As the library has begun the arduous but exciting task of sorting, organizing and cataloging the donation given to the APRL by past APS Historian Dr. Herbert A. Trenchard, our efforts have proven to be both fruitful and rewarding. Though the vast majority of the donation is comprised of an extraordinary collection of domestic and international auction catalogs, not to mention a book collection worthy of any serious philatelist’s research library, there are also some hidden gems to be found in the collection. One of these gems is Dr. Trenchard’s collection of U.S stamp dealer covers.
Among Dr. Trenchard’s research interests was the history of organized philately in America. As part of this interest, he pursued a very unique collecting avenue. To better document and understand the history of stamp collecting in the U.S. he cultivated and compiled covers from stamp dealers all across the country. Amid the vast collection of mostly philatelic literature in the Trenchard donation are fifteen “large shoe box” size (8.5”x5”x15”) boxes filled with covers from U.S. stamp dealers nationwide from coast to coast and from north to south.
With over 7,500 covers in all and organized alphabetically by dealer name, this collection of dealer covers includes multiple examples from just about every known American stamp dealer of the twentieth century. Some of the earliest covers date back to the turn of the century.
As one would expect with philatelic material concerning this subject matter, well represented in this unique collection are covers from dealers that once plied their trade along the infamous Nassau Street in New York City.
As a philatelic historian interested documenting the history of philately in the United States, Dr. Trenchard also collected dealer covers that included some of the most famous philatelists and dealers of the time.
In going through the collection there also some very unique finds such as dealer covers with embossed return addresses and even one that passed through the mail via censor with red wax seals on the back.
In all, the stamp dealer cover collection as part of the Dr. Herbert A. Trenchard donation is and will prove to be an extraordinary and invaluable resource in the APRL collection. To be housed in the APRL’s archival collections, these covers serve as primary source documentation of the size and scope of the hobby in the United States throughout the twentieth century.
As we continue to inventory the Trenchard donation we will provide further updates regarding the collection and the unique items found therein. If you have any further comments or questions feel free to contact the library at firstname.lastname@example.org.