This post is the first in a quarterly series highlighting items from the APRL’s archival collections and historical objects. In this series APRL Research Assistant Marian Mills writes about some of the unique and rare items found in the APRL Archives.
In 1929, oral surgeon and part-time inventor Dr. Lytle Adams planned a test flight to demonstrate his latest invention of a device that could pick up mail from a ship by a moving air plane. This first experimental flight from ship-to-shore was planned for the S.S. Leviathan’s trip, which departed from Southampton on June 2, 1929 and arrived in New York on June 7. This first flight was unsuccessful.
In the age of Twitter, Instagram and other social media alternatives the ongoing resource and service goal of the American Philatelic Research Library is to expand the reach of the library to those who may not or cannot visit in person us here. The digital world of disseminating information for research, in this case philatelic research, has advanced such that a good number of the resources we know and use each day appear in digital form. To this end, the APRL in October 2017 began its Digital Resources Imitative to make available to our members some of the more common resources used in their research.
One of the most important goals for any library including the American Philatelic Research Library is that of sharing our resources with our community of library users, in this case philatelic researchers. We do this first by making our resources accessible to those users through borrowing, photocopying, scanning and providing research. In conjunction with this type of resource sharing we also have a responsibility to share what we don’t need or require for our collection with the philatelic community.
Now that you’ve been introduced to the staff here at the American Philatelic Research Library, we thought as part of National Library Week we would next ask some of the staff to share what tips they could pass along to assist patrons and researchers to the APRL with our services and resources. In working with the resources every day and assisting patrons with their research, our staff have discovered some useful “tips of the trade” they would like to share with our philatelic “community.”
On this second full day of National Library Week, here at the American Philatelic Research Library (APRL) we now move our focus to the dedicated and resourceful people who make up our “community” as the staff of the APRL, those who serve the research and resource needs of our members and the global philatelic community. The APRL is staffed by three full-time personnel and two employees who split time in the library.
This month’s highlighted resource is a series of documents housed in the Government Documents section on the first floor of the public space of the American Philatelic Research Library. By way of introduction to these important international resources, in 1863 the United States Postmaster General Montgomery Blair organized a conference in Paris to discuss the state and future of international postal relations. Delegates from 15 European and American countries met and succeeded in establishing a number of general principles governing international postal relations and services. But the scope and necessary authority of their decisions remained limited and they were not able to come to a consensus regarding an overarching and binding set of international postal agreements.
As a librarian and bibliophile who has worked in a number of different libraries in the last 25 years, one of the things that has always been of keen interest to me in this profession is exploring the history of a particular subject through its literature. Philately, more so than many other hobbies, has a rich and extensive bibliographic history of notable publications, some of which even pre-date the formation of philatelic organizations such as the American Philatelic Society.
Abacus Auctions. The Ginger Meggs scenic letter cards, Colin Riddell’s Cocos postal history, William Pate’s New Guinea postal history: March 3, 2019 (Glen Waverly, Victoria [Australia]: Abacus Auctions, 2019).[NS Meggs, Ginger]
Aloni, Zvi. The Alexander collection, Milestones in the postal history of the Holy Land (Eretz Israel Museum, Tel Aviv ; The Alexander Museum of Postal History & Philately, 2008). [IP70068]
American Philatelic Research Library. Manual of philatelic headings used by the American Philatelic Research Library ([Bellefonte, Pennsylvania]: American Philatelic Research Library, [2018-]). [Online]