Saturday, October 23, 2010

America's Philatelic Libraries

As I noted in a previous post, libraries devoted to philately, the collecting and study of postage stamps and postal history, constitute a very small group of libraries in the United States. This is also a very diverse group of libraries ranging from small volunteer run libraries to extensive libraries affiliated with larger organizations and institutions. I've been collecting postal items related to these libraries for many years and have a philatelic exhibit devoted to them. In August of 2009 I became a member of the Board of Trustees of the American Philatelic Research Library (APRL) in Bellefonte, PA which has led to an even greater interest and involvement with America's philatelic libraries. I write a column for Philatelic Literature Review, the official journal of the APRL, on philatelic library news. The APRL has recently launched a blog which we are calling Philatelic Literature & Research. I'm one of the co-bloggers for the new blog, along with APRL Director of Information Services/Librarian Tara Murray and David Straight, Contributing Editor of Philatelic Literature Review. The blog will, among other things, provide a vehicle for highlighting the resources and activities of philatelic libraries not only in the United States but around the world.

Today, the Postal History Foundation of Tucson, Arizona and its Slusser Memorial Philatelic Library will be celebrating their 50th anniversary. It is an example of the growing excellence of a philatelic library which started out as purely volunteer effort but now has a trained librarian. I maintain a web page with links to philatelic libraries.

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