American Philatelic Society. Getting the most out of APS Summer Seminar: includes a First Day of Issue Ceremony, June 27 at the Philatelic Center (Bellefonte, PA: American Philatelic Society, 2018). [APS Archives 2018]
Often when we conduct postal history research we find a resource within a resource that we didn’t expect to find at first glance. Such is the case with our U.S. Stamp files. Housed in the second floor Archives area of the American Philatelic Research Library (APRL), the U.S. Stamps files archive is a collection of file folders each of which may include articles, press releases, stamp announcements, photos, serviced covers, photo essays, news clippings and other research items. The folders are arranged and labeled by U.S. Scott number and are an invaluable resource for researchers and library staff for either beginning or supplementing research regarding a particular U.S. stamp issue.
APRL acquisitions, April 2018. To request loans, copies, or scans, or to search our catalog, visit the APRL website.
Aitchison, Jon. Unusual aspects of Channel Islands’ philately: a display to the Collectors Club of New York, Wednesday September 6th 2017 ([New York]: Collectors Club of New York, 2017).[IP67531]
Benninghoff, Robert. Ireland in the Great War and the struggle for Irish independence 1914 to 1922 [exhibit] ([n.l.]: Robert Benninghoff, ). [G5781 .P856 B47i 2018 EXHIBIT]
Endicott, Stephen. Catalog of United States perfins: a catalog of perfins in United States postage stamps 1908-2018 (Chesterfield, MO: The Perfins Club, Inc., 2018). [G3701 .P438 P438c 2018b CLOSED STACKS 1]
In the age of the Internet, online library catalogs and now social media very few of us can remember the days when libraries used card catalogs as the sole means of organizing and accessing information. The “digital library” has begun to replace the library of borrowing slips and index cards, but that doesn’t mean that those index cards and card catalogs still can’t have a place in today’s modern repositories. One such collection of invaluable index cards can be found at the American Philatelic Research Library (APRL), the collection known as the Piper Philatelic Index (PPI) or the Piper File for short.
One of the more diverse collecting interests within philately in recent years, whose popularity initially waned after the first World War, are stamps not normally listed in some of the more recognized stamp catalogs such as Stanley Gibbons and Michel. Revenue stamps, also known as fiscal or tax stamps, are stamps used to collect taxes and fees for a variety of goods and services by governments, either national or local, or by other official bodies.
Before I started working at the APRL in December, the majority of my knowledge about stamp collecting came from Terry Pratchett’s book, Going Postal. As a teenager I was a huge fan of Pratchett’s humorous fantasy books set in the fictional Discworld, and Going Postal was one of my favorites. When I arrived at the APRL I was glad to see that the book was included in the library’s collection.
The story of Going Postal concerns Moist van Lipwig, a con artist who receives a job as the Postmaster General of the non-functional Ankh-Morpork Postal Service. As postmaster general, Moist introduces postage stamps, delivers decades of undelivered mail, and competes with a visual telegraph company. The following excerpt is a conversation between Moist van Lipwig and his employee Stanley Howler (likely named after Stanley Gibbons) after Moist invents the first postage stamps. Continue reading “Fiction with Philatelic Themes”
Just this past month a frequent visitor to the library came by to conduct some research and was stuck by and pleasantly surprised to find a resource at the American Philatelic Library (APRL) that hadn’t occurred to him that we would collect or include as part of our collection. There on the first floor of the public space of the APRL tucked between a row of U.S. and international government documents and our collection of domestic show programs is a single bay of 24 shelves housing a small but growing collection of U.S. and international stamp albums. At first glance this collection of stamp albums, usually considered philatelic material meant possibly for resale in the gift shop, may seem to be an odd choice for inclusion in what is ostensibly a research-oriented philatelic literature collection that includes primarily books, journals and auction catalogs as well as the aforementioned government documents and show programs. After all, what research value could old stamp albums have for the serious philatelist? The answer to that question isn’t as complicated as their discovery at the APRL may seem. Continue reading “Resource of the Month – Stamp Albums”