12/12/2014 (P1757)
Contact: Tara Murray

Atkins philatelic literature collection finds home at the APRL

The last Edenbridge
catalog published.

The children of George Albert Atkins have donated approximately 7,000 pounds of material from his vast philatelic literature collection to the American Philatelic Research Library. Atkins, who died in 2009, was an APS member for more than 50 years and a dealer under the name Edenbridge Philatelic Lit. in Eden, North Carolina. The bulk of his literature collection was acquired in the 1950’s from L.R. Stadtmiller, who had acquired it from auctioneer Paul Bluss. Much of the original material was from the collection of noted philatelic literature specialist and indexer William Reynolds Ricketts.
“Comments from the philatelic and book community have been consistent in their awe at the quantity of literature on one subject, how comprehensive a collection it is, and that it was owned by one man,” said Atkins’ daughter Linda Strong, speaking on behalf of herself and siblings David Atkins and Cynthia Uzzell. “It is our hope and belief that the collection contains items which are unduplicated elsewhere, and that through this donation the Library can expand its references to add to the body of philatelic knowledge for collectors, researchers, and the public, now and in the future."

Top: Betsy Gamble, APRL Technical
Services Coordinator, sorts through
Bottom: A portion of the donation.

The material acquired by the APRL includes many 19th-century and foreign journals and auction catalogs not previously held by the Library. Books in the Atkins collection have bookplates from notable philatelic scholars such as Ricketts, John K. Tiffany, and Victor Suppantschitsch. The donation also includes Atkins’ own meticulous notes and records detailing the provenance of the collection, original correspondence from Stadtmiller, and handwritten manuscripts by Ricketts.
“We are grateful to Atkins’ family for their generosity and assistance in preserving this unique collection,” said Librarian Tara Murray. “Sorting through the collection and adding items to the Library will be a huge undertaking, but we look forward to making the material available to researchers.”

The American Philatelic Research Library has one of the world's largest and most accessible collections of philatelic literature. It also holds several unique archives, including the Daniel Hines Air Mail Collection. The APRL is a public nonprofit that relies heavily on volunteers and in-kind and monetary donations. Members of the APRL and the American Philatelic Society may borrow materials directly through the mail and others may access the collections through interlibrary loan. The APRL is open to the public and scholars are always welcome to do research on site. For more information, visit the APRL on the web at www.stamplibrary.org or call 814-933-3803 and select option 3 for the library.