Philatelic Literature Review 1st quarter issue online

The online edition of the Philatelic Literature Review 1st 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 1st quarter issue features:

President’s Message — Roger Brody
From the Librarian’s Desk — Tara Murray
Library News — Sergio Lugo
Who Really Founded the American Philatelic Society,
Theodore F. Cuno or Schuyler B. Bradt? — Brian Birch
What’s on Your Bookshelf? — Steve Zwillinger
Postal History Symposium

And our regular departments:

About the Cover
APRL New Acquisitions
Book Reviews
Collectors Club of Chicago Pratt Award
Literature Palmares — Chicagopex
New Books Noted
Philatelic Literature Clearinghouse
Philatelic Literature Contributors
PLR Dealer Directory

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Spellman Museum to host Postal History Symposium

The Spellman Museum of Stamps & Postal History will host a postal history symposium with the theme, “The Challenging 20th Century: Men, Machines and Modernization.” It will take place on the campus of Regis College (Upper Union Student Hall) in Weston, Massachusetts, where the museum is located, on Thursday, April 30, 2015, starting at 9 a.m., a day before the opening of the Philatelic Show in nearby Boxboro.

Symposium presentations will include:

  • Rodney Juell, “The Men Who Made the Stamps of the 1920s”
  • Edward Grabowski, “Philately and International Mail Order Fraud”
  • George S. Norton, “Technology in the Envelope: Use of Microfilm and Voice Recordings in the Mail during World War II”
  • Roger S. Brody, “The Bureau Leaves the Field”

Admission to the symposium is free but the Museum asks that attendees register in advance. The symposium is co-sponsored by the United States Stamp Society with support from the American Philatelic Society.

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APRL New Acquisitions, 4th quarter 2014, continued

We did not have enough space to include all of the APRL’s new acquisitions in the 1st quarter 2015 Philatelic Literature Review, so the issue contained selected acquisitions and the remainder are listed here.


Note: Archival items and collections are for in-library use only. For more information about a collection or to make an appointment to view collections, please contact the APRL.

Covert, Maurice M. [Papers] ([ca. 1949–1953]): 1 folder; 30 cm. [Archive File Cabinet Drawer 4]

Kenosha Stamp and Cover Club: Historical Scrapbooks — Four 3-ring binders. 1952–1977 [R10 P1 S4]

Radasch, Henry Erdmann [Awards]: 2 boxes [Cabinet 3, Shelf 2, APRL Annex]

Strauss, Gerald H. Jenny Invert: Correspondence with Robey’s widow about 1918 inverted Jenny air mail stamp and a manuscript by Robey [Archive File Cabinet Drawer 4]

Books & Catalogs


Comment naît un timbre (Liège; Bruxelles: Edition de la Compagnie Générale de Publicité et Information S.P.R.L., 1948): 15 p.: ill.; 23 cm. [In process 000054409]

Canadian Philatelic Society

» Continue reading “APRL New Acquisitions, 4th quarter 2014, continued”

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New books at the APRL, February 2015

APRL acquisitions, January 16, 2015-February 15, 2015. To request loans, copies, or scans, or to search our catalog, visit the APRL website.

book coverBrookman Stamp Company. Brookman United States, United Nations & Canada stamps & postal collectibles ; featuring specialized listings of state duck stamps, plate no. coils & unexploded booklets, U.S. & U.N. first day covers, souvenir cards, pages, panels, ceremony programs ; including Confederate States, U.S. Possessions, U.S. Trust Territories ; illustrated grading guide, subject index, identifier & bibliography (Bedford, NH: Brookman Stamp Company, 2015 – xxiv, 392 p.): ill.; 28 cm. [PRICE LISTS Brookman; CATALOGS]

Cartier, Ray E. How we got men to the moon: 8 frame exhibit [exhibit] [electronic resource] ([n.l.]: [Ray E. Cartier], 2015): 1 computer optical disk; 4 3/4 in. [In process CD 000055682]

Cavendish Philatelic Auctions. The “Rossfield” collection of Great Britain: January 24, 2008 (Derby, England, U.K.: Cavendish Philatelic Auctions, 2008): 40 p.: col. ill.; 27 cm. [NS Rossfield]

Cavendish Philatelic Auctions. The Angus Parker collections of Iceland with the Norwegian missionaries in Madagascar issues:April 23, 2009 (Derby, England, U.K.: Cavendish Philatelic Auctions, 2009): 114 p.: ill. (some col.); 27 cm. [NS Parker, Angus]

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

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Philatelic libraries embrace technology

The Januanry/February 2015 issue of Book Reports, the newsletter of the Northwest Philatelic Library, contains an excellent article by Greg Alexander on the many ways philatelic libraries are embracing technology, including indexing journals, union catalogs of library holdings, digitizing books and journals, and even building or renovating libraries.

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New books at the APRL, January 2015

APRL acquisitions, December 16, 2014-January 16, 2015. To request loans, copies, or scans, or to search our catalog, visit the APRL website.

book coverBurk, Bruce. Waterfowl studies (New York: Winchester Press, c1976): xiii, 254 p.: ill. (some col.); 29 cm. [HJ5321 .B959w 1976]

Cais, Pavel. Ukrajina (známky, celiny a po?tovní provoz) (Praha: Společnost teritoriální filatelie Svazu českých filatelistů (STF SČF), 1995): 115 p.: ill.; 21 cm. [In process 000055656]

Cardinal Spellman Philatelic Museum. A Tribute to Sister Fidelma Conway: May 1993 (Weston, Massachusetts: Cardinal Spellman Philatelic Museum, 1993): 52 p.: ill.; 23 cm. [In process 000055471]

Červinka, Ladislav. Doplatní známky SSSR (Praha: Svaz českých filatelistů (SCF), 1989): 55 p.: ill., tables; 21 cm. [In process 000055652]

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

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Users help Scott improve listings

Every so often, the APRL gets a call from someone who believes they have found an error in a Scott Catalogue listing. Sometimes it is a matter of misunderstanding the catalog listing, which a little research can clear up. Other times, though, it appears that there is an error in the listing, and we suggest contacting catalog editor Charles Snee.

A new article on describes the process for submitting suspected errors, and how listings are researched and improved for each new edition of the catalogs.

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Meet Fred Baumann

Fred BaumannAs I’ve come to learn working here during the last two years, the American Philatelic Research Library is a remarkable resource masterfully marshaled by a small, highly talented team of professionals with remarkable skills. APRL Technical Services Coordinator Betsy Gamble has untangled the most complicated bibliographic questions for me. Reference Assistant Scott Tiffney tackles complex, esoteric queries each day with a confidence born of long experience and a familiarity with what’s available and how to seek it out. And Librarian Tara Murray, as Director of Information Services, brings special expertise to the task of overseeing and organizing the vast array of components to serve our many patrons across America and far beyond as efficiently and helpfully as possible, aided both by the staff and the volunteers who give generously of their time.

I have none of the talents of these fine people, but am best regarded as a lowly scrivener, with a knowledge of philately that is six inches deep and three miles wide. I have written for Linn’s Stamp News, Stamp Collector, Scott Stamp Monthly, and sundry other publications, and have both taken courses from and taught courses for the APS, which I joined 30 years ago. I have had a serious interest in philatelic literature since I worked for a Michigan stamp auction firm that specialized in selling and reprinting handbooks back in 1986.

What interests me are the aspects of the stamp hobby and its vast literature that aren’t readily covered elsewhere: the many nooks and crannies where history and philately overlap and connect, and those questions we receive from APS members and APRL patrons that don’t have obvious or ready-made answers. These fascinate me, and I hope to shine some light on them in a helpful way that you, too, will find interesting, here in the PLR blog.

Please feel free to get in touch with me. If you have questions or comments, you can post them here on the blog, or see the APRL website for contact information.

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New books at the APRL, December 2014

APRL acquisitions, November 16-December 15, 2014. To request loans, copies, or scans, or to search our catalog, visit the APRL website.

book cover130 years of Thai postage stamps: 1883-1983 (Thailand Post, 2013) [In process 000054424]

Alemany Indarte, Luis. Maritime mail via the Caribbean, 1779-1879 = Correo maritimo por el Caribe, 1779-1879 (Bethesda, MD: International Cuban Philatelic Society = Sociedad Filatelica Cubana Internacional, 2014): 35 p.: col. ill.; 28 cm. [JOURNAL Journal of Cuban Philately]

Alexandre, Jean-Paul. Dictionnaire historique des timbres & griffes “standard” de l’Administration francaise des postes 1792-1914 (Paris: Éditions Brun & Fils, 1996): 158 p.: ill.; 25 cm. [In process 000054924]

Barthelemy, Emile. Catalogue des obliterations francaises, 1849-1946 (Vigneux (S. & O.): Les Catalogues Mensuels, [1947]): 343 p.: ill.; 21 cm. [In process 000054951]

Brigham Auctions. The Brigham collection of Canada. Part III, The back of the book 1875-1978 & sheets 1857-1957: November 22, 2014 (Brampton, ON Canada: Brigham Auctions Ltd. in association with Auktionshaus Christoph Gartner GmbH & Co., c2014): viii, 176 p.: col. ill., port.; 23 x 24 cm. [NS Brigham Collecton of Canada pt.3]

» Continue reading “New books at the APRL, December 2014″

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Collecting your hometown postal history

A longtime APS member from a town in Medina County, Ohio, recently wrote to the APRL to ask one short question: “Is there anything in print about collecting hometown postal history?”

1882 cincinnati '4' duplex cancel on mfg cvrThe short answer is, yes, mostly short articles about covers found by collectors that fill niches in such collections. Many of these pop up in state postal history journals, like the “Hometown Post Offices” columns in every issue of the quarterly New Jersey Postal History Society Journal. Occasionally you may find a longer piece on the hometowns of specific collectors, how they came to collect, and what they’ve learned along the way, such as this hometown column on Cincinnati by former APS President Janet Klug.

However, our sense was that this concise correspondent was asking for a handbook or collector’s guide, a “how-to” book. That we do not have ― and perhaps we never will ― even though hometown collections appeal to a wide range of people.

This is because not only are no two hometowns exactly alike, but no two hometown collectors are likely to collect their postal artifacts in exactly the same way. In addition, there are fierce arguments over what does and does not belong in such a collection. Advertising covers? First day covers? What about incoming and outgoing foreign mail? There is no “right” or “wrong” when collecting to suit yourself, and most hometown collectors do exactly that.

If you, too, are interested in hometown collecting, the APS Education Department has a great opportunity in a StampCampus Collecting Connections module to be offered online on Friday, January 16, at 2:00 p.m. EST.  Veteran collector Tom Horn, Director of the APS Sales Division, will guide the one-hour module titled “Collecting Your Hometown Postal History.” Tom’s session will help you to discover sources of information about your hometown’s history, where to look for postal history related to your town, and offer tips on making the wisest buying decisions.

Because these courses are offered online using GoToMeeting software, they are far more affordable than APS courses traditionally have been ― just $20 for APS members, and only $50 for non-members. (Non-members can join APS now to save on the tuition.)  The session requires a computer, speakers, a microphone (useful for participation, but not required); having a web cam with a built-in microphone would be most helpful.

Session enrollment is limited. To find out more, visit the APS Education Department’s StampCampus Collecting Connections page at the APS website.

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