New book: Belgian Congo and Ruanda-Urundi: Civil censorship 1940-1945

book coverThomas Lindekens of Belgium has just published a book on civil censorship in the Belgian Congo and Ruanda-Urundi. Belgian Congo and Ruanda-Urundi: Civil Censorship 1940-1945“includes all post offices, linear marks, tapes and cancellations used by the censorship office of the Belgian Congo and the Ruanda-Urundi 1940-1945 (illustrations, colours, sizes, dates of use). … These are each illustrated and described.”

The book’s 246 full-color A4-format pages are bound in a ring binder.

The book is available for €45 (with shipping, €52.50 in Belgium or €60 to the rest of the world). Pay by PayPal (add €2 for fees) or inquire to

New book on the history of the USPS

book coverJournalist Devin Leonard’s book on the history of the U.S. Postal Service, Neither Snow Nor Rain, has just been published by Grove Atlantic.

Leonard visited the APRL to do research for his book and scanned material from our archives.

The 336-page book is available in hardcover and e-book editions. For more information about the book and ordering information, see the publisher’s website.

To Grow Your Specialty, Share Your Know-How

Perfins Club logoOtto F. Wolke is a longtime APS member who lives about 70 miles from Bellefonte, PA. Earlier this fall, Otto brought a wonderful gift with him on a visit to the American Philatelic Center: a fresh, sound, complete copy of the Catalog of United States Perfins, edited by John C. Randall.

You might be forgiven for thinking that the gift of such a catalog is no big deal in a library with literally miles of shelves, but you’d be wrong. A current catalog is always a sought-after asset, whatever your philatelic specialty. With perfins ― the perforated initials that firms punched through mint stamps to prevent misappropriation and misuse before meters were widely used ― the number of corporations, smaller businesses, banks, utilities and government departments confirmed as perfin-users still steadily grows, year by year. Continue reading “To Grow Your Specialty, Share Your Know-How”

An Exemplary Book by a Modest Author

Montana Precancels Catalog & Guidebook 1Charles Adrion is a modest man. On Sept. 28, in the “Press & Publications” listings on The Stamp Collecting Forum, he informed collectors of a new “Montana Precancels – free catalog online” with this flowery announcement, printed here in its entirety:

“This book shows all known denominations precancelled in Montana. If you have any others in your collection, I’d love to hear about them.”

Perhaps he would have made a bigger deal out of the new catalog if someone else had been the author, but in fact the Montana Precancels Catalog & Guidebook was his creation.

It is not just an excellent book on an eminently collectible U.S. stamp specialty, but it is the first publication on the subject that the APRL has seen since J.C. Whitham’s 24-page Official Precancel Catalog for Montana, published in 1952. That consisted of 24 three-ring-punched 5” by 7” loose-leaf pages with reduced-size black line illustrations of the precancels only, and was available for $2.00. (Using the Consumer Price Index, $2.00 in 1952 is equal to $17.72 in 2015.) Continue reading “An Exemplary Book by a Modest Author”

New book on the 1898 pictorial issue of New Zealand

The 1898 Pictorial Issue of New Zealand by Derek DiamondThe New Zealand Society of Great Britain has just published The 1898 Pictorial Issue of New Zealand: Its Design, Printing & Use by Derek Diamond, FRPSL. This 350-page book with color illustrations brings together previously published research with new findings. It covers why and how the stamps were made and how they were used.

Ordering information is available from the NZ Society of GB website.

New state revenue catalog published

SRS Catalog

The State Revenue Society has published the second edition of The State Revenue Catalog. The first edition, edited by Scott Troutman and published in 2007, was the first comprehensive catalog of the revenue stamps of all states in 50 years.  The second edition, edited by Dave Wrisley, is the first catalog of revenues of all states with color illustrations throughout.  Completely revised, the catalog is hardbound with 751 pages containing approximately 28,000 listings, 10,000 color illustrations, and updated catalog values.

The retail price of the catalog is $97.00 and is available from a number of dealers.  It is also available at a reduced price to members of the SRS and American Revenue Association; for details and membership information, see the SRS website.

The American Philatelic Research Library holds the library and archives of the State Revenue Society.  Archives are only available for research at the library in Bellefonte, PA, but books and journals are included in the library’s circulating collection. A list of state revenue-related publications in the APRL collection is available on the library’s website.

Smithsonian publishes proceedings of First International Symposium on Analytical Methods in Philately

book coverProceedings of the First International Symposium on Analytical Methods in Philately (Smithsonian Contributions to History and Technology, No. 57) edited by Thomas Lera, John H. Barwis, and David L. Herendeen. Published 2013 by Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press. Available in hard copy or electronic PDF format at

This publication contains papers presented at the First International Symposium on Analytical Methods in Philately, hosted by the National Postal Museum in November 2012. Readers will find insights to research methods used across the entire spectrum of philatelic interests, from composition and physical characteristics of paper, to the chemistry and mineralogy of printing ink, to determining the genuineness of stamps, overprints, and the uses of adhesives on cover. Some of these projects were funded in part by the Institute for Analytical Philately and the National Postal Museum.

New book examines link between British postal rates and literary history

Photo: Penn State

A new book by Laura Rotunno, associate professor of English at Penn State Altoona, identifies the mid-1800s postal rate change in the United Kingdom as the turning point toward an increasingly educated middle class.

Postal Plots in British Fiction, 1840–1898: Readdressing Correspondence in Victorian Culture by Laura Rotunno. Published 2013 by Palgrave. ISBN 978-1137323798. Available from most major booksellers.

Read more in the Penn State press release.