In past News Items regarding the upcoming Giving Tuesday (December 1) in support of the library’s Adopt-A-Book campaign we have discussed and introduced the Adopt-A-Book campaign itself and then given readers an overview of how copyright permissions affect the types of materials that we would like to digitize and make available in the library’s digital collections database, APRL Digital.
Currently APRL Digital is populated by primarily complete of nine journals along with six books, forty-five exhibits and three films. As we grow the digital collections database we would also like to make donors to Adopt-A-Book on Giving Tuesday (December 1) aware of a number of other hidden treasures in the APRL collection that are truly unique. When we are further along with donations to the Adopt-A-Book campaign we can then begin to consider digitizing these hidden treasures in addition to the journals and books we have already have queued for inclusion into the APRL Digital database.
One of the truly unique and rare collections that we have at the APRL in the Archives is the American Bank Note Company (ABNC) files. Donated by donor Arthur Morowitz in the form of several thousand archival, mostly correspondence, files, the ABNC files are housed on the second floor of the library, partly in the public space in a series of two three-drawer lateral file cabinets and also in the non-public Archives area in over eighty archival document boxes.
Founded in 1858 and establishing printing operations in 1861, the American Bank Note Company (ABNC) was known for the engraving and printing of many U.S. bank notes as well as U.S. stamps. Later the ABNC expanded their printing operations for many other countries that contracted their services for printing stamps. When in 1879 the ABNC merged with two other bank note printing companies (the National Bank Note Company and the Continental Bank Note Company) the newly formed company kept the name of American Bank Note Company.
Organized by country and covering the period of 1870 to 1980 the ABNC files at the APRL include a wide variety of correspondence to and from the ABNC regarding the engraving, designing and ultimately printing of postage stamps. Although the United States section of the ABNC Archive files was not part of the original donation, the files do include correspondence and materials for Bulgaria, Canada, China, Holland, Latin America, the Philippines, Spain, Thailand, Turkey and Yugoslavia (Serbia) among others as well as files concerning specific ABNC engravers, printers and production methods and company history.
Another hidden treasure at the APRL worthy of inclusion in the digital collections database is the Hines Air Mail/Aviation Collection (HAM/AC). The HAM/AC is a significant special collection which documents the early days of airmail, particularly the airfield here in Bellefonte. As a young man, Daniel Hines of Bellefonte developed a keen interest in the U.S. Air Mail Service while watching the planes come and go past his family farm near the Bellefonte Air Mail Field, a refueling stop along the transcontinental route. His older brother, Ellis Hines, worked as a mechanic at the Bellefonte airfield and they both had the opportunity to spend time with several of the pilots and personnel assigned to, or passing through the area.
During this time Daniel with the assistance with his brother Ellis was able to gather a considerable amount of information spanning the 1920s to the 1990s about the pioneering days of air mail including letters, postal cards, research notes, pilots’ logs, handbooks, periodicals, newspapers, pamphlets, miscellaneous artifacts, maps and over 600 photographs and over 1000 negatives of pilots, planes and the places they landed or crashed. Many photographs also depict the various airfields along the transcontinental route, many no longer in service today, during the earliest days of aerial postal service.
Both the ABNC files and the Hines Air Mail Collection are just two of the hidden treasures found in the APRL collection that would be welcome additions to the APRL Digital collections database. Your $50 of more donation or more on Giving Tuesday will help us with making these and other hiddent treasures a possibility for the future of the digital database.
Double Your Impact through the Generosity of our Matching Donors!
On December 1st only, your impact will be doubled thanks to the generosity of our matching donors, among them Dr. Peter McCann and Bryan Lorber, who have pledged to match up to $7,000 of your gifts, dollar for dollar.
Meet Giving Tuesday Matching Donor Bryan Lorber
“I support the APRL for the same reason I support all libraries; they are a depository for accurate information that enriches our lives, as the saying goes If you want a thousand answers to your question, ask Google. If you want the correct answer, ask a librarian."
Bryan is a retired hospital RN living in Amherst, MA. He has two children, one wife, and an English Labrador Retriever named Ollie. Bryan’s interest in stamp collecting started in the 6th grade when he found a test tube mailer franked with a 3 cent Lincoln postmarked in the 1930s. To someone like Bryan born in 1959 that felt like antiquity! Besides United States and Canada (with a special fondness for Newfoundland) he has also enjoyed topical and thematic collecting, in particular, bicycles and carnivorous plants.
Bryan also loves all manner of natural history (the more exotic the better) which he indulges while out hiking and bicycle touring. Reading and music are also a major focus in his life. Bryan is a life member of the American Philatelic Society and the American Philatelic Research and a current member of the American Topical Association. In 2016 Bryan also, in loving memory of his parents Joan and Philip, sponsored the Reference Desk in the APRL’s new home.
We thank Bryan Lorber for his generosity in being a matching donor this Giving Tuesday and and his ongoing support of the APRL and its digitization efforts.