Monday, January 12, 2009
A Nation of Readers
We are celebrating the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln's birth this year. There have been many stamps issued to commemorate Lincoln and there will be another set of stamps issued this year. My favorite Lincoln stamp and one which is library related is the 1984 "A Nation of Readers" stamp. I like it because creating a nation of readers is one of the most important missions of America's libraries and because it is simply a beautiful stamp. It is the third of three library stamps approved by Postmaster General William F. Bolger and designed by Bradbury Thompson, one of the world's greatest graphic designers. This stamp was issued on October 16, 1984. The other two stamps (the America's Libraries stamp and the Library of Congress stamp) were issued in 1982. The photograph on which the "A Nation of Readers" stamp is based is located in the Library of Congress and was taken by Anthony Berger, Mathew Brady's assistant, on Feb. 9, 1864. Although it appears that Lincoln is reading to his son Tad, they are actually viewing a collection of Brady's photographs. "With Malice Toward None: The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Exhibition" opens at the Library of Congress on Feb. 12, 2009. It will include the photograph on which the stamp is based. "A Nation of Readers" was the theme for National Library Week in 1985. For more on the stamp click here.