“In books I have traveled, not only to other worlds, but into my own.” - Anna Quindlen
With some of the challenges that we still face in our world, it is with eager anticipation that the American Philatelic Society staff and myself personally look forward to the Great American Stamp Show (GASS) in Sacramento later this month. The show promises to be one of the biggest and best shows of the philatelic year and we look forward to having all of you attend. In anticipation of GASS, in June I had the honor of attending on behalf of the APS and APRL the CAPEX ’22 show in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
The show was billed as the first-ever international stamp show to feature a one-frame exhibit competition. Hosted by the Royal Canadian Philatelic Society (RCPS) and taking place primarily in Constitution Hall of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in downtown Toronto, the show was the seventh international exhibition in Canada since the first CAPEX in 1957 and featured an astounding number of world-class one-frame exhibits, dealers from across the globe and sessions presented by speakers from a number of worldwide philatelic organizations.
Librarian Scott Tiffney greeted visitors and members at the American Philatelic Society at CAPEX ’22 in Toronto.
The show also featured a ceremony hosted by Charles Verge, of the RCPS, on the issuance by Canada Post of a set of five Vintage Travel Posters stamps. Being an international show the event was an incredible opportunity to meet and network with philatelists, as well as librarians, from around the world. Both at the APS booth and after the show each day I had the opportunity to speak with attendees from the Vincent Graves Greene Research Foundation, the Munich Philatelic Library, the Royal Philatelic Society London, as well as philatelic librarians from South Africa, France, Mexico and various cities in Canada, such as Calgary, Vancouver and Montreal. A highlight of the show were my talks with the representatives of the Vincent Graves Greene and Munich libraries that may result in a sharing of resources between those libraries and the APRL.
In all, having grown up a short distance from the where the show was staged, CAPEX ’22 was both a welcome experience for myself and a potentially rewarding opportunity for the library.
Guests and collectors visit dealers to search for philatelic treasures at CAPEX.
Winton M. Blount Postal History Symposium
Things are beginning to take shape for the Winton M. Blount Postal History Symposium to be hosted by the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum December 8 and 9 in Washington, D.C. Working with the NPM Research Chair Susan Smith, we are in the final stages of selecting the speakers and their presentations, as well as reviewing research paper proposals and abstracts.
The theme of this year’s symposium, the 12th for the biennial research event, is “Political Systems, Postal Administrations, and the Mail” and focuses on postal systems and administrations around the world and how their missions, practices, and regulations serve as reflections and agents of state goals and ideals. As we finalize those who will be presenting at the symposium we will provide more information about the speakers and their presentations.
The goal is to have the symposium as an in-person event at the NPM in Washington, but contingency plans are also being made to provide virtual access. We hope that you plan to save the date and attend this year’s symposium. Be sure to check the APS website for updates regarding details as they become available.
As a regular part of this column, there have recently been some significant updates regarding the Robert A. Mason Digital Library and our digitization efforts to grow the accessibility of the APRL’s resources. Since March 1, as we focused on the backlog of journals already in digital form, we surpassed the milestone of 1,000 issues uploaded. Currently, there have been 1,062 issues added since March with recent journal additions being El Quetzal, the organ of the International Society of Guatemala Collectors, and the Airpost Journal, the publication of the American Air Mail Society.
As we continue to work on the backlog of digital only journals through this year, we are also looking ahead to beginning the next phase of processing materials that includes those journals that are primarily still in paper form and in need of being scanned before being uploaded. As our plans for that phase of our digitization efforts become clearer, we will inform our readers about those updates.
Used books inventory
One of the library services not often mentioned in these pages that came into being during my brief time at the APRL is the sale of used books. The library sells books at very reasonable prices. These books have been donated but are not needed for our shelves as we already have multiple copies. Your purchases of these materials help support the library.
The vast majority of books in our sales inventory are either in new or “as new” condition. The books are sorted, organized and processed by regular library volunteer Karen Robbins and the best way to see what is currently available is to go the library webpage on the APS website and click on the link for the David Straight Memorial Philatelic Union Catalog. At the top of the landing page for the online catalog is a tab titled “Used Books For Sale.” Simply move your cursor over the tab and click to see all the books currently available for sale.
You can also contact the lirary directly at [email protected] to have the library staff look for you as books arrive almost every day and some are yet to be processed into the online catalog. We also have some more prominent books available, such as a complete set of the Germany Philatelic Society’s Reference Manual of Forgeries and R.H. White’s series titled The Papers and Gums of United States Postage Stamps, 1847-1909.