With 2021 now behind us, 2022 is promising to be one of the more productive years in the history of the American Philatelic Research Library, especially for digitization and digital access. Members’ generous donations, the 2020 Giving Tuesday Adopt-A-Book campaign, and significant funding from the Robert A. Mason estate have led to Phase I digitalization efforts. The goal is to provide greater and more remote access to the library’s resources.
With 51 journals already in the queue, we have begun the process of uploading those that are already in digital form. This initial phase of the project is expected to take between 12 and 18 months with our goal being to upload 20 to 24 journals issues per week. Look for future updates regarding our progress with the Digital Library here.
2022 Winton M. Blount Postal History Symposium
After a very successful virtual Postal History Symposium in 2020, the 12th Winton M. Blount Postal History Symposium has been scheduled to take place at the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C. on December 8-9. The Postal History Symposium is a biennial event jointly sponsored by the American Philatelic Research Library, the American Philatelic Society and the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum. The symposium has been alternatively hosted at the National Postal Museum or the American Philatelic Center since 2006.
The symposium provides a unique forum for philatelists, academic scholars, postal historians and the interested public to discuss and present research that integrates philately into the broader context of world history. The 2022 symposium will be both an in-person and virtual event allowing attendees to participate in-person or access the sessions virtually. Past symposia (papers and presentations) can be accessed at the APRL’s Postal History Symposium page on the website (https://stamps.org/postal-history-symposium). Just click on the plus sign (+) to the right of each symposium to expand that section.
A call for papers with the applicable deadlines has been sent out and can be accessed either at the NPM or APS websites. This year’s theme is “Political Systems, Postal Administrations, and the Mail.” The theme examines worldwide postal administrations and their missions, practices and regulations and how they serve as reflections and agents of state goals and ideals. In turn, postal administrations shape the relationship that citizens, subjects or residents have to the mail and the post office.
Buying into the library
A special thanks goes out to all those that took advantage of our December Deals offer in which buyers could purchase items from our used book inventory for either free or reduced postage costs. Through the month of December 2021 the library waived all shipping costs to domestic locations and halved the shipping cost to international destinations. The response was very encouraging and we plan to have similar deals in the future. Every penny that we receive from used book purchases goes directly back into the library, helping with resources and services, most notably our aforementioned digitization efforts.
Joining in Support
Even though the new year has begun, there’s still time to become a library member or a subscriber to the library’s quarterly journal, the Philatelic Literature Review. For $21 (U.S. subscriber), $26 (Canadian subscriber), or $33 (International subscriber) you’ll receive four issues of the journal and support the library in the process. Other levels of library membership exist as well at the Sustaining, Contributing, and Life membership levels. Finally, there are also the Patron level ($1,000) and Vooys Fellow level ($5,000).
The year 2021 was a particularly good one for PLR subscriptions, as we added more than 100 new subscribers for the first time in five years as well as ten new Vooys Fellows, our highest annual growth in Vooys Fellows since the donation level was first instituted in 2007.
If you are interested in subscribing or becoming a member of the library, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your subscription and membership contributions help support the continuing mission of the library to provide the most accessible repository of philatelic research and resources for the worldwide philatelic community. Join us in that goal by becoming a subscriber or member.