Monday, May 16, 2011
The New York Public Library on Stamps
This month the New York Public Library is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the dedication of its iconic building at 5th Avenue & 42nd Street now known as the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. For this occasion I have assembled a philatelic tribute to the library on the Library History Buff website which features representations of this landmark building on stamps. The postage stamp featuring one of the famous lions in front of the building (shown here) was issued by the United States in 2000. The purpose of the stamp was to pay for pre-sorted standard mail. Because the United States Postal Service has a policy against honoring individual local institutions, the stamp was to be issued with out any reference to the New York Public Library. However, the NYPL required that the inscription "The New York Public Library" be added to the stamp because the lion is trademarked by NYPL. The stamps were in widespread use for a number of years by bulk mailers, and as a result they were probably used on more envelopes than any library related stamps in history. Three other countries have issued postage stamps featuring the building at 5th Avenue & 42nd Street. For a number of years I have advocated, to no avail, for a postage stamp which honors all public libraries in the United States. I also have a webpage that shows all postage stamps that feature U.S. libraries and a webpage that shows U.S. library people on postage stamps.