New books at the APRL, August 2017

APRL acquisitions, August 2017. To request loans, copies, or scans, or to search our catalog, visit the APRL website.

book coverAero Philatelists. Convention (1st) (New York City: Aero Philatelists, [1947?]). [US SHOW Aero Philatelists]

Aircraft year book (New York City: Aeronautical Chamber of Commerce of America, Inc., [1925-]). [In process 1925 000066058; In process 1929 000066059]

American Philatelic Society. 1988 APB employee cookbook ([State College, Pennsylvania]: American Philatelic Society, 1988). [In process 000065975]

American Philatelic Society. A World Stamp Show-NY 2016 warm-up [exhibit] ([Bellefonte, Pa.]: [American Philatelic Society], 2015). [R7 P6 S3 CLOSED STACKS 2] Continue reading “New books at the APRL, August 2017”

Visit to Vincent Graves Greene Philatelic Research Foundation

Charles Verge and Scott Tiffney

Back in June I had the opportunity to visit the Vincent Grave Greene Philatelic Research Foundation in Toronto, Ontario. Charles Verge, Secretary of the Foundation, Sheila Moll, the Head Librarian, and Kathy Hartley, the Reference Librarian there were my hosts showing me around the Library and the facilities of the Foundation.

The Foundation is located at 10 Summerhill Avenue in Toronto, Ontario in the beautiful Summerhill neighborhood just north of the downtown, easily reachable by car or more conveniently by a nearby subway station. The Foundation is home to the Harry Sutherland Research Library which houses the largest and most comprehensive collection of Canadian and British North America philatelic literature in North America. The collection includes all of the most important monographs, journals, Postal Guides, Postmaster General Reports, auction catalogues and research papers on British North America. Many of the earliest journals in the collection have been scanned and are available digitally for full-text searching. The Research Library is a contributor to the David Straight Memorial Philatelic Union Catalog and the Global Philatelic Library, making their collection searchable online.

The Research Foundation is also home to Canada’s foremost expertizing service for the stamps and postal history of Canada and British North America. In February 2012 the Foundation purchased a Foster Freeman VSC6000/HS Video Spectral Comparator which allows the Foundation’s Expertizing Committee to examine items under some of the highest magnification commercially available as well as exposing the material to a wide range of wavelengths of ultraviolet, infrared and filtered visible light. Also on site is a large meeting room with exhibit frames mounted on its walls. The space is used regularly by a number of local clubs and societies, notably the Philatelic Specialists Society of Canada, the Greater Toronto Area Philatelic Alliance and the Canadian Aerophilatelic Society. But finally, one of the truly unique objects, especially for this native philatelic traveler and librarian, is the original safe of the Marks Stamp Company, one of Canada’s oldest and most significant stamp dealers. The safe is still operational and is a centerpiece in the Research Library.

If you plan to visit Canada near Toronto or are just interested in the philatelic history of British North America, be sure to make time to visit the Vincent Graves Greene Research Foundation. They are open Mondays through Thursdays and one Saturday a month from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and by appointment. Email or phone ahead (library@greenefoundation.ca or 416-921-2073) just in case.

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150 Years of Canadian Philately Event at Vincent Graves Greene

Upon being invited by Kathy Hartley, the Reference Librarian at the Harry Sutherland Research of the Vincent Graves Greene Research Foundation in Toronto, I had the special opportunity to attend the “Canada’s First 150 Years of Philately” event at the Research Foundation on July 8. The idea for the event was the brainchild of the Philatelic Specialists Society of Canada in order to celebrate 150 years of Canadian Confederation and to highlight many of the philatelic and national events of significance in each of those 150 years. Members of the Society and other interested Canadian philatelists nationwide were asked to select a year and then put together a one page exhibit for that year, with some participants doing pages for multiple years. The result was an extraordinary display of Canadian and British North American pride and philately with exhibit pages depicting and honoring various philatelic and non-philatelic events such as the first Canadian stamps printed in Canada; CAPEX, the first international stamp exhibition in Canada; the creation of the Philatelic Society of Canada and then the Royal Philatelic Society of Canada; the development of the Avro Arrow aircraft; the 100th anniversary of the Stanley Cup; and even a page dealing with Gord Downie and the Tragically Hip among many others.

After a brief ceremony the 151 exhibit pages (there was one extra page for good measure) were unveiled from underneath an appropriate draping in the shape and colors of the Canadian flag. The event took place in the meeting room of the Research Foundation and was well attended, with over 60 members, philatelists and interested onlookers present. Many of the exhibitors were also present, answering questions and providing informal explanations of their pages. While there, many attendees were also invited to tour the Research Library and to watch the Foundation’s state-of-the-art expertizing tool, the VSC6000/HS Video Spectral Comparator, in action as it examined various philatelic items.

One of the added highlights of the event for this librarian was an original Globe and Mail newspaper issue (the Globe and Mail is the oldest national newspaper in Canada still in publication) dated July 1, 1867, the day of Canadian Confederation. The newspaper, displayed under glass, was in remarkable condition and represented an extraordinary piece of Canadian history.

In all, the event provided not only an incredible opportunity to see and experience the rich and varied history of Canadian philately, but it also afforded everyone in attendance a remarkable moment to share in their national philatelic pride.

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Steven Zwillinger elected new president of APRL

Steven Zwillinger – an active philatelic researcher, author, and exhibitor – is the new president of the American Philatelic Research Library Board of Trustees.

Zwillinger, elected as a trustee through 2022 in last year’s APS elections, was chosen unanimously August 4 by a voice vote of the APRL board during an organizational meeting held during StampShow in Richmond, Virginia. He replaces Roger Brody, who ended eight years as president this month. Zwillinger will serve a four-year term as head of the eight-member board.

Prior to last year’s elections, Zwillinger had served on boards of both the APRL and the American Philatelic Society. Continue reading “Steven Zwillinger elected new president of APRL”

Stamp designer Richard Sheaff’s papers available for research

A finding aid to stamp designer Richard Sheaff’s papers at the APRL is now available from our Subject Guides and Finding Aids page.

Sheaff donated his papers, which include sketches, notes, and background material for designs of issued and unissued stamps, as well as correspondence, Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee meeting materials, and design work Sheaff did for the Washington 2006 world stamp show, to the APRL in 2012. The papers have been rehoused in 14 archival boxes. Tom Bieniosek prepared a preliminary inventory and Ron Gruici completed the inventory and helped to create a finding aid which describes the collection at the folder level.

Sheaff designed U.S. postage stamps from 1983 to 2008. The entire collection is now available for research, except for the CSAC meeting materials, which are restricted until 25 years after the meeting date per an agreement with the USPS.

New books at the APRL: July 2017

APRL acquisitions, July 2017. To request loans, copies, or scans, or to search our catalog, visit the APRL website.

book cover150 tahun (1864-2014) prangko di Indonesia (Bandung: PT Pos Indonesia, 2014). [In process 000064773 v.1; In process 000064774 v.2]

AFINSA (Portugal). Especializado Selos postais das colonias portuguesas (Porto; Lisboa: AFINSA Portugal; Instituto de experizacao de filatelia portutuesa (INEXFIP), 2011). [G6680 .A1 A257s 2011] Continue reading “New books at the APRL: July 2017”

Resource of the Month – Brookman Price Guide

One of the lesser known catalogs still in publication that can be found in the American Philatelic Research Library collection is the Brookman stamp catalog, more properly referred to as the Brookman Price Guide or Price List. Although in the shadow of the more prominent and highly regarded Scott, Stanley Gibbons, Michel and Yvert & Tellier stamp catalogs, the Brookman Price Guide is still considered a very reputable “retail” price list that, for the purposes of the general or beginning collector, can provide very valuable information. The original Brookman Price List, a little more than 30 pages published over 80 years ago, was nothing more than a list of philatelic items on sale with the Brookman Stamp Company. Now published by Brookman, Barrett & Worthen in Bedford, New Hampshire, the current catalog is over 390 pages and has grown to become a combination of the Scott United States Specialized Catalogue published by Amos Publishing and the annual Postal Guide to U.S. Stamps produced by the U.S. Postal Service.

The Brookman Price Guide includes not only listings and values for all regularly issued U.S. stamps and back of the book issues, but the guide also includes listings for postal stationery, revenues, booklets, state and federal hunting permit and Indian reservation issues, first day covers, souvenir cards, souvenir pages, and uncut press sheets as well as several other types of philatelic material. In addition to the regular U.S. listings the catalog also includes philatelic information for “U.S Related Areas” such as Canal Zone, Cuba, Guam and Confederate States to name a few. If that’s not enough, the current catalog also contains listings for the regular issues of the United Nations, Canada, and the Canadian Provinces, all in one book. Although the format of the catalog is a scaled down version of the U.S. Specialized, all listings include Scott numbers, image illustrations, some watermark information and prices for single issues, sets of various sizes (4, 6, 8 and 12), mint sheets, and plate blocks. Keeping in mind that the Brookman Price Guide is primarily meant as a pricing guide and sales inventory for the stamp company, the catalog’s listed values can be slightly higher than those found in the Scott U.S. Specialized or other standard catalogs but the inclusion of prices for mint sheets, plate blocks, booklets and stamp sets as well as individual issues affords the collector the unique opportunity of consulting another recognized catalog for U.S. material in order to make value comparisons when purchasing various philatelic items.

But one of the truly unique additions to the Brookman Price Guide and one that is not found in the Scott U.S. Specialized or other similar catalogs is a section devoted entirely to autograph collecting. The autograph section is organized under various subheadings such as Astronauts, Authors, Entertainers, Politicians, Scientists, Athletes and Celebrities. The listings include specific values for autographs found on photographs, letters, cards, or covers as well as just signatures on a piece of paper. This section of the price list has proven to be a valuable and one-of-a-kind resource in the Library when answering requests that involve a cover or postal card which includes a signature such as a President, an astronaut, or even in some cases a Postmaster General. One recent request involved the value of a postal card depicting the 1969 moon landing bearing the signature of astronaut Neil Armstrong. Although no catalog or price guide can ever conclusively evaluate the true value of such a distinctive piece of philatelic ephemera, the Brookman Price Guide was able to provide a reliable starting point for the market value of such an item (it’s $1,200, by the way!).

If you are interested in borrowing or just using the latest Brookman Price Guide come by for a visit or request it by contacting the Library. The latest Brookman Price Guides are located on the first floor of the Library’s public space right next to the main Reference Desk.

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Resource of the Month: Higgins & Gage postal stationery catalog

For many specialties, we acquire new catalogs annually or every few years. This is not the case for worldwide postal stationery. The most comprehensive catalog is still the Priced Catalogue of Postal Stationery of the World, more commonly referred to as Higgins & Gage.

The catalog, issued in multiple parts covering the countries of the world from A to Z, was first published in the 1960s and last updated in the 1980s.

Member Richard Thompson recently lent us some supplements he had acquired that were more up-to-date than ours, and we are now confident that we have the most up-to-date editions and supplements available. Still, that means the most recent date on any of our Higgins & Gage volumes is 1986, more than 30 years ago.

Though the pricing, even with the supplements, is out-of-date, Higgins & Gage is in regular demand for its detailed listings and illustrations and comprehensive coverage. The numbering system is also used regularly.

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New books at the APRL: June 2017

APRL acquisitions, June 2017. To request loans, copies, or scans, or to search our catalog, visit the APRL website.

book cover1861-2011, Aristocrats of Confederate philately: exhibited at Westpex, San Francisco, April 29-30, May 1, 2011 ([n.l.]: [Robert A. Siegel], [2011]). [In process 000064384; In process 000064385]

Abd al-Mughni, Khalid Abd al-Rahman. Bidāyāt al-khidmah al-barīdīyah fī al-Kuwayt, 1896-1923 M: maʻa namādhij mukhtārah min murāsalāt ʻāʼilat al-Khālid al-maḥfūẓah bi-Markaz al-Buḥūth wa-al-Dirāsāt al-Kuwaytīyah (al-Kuwayt: Markaz al-Buḥūth wa-al-Dirāsāt al-Kuwaytīyah, 2012). [In process 000064684]

book coverActa philatelica nova 2014: Hrvatski filatelisticki almanah = Croatian philatelic almanac (Zagreb: Marka Nova, 2015). [In process 000064749]

Adamczyk, Janusz; Szopa, Jacek; Nowak, Janusz Tadeusz. Formationsstempel der Polnischen Legionen, des Polnischen Hilfscoprs und der Polnischen Wehrmacht auf Feldpostsendungen, 1914-1918 und ihr historischer Hintergrund (Krakau: Janusz Adamczyk, 2014). [In process 000064688] Continue reading “New books at the APRL: June 2017”

Neil to Receive Peterson Philatelic
Literature Life Achievement Award

Randy L. Neil will receive the 2017 Charles J. Peterson Philatelic Literature Life Achievement Award, which recognizes a person whose individual achievements have furthered knowledge through philatelic literature. The award is bestowed by the American Philatelic Research Library. Neil, a collector since childhood and a life member of the APS, has authored numerous articles for philatelic journals, and in 1987 wrote and published the seminal Philatelic Exhibitors Handbook. He continues to contribute to the hobby, serving as editor of American Stamp Dealer & Collector and The Philatelic Exhibitor. He also served as editor for The Confederate Philatelist.

Neil attended the University of Kansas school journalism and has applied his writing and editing skills to philately as well as other areas. He wrote the New York Times bestseller The Official Cheerleaders Handbook in 1979 and was the founding publisher of American Classic Screen magazine for the National Film Society. He operates Neil PRINT Media in Leawood, Kansas.

Neil’s career in philatelic writing began at an early age, when he became a columnist for Weekly Philatelic Gossip at age 14. His writing has appeared in numerous other journals over the years, including The American Philatelist, for which he wrote a column on exhibiting for a decade, Stamp Collector, and Linn’s Stamp News. In addition to his book on exhibiting, Neil also co-authored, with Jack Rosenthal, the United States Trans-Mississippi Issue of 1898. In 1992, he founded U.S. Stamps & Postal History, which continues today as U.S. Stamp News, published by John Dunn.

In 2000, Neil was recognized for his many philatelic achievements with the American Philatelic Society’s’ Luff Award for Outstanding Service to the society, the U.S. Philatelic Classics Society’s Distinguished Philatelist Award, and induction into the APS Writers Unit Hall of Fame. The St. Louis Stamp Expo presented him with the Elizabeth C. Pope medal for lifetime contributions to philately in 2005. Neil served as president of both the APS (1993–97) and the American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors (AAPE). The AAPE’s award for the best article appearing in The Philatelic Exhibitor each year is named for Neil and has been given annually since 2007.

The Peterson Award is named in honor of two-time John N. Luff award recipient Charlie Peterson, who set high standards in journal quality as editor of the APRL’s Philatelic Literature Review and the U.S. Philatelic Classics Society’s Chronicle of the U.S. Classic Postal Issues. His efforts with FIP and APS brought about the concepts of competitive literature exhibitions, and he served both nationally and internationally as a philatelic literature judge. He compiled indices for several major journals and generously mentored authors and editors throughout his career. Charlie Peterson served as president of the Writers Unit 30, the FIP philatelic literature commission, and the APRL.