Check your library account online

You can now use the APRL’s online catalog to check your library account online and see which books you have checked out, when they are due, and the status of any holds (reserves) you have placed.

My Library AccountTo get started, contact us at or 814-933-3803, ext. 246 and ask us to set up an online account for you. Once this is set up, you’ll choose a password and then log in by clicking on “My Library Account” on the catalog home page.

Once you’ve logged in, you can see your currently checked out and recently returned books.

My Library Account

If you want to request an extension of your loans or if you have any questions about your library account, give us a call at 814-933-3803, ext. 240, or email us at You can also send us email by using the link on the My Library Account page.

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New books at the APRL, October 2015

APRL acquisitions, September 16, 2015–October 15, 2015. To request loans, copies, or scans, or to search our catalog, visit the APRL website.

book coverAcademie Europeenne de Philatelie. Opus XV, 2015 ([n.l.]: Academie Europeenne de Philatelie, [2015]): 223 p.: color illustrations.; 30 cm. [In process 000060071]

American Philatelic Society. Manual of philatelic judging [electronic resource] ([Bellefonte, Pa.]: American Philatelic Society, [2009–2014]): 119-123 p.; 28 cm. [HE6215 .A513m]

Antarctic philately: 1 looseleaf binder (approx. 600 pages): color illustrations; 28 cm.

Berisso, Eugenio E. and Alfreda L. Fernandez. Sellos fiscales para documentos de la provincia de Bs. As. 1944/1970 (Buenos Aires: Sociedad Filatelica de la Republica Argentina, [1996]): 52 p.: ill., stamps; 22 cm. [G5353 .B83 B51s 1996]

» Continue reading “New books at the APRL, October 2015″

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Hakai Magazine features stamp stories

Flaked OutHakai Magazine, a publication about coastal science and societies, has a series of short articles based on postage stamps. For example, The Little Post Office That Could tells the story of Herm Island stamps, while Cod Currency explains how salted cod was used as currency in Newfoundland (and, of course, commemorated on a stamp).

If you want to read more about cod, check out Flaked Out: The Story of Cod and Newfoundland, a children’s book available for borrowing from the APRL and for sale from the APS.

Herm IslandThe APRL also recently acquired a catalog of the Herm Island stamps (A Specialised Handbook and Catalogue of the Nautical Chart ‘Map’ Stamps and Pigeon Post Stamps of Herm Island 1949-1959).

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International Year of Disabled Persons stamps

I recently received a message from a collector who is researching the representation of disability on stamps. He has created a list of verified issues for the United Nations International Year of Disabled Persons, which he continues to update. He has also created  a Pinterest board for stamp images.

Scott Rains welcomes contact from others with an interest in this area at


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New books at the APRL, September 2015

APRL acquisitions, August 16, 2015–September 15, 2015. To request loans, copies, or scans, or to search our catalog, visit the APRL website.

book coverAbdul-Mughni, Khaled. Kuwait postal history under Indian administration [exhibit] (Souk Al-Dakhly, Kuwait: Khaled Abdul-Mughni, [2007?]): 80 leaves: col. ill.; 30 cm. [G7601 .P856 A136k EXHIBIT]

Album for Roosevelt issues (New York, N.Y.: Globus Stamp Co., c1949): [24] p.: ill.; 15 x 23 cm. [In process 000057955]

Allen, Ron E. AFDCS Directory of current cachetmakers (Lexington, KY: American First Day Cover Society, 2015): 12 p.; 28 cm. [G3701 .C119 A512d 2015 VERT FILE]

Almurr, Mohammed Ahmad. The postal history of Muscat, 1868-1948 [exhibit] ([n.l.]: [Mohammed Ahmad Almurr], [2011]): 80 leaves: col. ill.; 28 cm. [G7564 .M8 A45p EXHIBIT]

» Continue reading “New books at the APRL, September 2015″

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APRL construction: in the trenches

Library constructionThe final phase of construction for the new APRL kicked off last month, and the construction crew has been hard at work ever since. Last week, they dug trenches for electrical conduit. This will allow us to add reading lamps and electrical outlets to the work tables in the main reading room.

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Flattening folded or rolled documents

In this new YouTube video from the Smithsonian National Postal Museum, a preservation specialist demonstrates how to use a humidification chamber to flatten a document.

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Does the APRL keep everything we scan?

book scannerIn the past 5 years, the APRL has made a shift from providing mostly photocopies of articles requested by members to providing mostly digital scans. The shift is due to a combination of factors: we acquired professional book scanning equipment, which allows us to make better quality scans more efficiently and consequently prompted us to lower our scanning fees, and more and more members are asking for library resources in digital format.

I often get asked if the library keeps and archives all the articles we scan for members so that we can reuse them or post them online. We don’t, for two main reasons:

1. Copyright law prohibits us from keeping copies of publications that are protected by copyright. The copies we make for individual members are made under the Fair Use provision of copyright law for individual research and study. We are not permitted to archive and reuse these copies or to share them online.

2. Archiving scans of articles would require good indexing so that they could easily be retrieved again, as well as significant server space to store the files. Because requests are rarely for the same article, saving these scans is not a good use of our limited resources.

Scott CatalogueThere are exceptions, however. When we scan a public domain work in its entirety, we can and do save and archive the scans, and later make them available online through our library catalog. There are currently more than 250 records in the Philatelic Union Catalog in the location “Online,” which means the record either has a digital file attached or contains a link to full text available from another source.

One example is the 27th edition of the Scott Catalogue (published in 1873), which we have scanned and made available online. For more examples, select “Online” from the drop-down box when you search the catalog or look for records with “Online” in the location.

In addition to saving scans of public domain works, our digitization strategy also includes proactively digitizing works in the public domain (such as pre-1923 publications and government documents) and works that we can secure the rights to (such as publications produced by and copyrighted by the APS or works the copyright holder has given us permission to digitize, such as our collection of online exhibits).


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Railway Mail Service Library to present program on railway post offices

The Railway Mail Service Library will be presenting an evening program about Railway Post Offices operating to and from Washington, DC, on Friday, November
20th at 7 PM.  The presentation is for the Washington Chapter, National Railway Historical Society, at a meeting room in the George Washington National Masonic Memorial, Alexandria, Virginia.

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Philatelic Literature Review 3rd quarter issue available online

The online edition of the Philatelic Literature Review 3rd quarter 2015 issue is now available to subscribers. If you are a PLR subscriber and we have your email address, you should have received an email with instructions for accessing the online edition.

The 3rd quarter issue features:

President’s Message — Roger Brody
From the Librarian’s Desk — Tara Murray
Library News — Sergio Lugo
APRL Final Construction Begins
Journal Project to Improve Organization and Access — Betsy Gamble

And our regular departments:

About the Cover
APRL New Acquisitions
Book Reviews
Index to Advertisers
New Books Noted
Philatelic Literature Clearinghouse
Philatelic Literature Contributors
PLR Dealer Directory

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