The significance of the nondescript postal card below rests with its connection to one of the most important people in the history of the Hawaii State Library – Edna Isabel Allyn (1861-1927). When this card was sent to Allyn by her former staff at the Brooklyn Sub Branch of the Cleveland Public Library, she had just become librarian of the Honolulu Library and Reading Room Association. Allyn would transition this library into a free public library and then the Hawaii State Library. She would become Hawaii’s first State Librarian. The card is a pre-printed overdue book notice that has been adapted in a humorous way – “Please return yourself at once and avoid accruing our displeasure.” The postal card is dated June 14, 1907 and addressed to “The Truant”. It has no postage or postmark and was probably enclosed in another envelope for delivery to Honolulu.
Sunday, January 23, 2022
Monday, January 17, 2022
In 2020 the Library completed a massive $211 million rehabilitation. It still serves as an appropriate memorial to Martin Luther King, Jr.
Tuesday, January 11, 2022
Sunday, January 9, 2022
In the golden age of picture postcards both libraries and trolleys (streetcars) were common subjects of the cards. Postcards which feature both libraries and trolleys, however, are uncommon. I find those postcards especially interesting and appealing. Public libraries in large cities are more likely to be featured on postcards which also include one or more trolleys. The Boston Public Library is featured on more postcards that include a trolley by far than any other library. Not far behind is the New York Public Library. Below are some of the postcards in this category from my personal collection of library postcards.
The first card features the Boston Public Library. It is interesting because of the message on the address side of the card. It reads "Public Library. Note small street car. I have seen the cars of New York, Boston, Phila., Chicago, Norfolk, Jamestown, Mil. but none half as good and big as Mpls. [Minneapolis]." The postcard was posted on Nov. 8, 1909 on the U.S.S Missouri.
|Unposted card features the Carnegie Library in Stillwater, MN and a trolley from the Twin City Lines.|
|Multiple trolleys are featured on this postcard for Ashville, NC which was posted on Oct. 31, 1907. The library is the castle like building on the right.|
|Unposted Real Photo Postcard (RPPC) featuring the Milwaukee Public Library and Museum. Trolley is in front of library on lower right.|
|Four trolleys appear on this Chicago Public Library postcard which was posted Sept. 29, 1910. Message on back reads "This picture does not do justice to the building. It is some place."|
Thursday, January 6, 2022
Sunday, January 2, 2022
I’ve been a collector of envelopes (called covers by philatelists) related to libraries for more than 25 years. In my efforts to collect these I discovered a category of covers called “community advertising covers”. These covers usually include multiple photographs or illustrations depicting prominent buildings and geographic features of a community (usually on the front of the cover) and written commentary extolling the virtues of living or doing business in the community (usually on the back of the cover). My personal collection of these covers numbers over 70 including examples from 18 states. I’m interested in these covers because an image of a library building is often featured on the cover, and the community's library is often touted as one of the advantages of living or doing business in the community in the commentary. These covers are also nice items to include in my philatelic exhibits about libraries.
When I first began collecting these covers I came across an article from the Fall 1993 issue of The Heliograph, the journal of the Postal History Foundation in Tucson, AZ, which described a donation to the Foundation of community advertising covers. The donation was from Charles Nettleship Jr. who had amassed a collection of 1204 community advertising covers (145 of these were photocopies). According to the article all states except Hawaii were represented in the collection. The largest percentage came from the Midwest (43%) followed by the East (30), then the West (20%) and finally the South (7%). The article indicated that the largest number of covers were from the 1901 to 1910 period with the earliest from 1800 and the latest from 1975.
I have 18 Wisconsin community advertising covers and I thought an article about these covers might be a possibility for the Badger Postal History journal of the Wisconsin Postal History Society of which I am a member. While working on the article I contacted Valerie Kittel, Librarian of the Postal History Foundation to see if the Foundation still had the covers. She indicated that the collection had been sold. The good news, however, was that along with the collection came an index card file in which Nettleship had meticulously described each cover. This information had been transferred by the Postal History Foundation to a printed document which listed all the covers by state. Valerie graciously sent me the part of the document which included the entries for Wisconsin. With this information I was able to substantially improve my article “Wisconsin’s Community Advertising Covers” which was included in the November 2021 issue of Badger Postal History. I have included selected examples of community advertising covers from my collection in this blog post.
|Corsicana, TX |