What could be more fitting than a former railroad station serving as the home of the Railway Mail Service Library (RMSL). The RMSL is located in the historic Boyce, Virginia railroad station. According to the mission statement on its website the RMSL “is an archival collection of primary and secondary sources pertaining to en route distribution history. It also features many obsolete postal artifacts associated with this activity. These items are used to assist researchers interested in route agent, seapost, railway, and highway post office (RPO and HPO) operations, known as the Railway Mail Service/Postal Transportation Service (RMS/PTS).” The RMSL has every major book published about RMS/PTS. The library includes six types of original-source documentation in its collection: 1) photographs of HPO and RPO vehicles; 2) The Railway Post Office and Postal Transport Journal issues between 1905 and 1959; 3) oral recollections of former clerks on audio and video tapes, as well as movies about the RMS/PTS; 4) general orders describing weekly changes within several divisions; 5) general and standpoint schemes of mail distribution; and 6) schedules of mail trains/routes. These schemes and schedules are helpful in understanding how the network of mail transportation and distribution activities operated, as well as when routes began, ended, or underwent significant changes. The RMSL and its predecessors date back to the early 1950s, but it was incorporated in its current format in 2003. Frank R. Scheer is the Curator and driving force behind the RMSL. Scheer routinely makes presentations at meetings and events related to railway mail service around the country. Scheer can be contacted at email@example.com . The railway station housing the RMSL appeared on a special postmark (shown above) for the centennial of the Town of Boyce in October 2010.
A group of Penn State students came out to Bellefonte on Monday to volunteer as part of a day of service honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Some of them spent their time in the APRL sorting our collection of stamp albums.
A larger group spent their time in the APS Education Department, and more pictures from the day are available on the APS Facebook page. Thanks to APS Director of Education Gretchen Moody for coordinating the day of service!
The APRL collects examples of albums (and stock books), showing how they have changed through the years. The collection includes many examples of Scott, Harris, and Minkus albums, as well as albums produced by postal administrations, topical albums, and albums for children. Many visitors like to see an example of their first album, but the collection can also be used to study the habits of collectors and the businesses associated with the hobby. Continue reading “Penn State students volunteer at APRL”
Anyone with an interest in philatelic libraries (including librarians, staff, volunteers, board members, and others) is invited to the Philatelic Librarians Roundtable at APS AmeriStamp Expo in Charleston, SC on Feb. 11.
The Roundtable is scheduled for noon-2 p.m. The agenda will include discussion of digitization projects, duplicate materials exchange, and the Philatelic Union Catalogue hosted by the APRL. If you have additional items you would like to discuss, please contact me.
In addition to periodic roundtable meetings, those interested in philatelic libraries can also communicate with each other using the Philatelic Library Forum, hosted on Google Groups. The Forum provides an email discussion list and a place to share duplicate and want lists.
ArGe Fiskal Philatelie im BDPh. Deutsche Stempeltarife aus einem Tagesnotizbuch des Jahres 1916: Jaresgabe 2000 (Solingen [Germany]: ArGe Fiskal Philatelie im BDPh, 2000): 21 cm. [Shelved with the journal Fiskal-Philatelist]
Basaran, Mehmet. Cover story: one man’s journey in to the unknown, part 2: Tughra stamps on cover 1863-1865 (Turkey: M.I. Basaran, c2010): 208 p.: col. ill.; 29 cm. [Call No. G7431 .S4 B297c 2010]
Bertazzoli, Enrico, Beppe Ermentini, & Gianluigi Roncetti. Perfin italiani: catalogo delle perforazioni commerciali de francobolli dell’area italiano, con valuazioni = Italian perfins: catalogue of trade perforations on stamps of the Italian area, with evaluations (Vignola (Mo), Italy: Vaccari, 2009): 299 p.: ill.; 25 cm. + 32 transparencies + 1 computer optical disk [Call No. G6711 .P438 B536c 2009]
Branz, Hermann. Deutsche Post in Marokko: Tarifanderungen im Uberweisungsverkehr (Berlin: Berliner Philatelisten-Klub, 1968): 15 p.: ill.; 21 cm.
Bundesmuseum. Europa-Marken 79: Geschichte des Post- und Fernmeldewesens: Sounderausstellung des Bundespostmuseums, Schaumainkai 53, 6000 Frankfurt 70, Geoffnet, Dienstag bis Sontag 10-16 Uhr: 3. Juni bis 7. September 1980 (Frankfurt [Germany]: Bundesmuseum, 1980): 32 p.: ill. (some col.); 21 cm.
Postal Employees After Hours is a new website from the Smithsonian National Postal Museum about the group activities of postal employees outside of work, including sports, musical groups, and charity work.
The website includes activities discovered during research in the summer of 2010 but is not exhaustive. The museum welcomes information about other groups and activities, both historical and contemporary.
If you are not ready for Hollywood, perhaps Lugano?
The Club Filatelico di Lugano has organized the Phila Movie 2011 video competition as part of the Swiss National Philatelic Exposition – “Lugano 2011” that will be held at Padiglione Conza, Lugano, Switzerland from May 6th to the 8th 2011. Entries will compete in three classes – Postal Administrations and Postal Museums; Collectors and Experts; and the third for Dealers, Editors, Auction Houses, and Philatelic Associations. There are virtually no limitations as to the philatelic or postal history subject matter that can presented; videos can range from broad overviews of collecting to detail technical programs on topics such as detection of forgeries. Each participant may enter up to three movies; the prospectus and application are on the Lugano 2011 web site in four languages. The deadline for submissions is February 28, 2011.
The movie competition was organized by Alessandro Arseni because, “Today’s technology allows the creation of new communication forms that can reach a high number of new potential collectors, historians, or people interested in the study of postal history communication through the centuries.” The full potential of the new media for “spreading the art of philatelic collecting” is possible today because “the creation of videos is a lot easier and less expensive than before thanks to the development and the diffusion of new software, and internet helps to make millions of images available to huge quantities of people in a very short while.”
While there are only a few weeks to script and produce a new program – many collectors and organizations already have programs in circulation that could be entered in the competition. I would enjoy hearing from participants in this philatelic film festival.
Alessandro Arseni also publishes The Postal Gazette, a lavishly illustrated, bi-lingual, tabloid size postal history journal. More than 200 articles from past issues can be freely down loaded.
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 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.