Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Vatican Bibliophilately

I've been collecting postage stamps that depict libraries, librarians, and related topics for more than 15 years.  George Eberhart coined the term bibliophilately, and it was his article on library postage stamps that got me hooked on this collecting area. Vatican City has recently issued (Sept. 20, 2010) what might be considered the ultimate bibliophilatelic artifact. It is a stamp that is an actual miniature book which celebrates the reopening of the Vatican Apostolic Library. The miniature book stamp is inserted into a slot on a backing card that shows the Salone Sistino of the Library. The front of the stamp pictures Pope Sixtus V. who had a new building constructed for the Vatican Library in the 16th century. Inside the stamp booklet are six pages which include illustrations and text.  One of the pages is shown here.  An article about the unusual stamp by Denise McCarty was in the January 3, 2011 issue of Linn's Stamp News. I was elated to be able to purchase one for my collection. Two other stamps were issued by Vatican City in connection with the Library's reopening. They depict illustrations from illuminated manuscripts in the Library. The Vatican City book stamp is not the first such stamp of this nature.  On March 9, 2010, The Netherlands issued a miniature book stamp to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Book Week in that country. To read about how I became a collector of bibliophilately and postal librariana click HERE.

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