the outstanding new book  by Hugh Feldman, U.S. Contract Mail Routes by Railroad (1832-1875). The APS took 10th place for The American Philatelist.

Crawford Medal nominations open

The Royal Philatelic Society London is accepting nominations for the 2018 Crawford Medal “for the most valuable and original contribution to the study and knowledge of philately published in book form during the relevant period.”

Nominations are invited of books published in 2016 or 2017. Send nominations by email to or by letter to the Society at 41 Devonshire Place London WS1G 6JY, using the subject “Crawford Nomination.” Nominations are accepted until Feb. 1, 2018. If the nominated book is not in the RPSL library, the nominator will be asked to provide a copy.

Neil to Receive Peterson Philatelic
Literature Life Achievement Award

Randy L. Neil will receive the 2017 Charles J. Peterson Philatelic Literature Life Achievement Award, which recognizes a person whose individual achievements have furthered knowledge through philatelic literature. The award is bestowed by the American Philatelic Research Library. Neil, a collector since childhood and a life member of the APS, has authored numerous articles for philatelic journals, and in 1987 wrote and published the seminal Philatelic Exhibitors Handbook. He continues to contribute to the hobby, serving as editor of American Stamp Dealer & Collector and The Philatelic Exhibitor. He also served as editor for The Confederate Philatelist.

Neil attended the University of Kansas school journalism and has applied his writing and editing skills to philately as well as other areas. He wrote the New York Times bestseller The Official Cheerleaders Handbook in 1979 and was the founding publisher of American Classic Screen magazine for the National Film Society. He operates Neil PRINT Media in Leawood, Kansas.

Neil’s career in philatelic writing began at an early age, when he became a columnist for Weekly Philatelic Gossip at age 14. His writing has appeared in numerous other journals over the years, including The American Philatelist, for which he wrote a column on exhibiting for a decade, Stamp Collector, and Linn’s Stamp News. In addition to his book on exhibiting, Neil also co-authored, with Jack Rosenthal, the United States Trans-Mississippi Issue of 1898. In 1992, he founded U.S. Stamps & Postal History, which continues today as U.S. Stamp News, published by John Dunn.

In 2000, Neil was recognized for his many philatelic achievements with the American Philatelic Society’s’ Luff Award for Outstanding Service to the society, the U.S. Philatelic Classics Society’s Distinguished Philatelist Award, and induction into the APS Writers Unit Hall of Fame. The St. Louis Stamp Expo presented him with the Elizabeth C. Pope medal for lifetime contributions to philately in 2005. Neil served as president of both the APS (1993–97) and the American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors (AAPE). The AAPE’s award for the best article appearing in The Philatelic Exhibitor each year is named for Neil and has been given annually since 2007.

The Peterson Award is named in honor of two-time John N. Luff award recipient Charlie Peterson, who set high standards in journal quality as editor of the APRL’s Philatelic Literature Review and the U.S. Philatelic Classics Society’s Chronicle of the U.S. Classic Postal Issues. His efforts with FIP and APS brought about the concepts of competitive literature exhibitions, and he served both nationally and internationally as a philatelic literature judge. He compiled indices for several major journals and generously mentored authors and editors throughout his career. Charlie Peterson served as president of the Writers Unit 30, the FIP philatelic literature commission, and the APRL.

APRL Librarian Tara Murray Honored

Tara Murray, librarian for the American Philatelic Research Library in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, will be recognized as a Fellow by an international libraries organization.

The Special Libraries Association will honor Murray and 11 other longstanding and emerging leaders in June at the SLA 2017 Annual Conference in Phoenix, Arizona.

Murray is one of five individuals who will be named as Fellows at the convention’s second general session on June 19. The SLA Fellowship recognizes mid-career information professionals for their past, present, and future service to SLA and the profession.

Murray joined the American Philatelic Research Library in July 2010, after spending nine years as an information services director for the Population Research Institute at nearby Penn State University. Murray oversees operations of the APRL, the world’s largest philatelic library, including leading staff and volunteers, managing the library’s collection and the APS and APRL archives, and responding to a steady stream of requests from society members and the public. She also helps other philatelic libraries share resources and information through the Philatelic Library Forum and the online David Straight Memorial Philatelic Union Catalogue. Murray works with the APS Editorial Department to produce the quarterly Philatelic Literature Review and participates in events such as Summer Seminar and the Postal History Symposium co-sponsored by the APRL, APS, and Smithsonian National Postal Museum.

The Special Libraries Association, a nonprofit international organization for innovative information professionals and their strategic partners. SLA serves information professionals in more than 60 countries and in a wide range of working environments, including business, academia, and government agencies. For more information about the honors and SLA, visit

Nominations open for Crawford Medal

The Royal Philatelic Society London invites nominations for the Crawford Medal, awarded to the most valuable and original contribution to philately published in the form of a book.  Nominations are invited of books published in 2015 or 2016 and the award is open to both members and non-members of the Society.

To nominate a publication, submit brief details either by email to or mail to 41 Devonshire Place, London W1G 6JY, UK, marking the envelope “Crawford Nomination”.  The deadline for nominations is February 1, 2017.  If the book is not in the Society’s library then the nominator may be requested to supply a copy for the committee to consider.


Larry Nix inducted into Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame

Larry NixLarry Nix, an APRL Trustee from 2007–2013, a former Philatelic Literature Review columnist, and a contributor to this blog, was inducted into the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame on October 27.

Larry is well-known in the philatelic world, both for his contributions to the APRL and for his collection of “postal librariana,” which is showcased on his Library History Buff website and in several award-winning exhibits. Larry even did a single-frame exhibit on the APRL.

He is perhaps even better known in the library world. From 1983 until his retirement, he served as director of Wisconsin’s Public Library Development Team. He has also been active in the American Library Association and is respected internationally for his knowledge of library history.

Congratulations, Larry!

Crawford Medal nominations sought

Crawford MedalEvery year the Royal Philatelic Society London considers recent publications with a view to awarding one of them the prestigious Crawford Medal for the most valuable and original contribution to philately published in the form of a book. The Crawford Medal award is open to both members and non-members of the Society.

The Society invites nominations of books that were published in 2013 or 2104 to be considered. Send brief details by email to or by letter to The Royal Philatelic Society London, 41 Devonshire Place, London W1G 6JY by 10 February 2015.

If a nominated book is not already held in the RPSL Library, the Society may request the nominator to supply a copy for the Committee to consider and would appreciate it if this book were donated to the Library.