I don’t think any other philatelic library has a more elegant setting than that of the library of the Collectors Club of New York. The Collectors Club was founded in 1896 and is housed in a five story brownstone on East 35th Street in New York City. The building was designed by noted architect Stanford White . The library is one of the most extensive philatelic libraries in the world and has approximately 150,000 volumes. The extensive nature of the library was the primary reason for undertaking a major renovation of the club’s facilities which was completed in 2000. The library is one of the participants in the online union catalog of the American Philatelic Research Library. To search the holdings of the Collectors Club library, select “CCNY” from the “Location” drop-down selection list near the bottom of the on-line Catalog Search form. Only members can borrow materials from the library but visitors are welcome to conduct onsite research during regular library hours. The Collectors Club Philatelist, the journal of the club, is considered to be one of the most prestigious in philately. The table of contents for recent issues of the journal and selected articles are available on the club’s website. The Collectors Club has also published several significant books which are available for purchase.
The American Philatelic Society has published Large U.S. Banknotes Identification Guide by Bob Pipes and Steve Einhorn.
The book aims to help the collector identify these stamps, and includes large illustrations and a summary of the information and methods used to distinguish between soft and hard paper, which is crucial in correctly identifying the stamps in a series.
The book is available for purchase from the APS Marketplace.
Since coming to the APRL, I’ve learned that many philatelists have extensive personal libraries. Here are a few tips for storing your literature collection as safely as your stamp collection:
- The ideal environment for books and documents is free of dust and pollutants, not exposed to sunlight or bright artificial light, and has moderate temperature and humidity.
- Avoid storing your library in an attic or basement if possible. These spaces are often prone to excessive heat and moisture.
- Avoid storing books in spaces exposed to direct sunlight or bright light.
- Store unbound documents and newspapers flat in boxes.
- Binding can help preserve journals or loose manuscripts, especially if they will be used frequently.
- Store clippings and other small items unfolded in folders.
- Avoid excessive handling of fragile books and documents.
Paul Nelson of the Postal History Foundation of Tucson, Arizona has contacted me in regard to an extraordinary donation of patriotic envelopes to the Foundation. It has received the Thomas Hale Collection of Civil War Patriotic Envelopes which consists of approximately 2000 different historic and colorful pieces of stationery. According to Paul, all are unused envelopes and most are from the Union states, although there are a few with Confederate designs. He indicates that the freshness and brightness of this group of patriotic envelopes is unusual. The collection has been stored for years in a family trunk. Many of the covers are hand colored and all are essentially in mint condition. The covers have been organized in the Foundation’s library based on the categories that were published in The Catalog of Union Civil War Patriotic Covers, by William R. Weiss (1995).
With 2011 being celebrated as the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War, and with the recent release of a new book, Patriotic Envelopes of the Civil War: The Iconography of Union and Confederate Covers by Steven R. Boyd, the subject matter of the Thomas Hale Collection should be of interest to many historians and philatelists. The Thomas Hale Collection of Civil War Patriotic Envelopes is available for study by appointment. Contact the librarian, Charlotte Cushman, at the Peggy Slusser Memorial Philatelic Library, at the Postal History Foundation, 920 North First Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85719. The phone, email addresses, and other information may be found on the Foundation’s website.
Aizenberg, Salo. Postcards from the Holy land: a pictorial history of the Ottoman Era, 1880-1918 (Shaker Heights, OH: Society of Israel Philatelists, 2010): 385 p. : col. ill., maps ; 29 cm.
Beauregard, Gerard de & H. de Gorsse. The stamp king (London: Stanley Gibbons, c2010): v, 119 p. : ill. ; 24 cm. [Call No. HE6184 .L776 B383s 2010]
Bechtold, Gunter, Udo Fleiner, & Rolf Tworek. Gebrauchte Inflationsmarken – echt oder falsch? ([Berlin]: Verein der Deutschlandsammler e.V., INFLA Berlin, c2008): 86 p. : col. ill. ; 21 cm. [Call No. G6081 .I43 I43 no.48]
Burns, Ronald A. A type written transcription of the U.S. Post Office Dept. Stamp Bill Book numbers for the Issue of 1870 Ordinaries, 1870-1879. Part One. The National & Continental Issues (Shelbyville, IN: Ronald A. Burns, [2010?]): 71 p. : ill., facsims. ; 28 cm. [Call No. G3701 .D313 B967t pt.1 2010]
Burns, Ronald A. Selected records from the files of the 3rd Assistant Postmaster General, 1869-1907 [papers on the large Bank Note period of 1870-1890] (Shelbyville, IN: Ronald A. Burns, ): 111 p. : facsims. ; 28 cm. [Call No. HE6340 .B967s 2006]
The Rocky Mountain Philatelic Library (RMPL) celebrated the one year anniversary of its purchase of an adjacent building for expansion on December 4. A press release issued by RMPL looks back over this past year and chronicles many of the library’s accomplishments. Significant strides were made in the renovation of the newly acquired building almost all of which was accomplished by volunteers. Immediately after purchase the additional space was being utilized for a wide variety of philatelic meetings and events. The new space has enabled the library to make its collection of around 10,000 books and 1,100 periodical titles much more accessible. The acquisition of the new building included outside space which has been transformed into an attractive garden area by volunteer help. Besides the many hours worked by volunteers to remodel and update the new building, the RMPL also has initiated an adult education program in affiliation with Denver University titled World History Through Stamps. This is an 8-week program presented by RMPL members, that began in September 2010, and is being repeated for the 2011 Winter and Spring semesters. I reported earlier on the library’s publication of Mexico’s Denver Printing of 1914 by Ron Mitchell. The membership of the library has grown to over 500. The RMPL’s newly revamped website includes more information and photos about the library and its expansion.
When you borrow books from the APRL by mail, you can now return them using Delivery Confirmation instead of the more expensive Signature Confirmation.
We will still ship your books to you using Signature Confirmation, but will now enclose a green Delivery Confirmation form for your return. We will still be able to track return shipments, and can be sure they are delivered back to the library since all packages are received in the APS mailroom.
If your package contains only library books being returned to the APRL, you can use Library Mail or Media Mail.
The Canadian War Museum has a collection of embroidered postcards sent by soldiers during WWI. In a new article, the museum’s Research Centre highlights a few Christmas postcards from its collection.
If you are interested in studying postcards, the following book would be a good starting point. It includes library and archives collections as well as a bibliography of books about postcards:
- Postcards in the library : invaluable visual resources / Stevens, Norman D. — New York ; London: Haworth Press, c1995. (Book) HE6184 .P839 P857 1995
The APRL has many more books and catalogs to assist the postcard collector. Go to our Online Catalogue and search for “post cards” in the Subject field and “book” to the Record Type field. You can also add a keyword (for example, a country or topic) to the Any Word field to narrow your search.
Neil Coker joined the staff of the APRL today as our new Reference Assistant.
Prior to coming to Bellefonte, Neil lived in St. Louis and worked for Regency-Superior as an auction manager and lot describer. In addition to his philatelic knowledge, Neil has a degree in geography and Soviet studies, and experience maintaining a reference library.
Neil will provide reference assistance, copies or scans of articles, and book loans.
Yesterday I talked to a group of Girl Scouts about library collections. One of the things they wanted to know was how libraries get their books and how librarians decide which books to add to the collection.
Some libraries buy books, I told them, but here at the APRL we rely primarily on donations to grow our collection. Almost every day, boxes of books, journals, manuscripts, and research files arrive at the APRL. Library staff open these gifts, and add those that are appropriate for our collection to the catalog so that members can use them. Each issue of the Philatelic Literature Review includes a list of new arrivals, as well as a list of the generous individuals and companies who donated material to the Library.
We can’t add every item we receive to the collection. Some are duplicates and some are simply out of the scope of our collection. We offer these items for sale, with the proceeds benefiting the Library. Each issue of the PLR also includes a “Literature Clearinghouse” section where the APRL lists new items for sale. (Members also use this section to list literature for sale and literature wanted to buy.)
We also receive monetary donations to purchase books, microfilm, equipment, and furniture.
So, on the day before Thanksgiving here in the U.S., the APRL says “Thank you” to all of our generous benefactors.
If you are interested in donating materials or money to the APRL, please contact us to discuss your donation.
The American Philatelic Research Library is a public library under Pennsylvania law and an authorized tax-exempt, nonprofit institution under Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code. Any donations may be tax deductible under prevailing IRS code specifications.