Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Library Journal Envelope Circa 1880s

The American Library Journal (later the Library Journal), the first professional library magazine, began publication in 1876. It was one of several major library history events that occurred in that year including the establishment of the American Library Association. Three individuals played prominent roles in the establishment of both the Library Journal and the American Library Association. They were: Fredrick Leypoldt, editor and publisher of the periodical Publisher's Weekly; Richard Rodgers Bowker, Leypoldt's partner and later publisher of the Library Journal; and Melvil Dewey, the first editor of the Library Journal.  The Library Journal served as "The Official Organ of the Library Associations of America and the United Kingdom". It was not until 1907 that the American Library Association began publishing its own journal, the ALA Bulletin (now American Libraries). I recently acquired an early envelope mailed by the Library Journal (shown above). Based on the return address and the stamp on the envelope, it was mailed in the 1880s. The envelope included material classified as a circular which qualified it for the one cent postage rate. Because I use envelopes and other postal artifacts to tell the story of America's libraries in my philatelic exhibits, its nice to have this envelope with connections to the early history of one of the most prominent professional library periodicals and the American Library Association.  

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