Given the health and safety concerns during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, the APS, APRL, the National Postal Museum and the U.S. Philatelic Classics Society have decided to move forward with the 2020 Postal History Symposium as a virtual symposium. The biennial event, jointly hosted by the American Philatelic Research Library and the National Postal Museum, was initially scheduled for October 30-31, 2020, at the American Philatelic Center in Bellefonte, PA.
As introduced earlier the APRL has begun a funding campaign titled “Adopt-A-Book.” The idea for the Adopt-A-Book campaign is to afford members the opportunity to “adopt” a book from the APRL collection and then donate in its honor much needed funds to assist the library with its ongoing digitization projects. At this early stage, the idea of the campaign is not to select a specific book or resource for adoption to then have that book or resource digitized, but instead to assist the library in general funding with digitization projects going forward. Donors will be recognized for their donation to the Adopt-A-Book campaign with a special bookplate in the book or resource of their choosing from the APRL collection which will name the donor and acknowledge their support.
Truly these are very unique times for all of us as stamp collectors and as a community of hobbyists. In the world of social distancing, shelter-in-place and stay-at-home orders the role that philately can play to ease the boredom and isolation we now sometimes feel has never been greater. As we wait patiently for this time to pass, we can reinvigorate our love of the hobby through our collections and get back to some of the basic reasons why we enjoy stamp and cover collecting. The current time affords us the opportunity to re-affirm our passion for what we collect and to rediscover some of the basic philatelic resources we use to investigate and explore our collections further.
Have time to do some research or just read an issue or two of the Collector’s Club Philatelist or the Postal History Journal? Now’s your chance! While we’re all at home social distancing there’s no need to feel remote from the APRL! Until May 31 APRL Digital, the library’s digital collections database, will be open to both members and non-members. As we transition the database from its present home to a new responsive platform, be one of the first to experience the digital library’s new responsive address.
Of all the specialized collecting interests that philately affords one of the more popular areas of the hobby that combines both the intrigue of stamp and cover collecting with the thrill of flight is aerophilately. Aerophilatelists, as they are known, specialize in the study of all aspects of airmail. Through the collection and examination of philatelic material collectors of airmail document and study the development of mail transported by air from the very beginning of airmail service to the present day. Many countries have philatelic societies and organizations devoted to the study of airmail. Here in the United States the American Air Mail Society, founded in 1923, is one of the oldest American specialized philatelic societies and the longest continuing organization devoted to aerophilately in the country.