10/01/2015 (P1766)

Philatelic Union Catalog Welcomes the Spellman Museum Library Holdings

The Google of philatelic research — the David Straight Memorial Philatelic Union Catalog — has leaped to a higher level.

The titles of more than 1,000 records from the Spellman Museum of Stamps and Postal History’s library are now available online through the catalog, which is hosted by the American Philatelic Research Library.

The Spellman library’s records have been welcomed to the catalog’s database, the world’s best resource for philatelic research. Searching online, users can locate titles and subject matter of books, articles, indices, and auction catalogs.

“The Spellman has harnessed the power of the Philatelic Union Catalog, copying data from other libraries to create a digital record of their holdings,” said Tara Murray, the APRL’s librarian. “In the process, they have added to our collective knowledge of philatelic literature.”

The library and its volunteers continue to add records. Previously, the Spellman holdings were only listed on cards at the library in Weston, Massachusetts.

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 can borrow materials directly through the mail and others can access the collections through interlibrary loan.

About the Philatelic Union Catalog
In addition to providing researchers with a single online place to search the holdings of important philatelic libraries, the Philatelic Union Catalog allows libraries to copy each other’s catalog records, saving valuable staff and volunteer time when more than one library owns an item. The Philatelic Union Catalog also facilitates interlibrary loans and resource sharing among libraries. Its database contains more than 137,000 records of books, journals, and other library holdings as well as more than 197,000 records for journal articles.

Visitors to the Philatelic Union Catalog can search the holdings of 13 philatelic libraries simultaneously, or each library’s collection individually. To search for records from the Spellman library, go to the catalog search page (http://catalog.stamplibrary.org) and select “Spellman” from the drop-down box. As an example, we went to the website and simply entered the word “Vatican” in the Any Word box and used the drop down for “Spellman.” The search yielded three results, all catalogs published in Italy.

The Spellman joins the American Philatelic Research Library, Royal Philatelic Society London, Collectors Club of Chicago, Collectors Club of New York, Harry Sutherland Philatelic Library at the Vincent Graves Greene Philatelic Research Foundation, Northwest Philatelic Library, Peggy J. Slusser Memorial Philatelic Library at the Postal History Foundation, Rocky Mountain Philatelic Library, Roger G. Schnell Library of the Scandinavian Collectors Club, Smithsonian Libraries – National Postal Museum, Western Philatelic Library, and Wineburgh Philatelic Research Library at the University of Texas, Dallas in making its holdings publicly searchable through the Philatelic Union Catalog. Records from the Philatelic Union Catalog also are searchable in the Global Philatelic Library (www.globalphilateliclibrary.org) and the Spellman records will be included in a future update.

David Lee Straight (1955-2012), for whom the catalog is named, was a prolific writer and researcher, and the driving force behind the creation of the union catalog. A librarian by training and vocation, Straight retired at the age of 55 to write full time. He published more than 250 articles and was quite vocal about making technology work for philately.

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.