Corrections to Philatelic Literature Review, 2018 3rd Quarter

Two corrections to the 2018 Third Quarter issue of the Philatelic Literature Review have been brought to the attention of the American Philatelic Research Library. Both appeared in the “New Books Noted” section of the issue. The first (page 204) under the title of “Austria” is a book by Alessandro Piani titled 1867-1884 La VI Emmissione D’austria Nel Litorale Austriaco (Kuestenland) 150th Anniversario 1867-2017. The publisher of this title was incorrectly identified as Vaccari. The book is however available through Vaccari as indicated in the listing.

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Resource of the Month – Higgins and Gage Postal Stationery Catalog

One of the challenges for non-U.S. worldwide postal stationery collectors is finding a reliable catalog for all types of postal cards, letter cards, envelopes, letter sheets and other stationery items officially produced by worldwide postal entities. Often postal stationery listings and values can only be found in specialized catalogs for a specific country meaning that for the worldwide collector a fair number of specialized catalogs would need to be consulted when researching a collection. There are just very few resources that include in one place listings and catalog information for worldwide postal stationery.

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New Resources at the APRL, August 2018

APRL new acquisitions for August 2018. To request loans, copies, or scans, or to search our catalog, visit the APRL website.

Alaimo, Salvador, 1934-. Buques argentinos en las Islas Malvinas = Argentine ships in the Falkland Islands ([n.l.]: Group de filatelia naval (Produccion Grafica de Jarmat),  2007).  [IP69855]

Aleksandrov, Yu.; Birch, Brian. S.E.P.S. trans. 7, Perforations on postage stamps from prerevolutionary Russia:  Filateliya SSSR, Feb. 1973, (2), 34  ([Wigan? U.K.]: [B. Birch],  [1975?]).[HE6035 .B617s no.7]

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Resource of the Month – Color Guides

“Any Colour You Like” is the title of a memorable song from a timeless album but in philately one of the trickiest and most challenging aspects of the hobby that can change a stamp from regular to rare is the particular color or hue of a given issue. The color of stamps is a hotly debated topic in philately among collectors as one shade of difference can have a tremendous impact on a stamp’s identification and thereby value.

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New Resources at the APRL, June 2018

APRL new acquisitions for June 2018. To request loans, copies, or scans, or to search our catalog, visit the APRL website.

Barbelin, Herve. À l’aube de la philatélie, Oscar Berger-Levrault, ouvrages et correspondances (1860-1869) ([Pont-a-Mousson, France]: Académie de Philatélie (Canéjan : Imprimeur Copymédia), c2018). [IP 68589 NEW]

Bhatnagar, O.P. Jaipur Raj Postal Administration (Bani Park, Jaipur, [India]: [n.p.], [1995]). [G7653 .J25 B575j]

Brunel, Georges, b. 1861. Les timbres-poste de l’Ile Maurice: emmissions de 1847 à 1898, ouvrage illustré de 95 figures et de 9 planches, dont une en couleurs (Paris: Editions Philatelia, 1928). [G9185 .B894t 1928 CLOSED STACKS 1]

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Resource of the Month – Philatelic Dictionaries and Encyclopedias

Every year the week following Memorial Day here in the U.S. is filled with ready young spellers competing in what has become known as Scripps National Spelling Bee. Begun in 1925 the contest of pitting budding young orthographers against each other has grown from a series of regional contests to a national competition broadcast annually on a major sports network. Within the regulations of the oral competition contestants are permitted to ask certain questions regarding the word they have been chosen to spell. Often you will hear competitors ask “what is the language of origin for the word?” or “can I hear the use of the word in a sentence?” However the most common question asked by participants in an attempt to better understand the word in question is “what is the definition of the word?”

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New Resources at the APRL, May 2018

APRL new acquisitions for May 2018. To request loans, copies, or scans, or to search our catalog, visit the APRL website.

Alderfer, David; Larry, Rosenblum, Larry. Linn’s Introduction to the stamps of Great Britain (Sidney, Ohio: Linn’s Stamp News, 2004). [IP67959]

Bansal, S.P. Plate varieties of ‘5’ def. 1981 & 1982 (Firozabad, India: S.P. Bansal, c2018). [IP68461]

Bansal, S.P. A study of 5 family planning stamp (Firozabad, India: S.P. Bansal, c2018). [IP68462]

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Resource of the Month – Name Sales

Here at the American Philatelic Research Library (APRL) the most common resources used or cited when researchers consult the library for their collecting needs are often either books or journals which comprise the majority of the library collection. Book titles detailing all aspects of national, state and local philatelic interests can be found on the first floor of the APRL’s public space, while journals dealing with worldwide interests are located on the second floor.

Name Sales Collection on First Floor of APRL

But in the over 30,000 titles and 80,000 individual items that comprise the APRL holdings there is a small  resourceful collection of materials which are a subset of the APRL’s vast collection of auctions catalogs, specifically name sales. Names sales are, as the title suggests, auction catalogs in which a particular or noteworthy collection is up for sale and the auction house has designated the sale by using the collector or the collection’s name.

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Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries to Sell Recovered Inverted Jenny Stamp

Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries to Sell Recovered Inverted Jenny
Proceeds of the Sale to Go to American Philatelic Research Library

BELLEFONTE, PA — The American Philatelic Research Library (APRL) announced today they have reached agreement with Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries to sell a recently recovered Inverted Jenny stamp. The stamp, Position 76 of the famous McCoy Block, stolen in 1955 at a stamp show in Norfolk, Virginia, was recovered by the APRL at a public event in June 2016 during the World Stamp Show-NY 2016.

The press event for the recovery of the stamp at World Stamp Show-NY 2016.

The APRL Board of Trustees selected Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries from eight proposals submitted since authorizing the sale in October 2016. “The Inverted Jenny is one of the most iconic stamps in the world and Siegel has been a part of many notable stamp sales from that sheet,” said Roger Brody, President of the APRL, “That history should deliver a great return to the APRL.”

“Of the many remarkable stories associated with the legendary Inverted Jenny, the theft of the McCoy block and the long road to recovery of the stolen stamps is perhaps the most thrilling,” added Scott Trepel, President of Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries, “Position 76 is the third one to be found and reclaimed, leaving only one still missing. It’s a beautiful looking Jenny and has the distinction of surviving 61 years of felonious captivity.”

The return of the stamp in front of the biplane at World Stamp Show-NY 2016.

The stamp recovery press conference was held before an actual Jenny biplane in the Javits Center in June 2016. The plane was on display at the show courtesy of Siegel Auction Galleries. “This was one of the biggest moments and greatest images in the history of the hobby,” said Scott English, Executive Director of the American Philatelic Society, “By pure luck, the plane was already there to promote the sale of another Jenny and it helped make the moment special.”

Proceeds of the stamp, expected to sell between $150,000 and $200,000, will go toward the APRL’s new library facility in Bellefonte, PA. The $4 million library was completed and opened in October 2016. The facility spans 19,000 square feet in space at the American Philatelic Center and it is the world’s largest philatelic library. More information about the APRL is available at and you can also visit to learn more about the Inverted Jenny stamps.

Ex Libris: Bookplates and provenance

A recent article from art blog Hyperallergic explores the art of the bookplate. Bookplates have been used for centuries to indicate ownership of books, and, as the article notes, can be used to trace the provenance of books.

The APRL’s collection includes many bookplates from famous philatelists, including Stanley B. Ashbrook, Creighton C. Hart, and H.E. Deats. The next time you check out a book, you could be holding a book that was once read by a member of the APS Hall of Fame!

We also use bookplates to show that books have come to us as part of a society library, for example the State Revenue Society or the Polonus Philatelic Library, or in honor or memory of an individual.

Brian Birch has written a nearly 1,000-page book on philatelic bookplates, which you can read online via the FIP Literature Commission website.