Thursday, October 13, 2011

UN Anniversaries and Postal Librariana

Envelope showing one of the first stamps of the United Nations
Special event envelope for dedication of Hammarskjold Library
There are two upcoming anniversaries related to the United Nations that are noteworthy. The first is the 60th anniversary of the first issue of postage stamps by the United Nations in New York which occurs on October 24th. The second is the 50th anniversary of the dedication of the UN Dag Hammarskjold Library in New York which occurs on November 16th. Both of these anniversaries have relevance to my interest in postal librariana. The first envelope shown above is a first day cover for one of the stamps in the first group of stamps issued by the UN. That stamp depicts the large Secretariat Building of the United Nations and a smaller building next to it which served as the library from 1951 to 1959. The building which housed the library was referred to as the "Manhattan Building". The second cover shown above is a special event cover for the dedication of the Dag Hammarskjold Library which replaced the previous building which was torn down.  Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold had already sent out the invitation to the dedication of the new library building when he was killed in an airplane crash in 1961. The decision to name the library for him occurred after his death.  The Hammarskjold Library appears on more postage stamps than any other library in the world. If you visit the United Nations in New York you can have your own personalized stamp created. I did this on a visit and a sheet of my personalized stamps is shown below.  The sheet has a nice image of the Hammarskjold Library.  It is the building at the bottom of the UN complex.

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