Quick Notes: More 2016 U.S. Issues

From a webconference with USPS Stamp Services on Thursday, March 31st at 3 pm EDT. Spelling and typos don’t count!

From a press release just issued: “WASHINGTON — The U.S. Postal Service will begin celebrating the National Park Service’s Aug. 25 centennial just in time for summer vacation letter writing by issuing a pane of stunning Forever stamps depicting 16 examples of our national treasures on June 2.” The design reveals will begin Monday April 4th. Dedication ceremonies at Parks – not decided yet whether those will be on the first days or not.

Honoring Extraordinary Heroism: The Service Cross Medals. 4 stamps, 12 on a sheet. Monday, May 30.quick medals

Classics Forever: Forever-stamp souvenir sheet reproduces 6 classic stamps from mid 1800s. Wednesday, June 1. quick classicsColorful Celebrations: 4 colors, intricate art form, 10 different designs. Friday, June 3. quick celebrationsHenry James, Literary Arts, 3-ounce rate. quick jamesAll but James will be issued at World Stamp Show-NY 2016

The WSS folio (2 sheets of 12 packaged together) May 28th Saturday. The two panes will be attached, somewhat like the Medal of Honor issues, but not folded. Not as big as MOH was.

Sunday May 29th for Repeal

Pluto and Planets both on Tuesday, May 31st.

Mary-Anne Penner: As of right now, the first-day cancellations for all issues will be available every day of the show.

National Parks will be issued June 2nd at WSS.

Eid June 10th Dearborn, MI.

No date whatsoever for Pets at this point. Could not say whether May is still the target.

Issues at WSS: No-die-cut press sheets available? Mary-Anne Penner says no decisions have been made.

No preorders for stamp products any more, except for the actual stamps. New policy.

No T-shirt for Sarah Vaughan, as there was for other Music Icon stamps. A non-stamp product like that would have to have a separate retail agreement (with rights-holders?)

No NDC sheets for Shirley Temple.

Mystic Buys Rare $1 Columbian Sheet

[press release]
Mystic Stamp Company Buys Unique $1 Columbian Stamp Sheet
For display at NY 2016 stamp show. Will offer for sale.

dollarcolumbianOn March 22, Mystic Stamp Company bought a unique $1 full sheet of 100 stamps from Columbian Stamp Company for an undisclosed price.

Mystic will display the sheet at NY2016.

The sheet is unique, and one of the most valuable US stamp items.

The sheet lay hidden for decades. In 1893, a wealthy Englishman visited the Chicago World’s Fair. He bought 10,422 Columbian stamps for $1,313. He must have really liked the fair! Two sheets of 100 $1 Columbians were part of his purchase. He kept the stamps until his death almost 60 years later. In 1954, HR Harmer of London auctioned the stamps. Famed rare stamp dealers, the Weill Brothers, paid $37,100 for the complete group. The Weill’s showed the full sheet in 1976 at the international stamp show in Philadelphia. Now, 40 years later, collectors can see the rare sheet at Mystic’s booth at NY2016.

Also purchased were 11 other Columbian stamps, all in full sheets of 100. Included are the 50¢, 30¢, 15¢, 10¢, 8¢, 6¢, 5¢, 4¢, 3¢, 2¢ and 1¢ stamps. Presumably all originated from the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago.

All 12 sheets were displayed at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum some years ago.

The vast majority of Columbian sheets are 50-stamp subjects, as the smaller sheets fit in postal clerk drawers. A small number of “double sheets” of 100 were sold in Washington, DC, and Chicago at the fairgrounds.

In 1999, Columbian Stamp Company sold the second sheet of the $1 Columbian. That sheet was broken into singles and blocks, leaving one remaining sheet.

APS Works With USPS Credit Union

[press release]
American Philatelic Society Adds New National Partner
Stamp Collecting Organizations Joins Forces With Federal Credit Union

uspsfcuBELLEFONTE, PA – The world’s largest stamp collector’s organization, the American Philatelic Society (APS), is pleased to announce a new partnership with the U.S. Postal Service Federal Credit Union (USPS FCU), a Clinton, Maryland-based federal credit union serving current and retired employees of the U.S. Postal Service nationwide. The arrangement includes making the APS a Select Group, allowing APS members to join the USPS FCU. In addition, the USPS FCU will become a presence at national APS stamp shows, providing financial educational opportunities to both groups’ memberships, supporting APS youth education programs, and becoming a partner in promoting stamp collecting.

1763-Scott-English-new“We are excited about the opportunity to partner with the U.S. Postal Service Federal Credit Union,” said Scott English, APS Executive Director. “Not only will we be adding a respected financial service provider for our members, we will also have a great partner in supporting the U.S. Postal Service and stamp collecting.”

The proposal was approved by the APS Board of Directors on January 28, 2016 at the AmeriStamp Expo in Atlanta, Georgia. Following that vote, USPS FCU applied to the National Credit Union Administration to receive Select Group status which was approved on March 16, 2016. The final approval came from the USPS FCU Board of Directors at its monthly meeting on March 23, 2016.

“We were very impressed with the active and loyal membership of the APS,” said Steve Cimino, Executive Vice President of the USPS FCU. “The organization is a perfect fit with our existing membership and we see great things happening for each organization by working together.”

Both the APS and the USPS FCU will immediately begin education efforts to their new audience to promote services and recruit new members. The USPS FCU will have a booth at the APS StampShow, the annual summer meeting, which will be held Aug. 4 to 7 in Portland, Oregon.

About the APS:
apslogonew1The American Philatelic Society is the world’s largest stamp collecting organization with more than 31,000 members around the world. The organization, founded in 1886, is dedicated to promoting the cultural and historical significance of U.S. and international stamps, creating a safe place to buy and sell stamps, and providing educational opportunities for both collectors and non-collectors of all ages. You can learn more about the APS or become a member at www.stamps.org.

About the USPS FCU
uspsfcuThe U.S. Postal Service Federal Credit Union (USPS FCU) was established in 1934 by seven postal employees. They have a nationwide charter, which is a privilege only given to a few credit unions. In 2016, USPS FCU proudly serves more than 22,000 members across the country. While their primary membership includes employees and families of the U.S. Postal Service, they also have members from several Select Groups. They currently hold more than $200 million in assets and remain true to the cooperative philosophy “People Helping People.” They believe in empowering you through education and the delivery of high quality access for managing your money. Learn more about USPS FCU and the benefits of membership at www.uspsfcu.org.

Americover 2016 Tour: Post & Postal

[The AFDCS got an “offer too good to refuse” for special programs at the National Postal Museum, and has revised its pre-Americover Tour. This is the revised press release]

Group Will Attend Special Sundman Lecture On Parks

NPM-exterior2The American First Day Cover Society’s pre-Americover tour will include special presentations at the National Postal Museum.

Americover 2016 will be held in Falls Church, Va., August 19-21, just outside Washington, D.C. On the way to the museum, the bus will drop participants off at the National Mall for several hours to see whichever monuments and museums they choose.

NPM-interior2At the NPM, former National Park Service interpretive planner Paul Lee will present a special Sundman lecture, “Parks, Postmarks, and Postmasters: Post Offices Within The National Park System.” The program combines real-life drama and human interest.This year is the centennial of the National Park Service.

The Maynard Sundman lecture series at the Museum features talks by authors and expert philatelists on stamps and stamp collecting. Lee has worked at parks in the U.S., American Samoa and Northern Mariana Islands.

npm_piazzaAfter lunch, NPM Chief Curator Daniel Piazza (left) will give a guided tour of “Trailblazing: 100 Years of Our National Parks,” followed by a tour of the rest of the facility. Members of the group will have a chance to see their own cachets in the Owney the Postal Dog FDC exhibit.

“This tour gives our members and guests both a chance to explore some of Washington’s most famous sites and to attend a private tour and lecture at the National Postal Museum,” said Chris Lazaroff, chair of Americover 2016.

Membership is not required to take the tour.

The price, which covers bus transportation and a box lunch provided by Donald Sundman of Mystic Stamp Company, is $50 per person if purchased before July 1st, and $55 after that date. Tickets may be purchased online at www.afdcs.org/register or by mail, using the insert in the March-April issue of First Days, the official journal of the AFDCS. Non-members are welcome on the tour and can request a copy of the Americover 2016 event order form by sending a self-addressed stamped envelope to the AFDCS, PO Box 44, Annapolis Jct., MD 20701-npmgross11cap0044..

Each year, a group from Americover tours local sites the day before the show opens. There is also a Sunday evening event involving dinner; this year, it will be at P.J. Skidoos, a local restaurant favorite.

There is a special Americover room rate of $99 at the Falls Church Marriott Fairview Park Hotel, which includes Wednesday and Sunday nights. There also will be two bourses (commercial dealers and cachetmakers) at the show, a banquet, meetings, a youth table, a hospitality suite, live and silent auctions, seminars, a dedication ceremony on Sunday for the Soda Fountain Favorites stamps, and a forum by a postal official involved with first day covers.

For more information on Americover 2016 and the AFDCS, contact the AFDCS at P.O. Box 16277, Tucson, Ariz. 85732-6277, email showinfo@afdcs.org or visit www.afdcs.org.

Gems Abound in WSS-NY 2016

March 24, 2016
For Immediate Release

Gems Abound in WSS-NY 2016

World Stamp Show-NY 2016 is pleased to announce that it has finalized arrangements to display an unprecedented array of priceless philatelic material in the exhibition’s Court of Honor and Invited Exhibits. Many can be viewed online here: http://www.ny2016.org/SubMenu/Rarities_on_Display.aspx?id=484.

British_Guiana_13The world’s most valuable stamp will be there, the unique British Guiana one cent magenta, which was sold at auction June 17, 2014 for $9.48 million dollars to fashion shoe designer Stuart Weitzman. Its celebrated story of being found in 1873 by a 12 year old schoolboy is legendary. The stamp is on a three-year loan to the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum and will be in a special display case at their booth through Friday of the show.

The world’s first two postage stamps will be represented by truly remarkable items courtesy of The Postal Museum of Great Britain and their National Archives. Two specially designed frames will feature two sheets: the very first printed registration sheet of the Penny Black, plate 1 before hardening, dated April 15, 1840; and the earliest known example of the two penny blue, a sheet from plate 3 from January 1841. Both sheets, nyprovisionalsoriginally of 240 examples, are nearly intact with just a couple dozen of each removed. The 1d sheet has never been shown outside of the United Kingdom, while the 2d sheet has never been on public display anywhere. A presentation about them, “Postal Reform & the Penny Black,” will be given at 10:30 AM on Tuesday, May 31 by Douglas N. Muir, Senior Curator, Philately, The Postal Museum.

The earliest known example of the Penny Black postage stamp from the collection of Alan Holyoake will also be on display. It was recently discovered in the personal archive of Robert Wallace, the leading postal reformer of the time, who created an archive of items panaminvertdealing with Great Britain’s penny postage program of 1840. The stamp, lettered A I, comes from the first row of the sheet printed from the first printing plate 1a completed on April 8, 1840. The stamp is attached on a sheet of stout paper together with a proof of a Mulready, as presented by Rowland Hill to the Council of Academicians on April 10 for approval of the proposed design, which was enthusiastically given. At the top of this sheet Wallace inscribed in his own hand, “1st Proof of Penny Postage Stamp Cover, presented to Mr. Wallace by the Right Honable. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Francis Thornhill Baring, April 10th, 1840.” and endorsed beneath the stamp, “Universal Penny Postage Fly or Loose Stamp, presented to me Mr Wallace as above” and noted “ These come into public use on the 6th of May 1840”.

mauritiusballenvelopeThe postal history of the small Indian Ocean island of Mauritius is forever entwined with the story behind its first issue of 1847. Lady Gomm, wife of the governor, was planning a lavish ball and decorated the invitation envelopes with new-fangled postage stamps hastily produced by a local watch maker. Each was to have been inscribed “Post Paid,” but shortly after being released were found to bear “Post Office” instead. It is believed fourteen 1d orange red and twelve 2d deep blue stamps have survived, along with only three Ball covers. The only such cover in public hands will be on display, from the collection of Vikramm Chand.

All of these rarities and many more await visitors to World Stamp Show-NY 2016. The 8 day exhibition takes place May 28 through June 4 at the Javits Center in New York City. Discover more online at http://www.ny2016.org. Check out our Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest sites.

New York Exhibition (UK 2016)

Stamps for World Stamp Show-New York 2016

[press release]
New York Exhibition Sheet & Post & Go Collectors Strips
Issue Date: 28th May 2016 uk_nycsheetEach year the Fédération Internationale de Philatélie (FIP) nominate countries to host World Stamp Exhibitions to develop philately and promote the stamps of member countries. In 2016 the nominated hosts are New York, USA and Taipei, Taiwan.

Royal Mail will be issuing an Exhibition sheet to promote and celebrate the New York event which takes place May 28 through June 4 at the Javits Center in New York City. This sheet will feature the definitive size Hello stamp, as used in the Melbourne, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and London sheets and features images that represent the host city. They include:

The Statue of Liberty “The Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World” was a gift of friendship from the people of France to the United States and is recognized as a universal symbol of freedom and democracy. The Statue of Liberty was dedicated on October 28, 1886 and became a National Monument in 1924.

Please note the full Statue of Liberty image comprises of five labels.

Manhattan Island Manhattan, one of the five boroughs of New York City, and is the heart of the Big Apple, featuring Times Square, Greenwich Village, Broadway and Central Park.

uk_nyc_sights1New York City Subway The 24-hour subway system’s 24 lines take around five million New Yorkers every day, making it the busiest public transport system in the Western world.

The High Line A rotting elevated railway track abandoned for 30 years was transformed into what is now a glorious garden park beautifying the concrete and brick blocks of Manhattan’s west side.

Wall Street New York’s financial district. The New York Stock Exchange is at No.11 Wall Street and at No.48 is the Museum of American Finance.

Ellis Island Ellis Island was the famous first port of call for immigrants to the USA. It is estimated that half of the country’s population today can trace their ancestry back to an immigrant who arrived via Ellis Island.

Central Park A true NYC icon for locals who stroll and socialise in its 843 acres. Top spots include the Strawberry Fields meditation garden in memory of John Lennon, assassinated nearby in 1980, and the Literary Walk, boasting statues of Robert Burns and Sir Walter Scott.

uk_nyc_sights2Central Park Zoo More than 130 species call the zoo their home, from grizzly bears and snow leopards to red pandas and poison dart frogs.

Little Italy This Manhattan quarter is a byword for colourful Italian culture, food and cool boutiques.

Chinatown Real Chinatown is Columbus Park where the Chinese community practise kung fu, watch Chinese opera troupes and play mah-jongg.

Staten Island Ferry The 25-minute trip to the island from Lower Manhattan offers one of the best views of the Statue of Liberty and New York Harbour.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden 10,000 plants flourish in themed gardens – cacti from Namibia to Bolivia grow in the Desert Pavilion and there are 350 small but perfectly formed trees in the Bonsai Museum.

uk_nyc_sights3Metropolitan Museum of Art The ‘Met’ holds two million art works spanning more than 5,000 years.

Grand Central Terminal With its soaring arches, marble floors and zodiac-themed ceiling featuring 2,500 stars, this station is grand indeed. It has 44 platforms, 67 tracks – and its own tennis club.

Brooklyn Bridge Stretching 6,000ft across the East River, the bridge connecting Brooklyn Heights with Manhattan has starred in dozens of movies, including Annie Hall and The French Connection.

Coney Island The seaside playground is famous for its Luna Park amusements, Cyclone rollercoaster and cold beer beach picnics in the salty Atlantic air.

Technical Details
uk_nycsheetNumber of stamps: 20
Stamp: Hello stamp from the Smilers® range.
Sheet Design: Studio Up
Sheet Format: Landscape
Stamp Format: Definitive
Stamp Size: 20mm x 24mm
Printer: International Security Printers
Print Process: Lithography
Perforations: 15 x 14
Phosphor: Bars
Gum: Self-adhesive

Post & Go Royal Mail will also be offering Post & Go New York (from the Sea Travel Post & Go set) and Union Flag Collector’s strips from our stand at the exhibition and GB versions in the UK.

uk_nyc_postnThe New York Collector’s Strip – GB Version Featuring the New York image from the Sea Travel issue. Consisting of 6 rates – 1st up to 100g, 1st Large up to 100g, Euro 20g/World 10g, Europe up to 100g, Worldwide up to 20g & Worldwide up to 100g. This product will feature the ‘World Stamp Show NY2016’ overprint and will only be available from Tallents House by mail order. Price: £7.75 per strip Code: ZS043

Please Note: This stamp was produced using a four colour digital press instead of the original gravure printing. Royal Mail is trialling this production method to assess its viability from a quality viewpoint and the potential for shorter production runs of specific designs.

The Union Flag Collector’s Strip – GB Version Consisting of 6 uk_nyc_postn_ujackRates – 1st up to 100g, 1st Large up to 100g, Euro 20g/World 10g, Europe 100g, Worldwide up to 20g, Worldwide up to 100g. This product will feature the ‘World Stamp Show NY2016’ overprint and only be available from Tallents House by mail order. Price: £7.75 per strip Code: ZS044

5-cent Nonprofit Organization (US 2016)

From the USPS Postal Bulletin, March 31st:

image001On April 28, 2016, in Dulles, VA, the U.S. Postal Service® will issue the USA nondenominated, nonprofit organization stamp (5-cent value), in one design, in a pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) coil of 10,000 (Item 777500).

The stamp will go on sale nationwide April 28, 2016.

USA, the new nondenominated, nonprofit stamp, showcases the letters “USA” in blue accompanied by a bright red star on a white background. This patriotic design with full letterforms and flourishes is a confident, playful, and celebratory treatment of one of our most familiar abbreviations. “NONPROFIT ORG” is printed across the bottom of the stamp. The USA stamp will be issued in coils of 10,000. Antonio Alcalá served as the art director and designed the stamp with Leslie Badani.

Initial Supply to Post Offices: Item 777500, USA Nondenominated, Nonprofit (5-cent value) PSA Coil of 10,000 Stamps
Stamp Fulfillment Services will not make an automatic push distribution to Post Offices™. Post Offices may begin ordering stamps prior to the FDOI through SFS Web.

How to Order the First-Day-of-Issue Postmark:
Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. Each cover must have sufficient postage to meet First-Class Mail® requirements. They may purchase new stamps at their local Post Office, at The Postal Store® website at http:⁄⁄www.usps.com⁄shop, or by calling 800-782-6724. They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes (to themselves or others), and place them in a larger envelope addressed to:

USA Nonprofit Stamp
Special Events
22403 Randolph Drive
Dulles, VA 20103-9998

After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for the postmark up to a quantity of 50. There is a 5-cent charge for each additional postmark over 50. All orders must be postmarked by June 28, 2016.

There is one philatelic product for this stamp issue: 777516 First-Day Cover.

Technical Specifications:

image001Issue: USA
Item Number: 777500
Denomination & Type of Issue: Nondenominated Nonprofit
(5-cent value)
Format: Coil of 10,000, 1 design
Series: N⁄A
Issue Date & City: April 28, 2016, Dulles, VA 20103
Art Director: Antonio Alcalá, Alexandria, VA
Designer: Antonio Alcalá, Alexandria, VA
Leslie Badani, Alexandria, VA
Typographer: Antonio Alcalá, Alexandria, VA
Leslie Badani, Alexandria, VA
Modeler: Joseph Sheeran
Manufacturing Process: Offset, Microprint – “USPS”
Printer: Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd. (APU)
Printed at: Williamsville, NY
Press Type: Muller A76
Stamps per Coil: 10,000
Print Quantity: 2 billion stamps
Paper Type: Nonphosphored Type III
Adhesive Type: Pressure-sensitive
Processed at: Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd. (APU)
Colors: PMS 286C Blue, PMS 199C Red, PMS 429C Gray
Stamp Orientation: Vertical
Image Area (w x h): 0.73 x 0.84 in.⁄18.54 x 21.34 mm
Stamp Size (w x h): 0.87 x 0.98 in.⁄22.10 x 24.89 mm
Coil Size (w x h): 10,000.00 x 0.98⁄254,000.00 x 24.89
Plate Size: 594 stamps per revolution
Plate Numbers: “P” followed by three (3) single digits
Coil Number Frequency: Plate numbers every 27th stamp below stamp image

From the USPS, March 23rd:

image001On April 28, 2016, in Dulles, VA, the U.S. Postal Service will issue the USA nondenominated, nonprofit organization stamp (5-cent value), in one design in a pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) coil of 10,000 (Item 777500).

The stamp will go on sale nationwide April 28, 2016. The stamp will be available in many post offices, but the easiest way to purchase them is online at usps.com/shop or by calling 1-800-STAMP24.

USA, the new nondenominated, nonprofit-price stamp, showcases the letters “USA” in blue accompanied by a bright red star on a white background. This patriotic design with full letterforms and flourishes is a confident, playful, and celebratory treatment of one of our most familiar abbreviations. NONPROFIT ORG is printed across the bottom of the stamp. The USA stamp will be issued in coils of 10,000. Antonio Alcalá served as the art director and designed the stamp with Leslie Badani.

There will not be a first-day-of-issue ceremony. Technical details on the stamp will be provided in an upcoming Postal Bulletin.

Israel’s April Issues

These stamps and the ATM label will be issued April 19th.

From Israel Post:

Take a tour through Jerusalem with our April stamp issues: start with the Bridge of Strings at the city’s entrance, through the Mahane Yehuda Market and the impressive Knesset Building. Plus read on for what else is in store…..

isr_spainThe Bridge of Strings in Jerusalem was designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava so this makes for a most fitting visual image to express the bridge of friendship developed over 30 years between Israel and Spain.

You can just feel the hustle and bustle of the markets in our Markets in Israel stamp set. Vibrant colors, charming ambiance and many bargains to be found!!

Israel prides herself on her democracy and the Knesset Building is where is all happens. The building was inaugurated 50 years ago and, in addition to being the site of many historic events in the development of the country, it houses many famous works of art.

isr_springOur stamp for Spring stands out in this collection with its stunning red wildflowers. What a great season that symbolizes blooming and renewal!

In the past we have issued many Israeli Achievements stamps. This time we focus on the success in Printing. There are numerous start-up companies in Israel which promote and adapt printing technology to the needs of the 21st century.

Every year we remember the fallen in our Israel’s wars and battles. Our Memorial Day stamp this year illustrates the poignant poem isr_tavitdogby Natan Yonatan, “The Sand Will Remember”.

Our April ATM shows cute Bob from Central Israel. He looks like he’s having great fun!

More designs:



APRL Rare Books Damaged in Roof Leak

“It’s pretty bad,” a source tells The Virtual Stamp Club. Some material was too damaged to be saved, and had to be thrown away. Penn State librarians are freeze-drying some material to save it.

The damage to a rubber membrane on the roof happened while the contractor was positioning the new HVAC equipment. There was then heavy rain in Bellefonte on Sunday evening, March 13th.

More is in the APS/APRL press release below, distributed March 18th:

[press release]
Leaky Roof Threatens Library Holdings

aprl damage01BELLEFONTE, PA – Construction of a new $2.6 million library caused a roof leak at the American Philatelic Center, headquarters of the American Philatelic Research Library (APRL) and the American Philatelic Society (APS). During a rainy weekend, water leaked into the recently-completed George Turner Rare Book Room threatening some of the hardest-to-find philatelic literature in world. Quick action by the library staff, with assistance from Penn State University Libraries, minimized the long-term damage to books and other material.

Once the leak was discovered on the morning of Monday, March 14, library staff immediately removed material from the affected area, put protective covering in place, and initiated repairs to roof damage caused by construction activity. Construction and renovation can be risky times for libraries.

APRL Librarian Tara Murray noted, “The bright side is this was a one-time incident related to construction and not an ongoing problem. Once the construction is complete, we expect the new library will be the safest home for our holdings ever.”

aprl damage03Along with putting the library materials out to dry, Murray contacted Sue Kellerman, head of the Penn State University Libraries Preservation Department. Kellerman and members of her staff were soon on site to assess the damage and provide expert advice. They even lent the APRL equipment, including fans to circulate air and hygrometers to measure humidity.

“The situation could have been much worse,” said Murray, “The quick action of the construction crew, staff, and volunteers, along with the response from Penn State University Libraries helped to minimize damage.”

aprl damage02As long as the emergency conservation measures are effective, the monetary impact for the APRL will be small and related to treatment of rare books. The library will attempt to replace unsalvageable auction catalogs through donations. For a list of the catalogs lost and information about donating replacement copies, see http://blog.stamplibrary.org/?p=3106.

All of the rare books and archival material were saved. Drying items quickly is important to eliminate the risk of growing mold, which can infect the rest of the collection. Five books were taken to Penn State to be vacuum freeze-dried, and the rest of the material was dried by the library staff.

The new 19,000-square-foot library should be open for visitors by early summer and a grand opening is scheduled for October 29. World Stamp Show-NY 2016 attendees can get an early look at the new library by attending a virtual tour at 11 a.m. on June 2.

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

U.S. Resumes Mail Service To Cuba

There are special postmarks to commemorate the resumption of service. See the bottom of this page.

[press release]
United States Postal Service Resumes Mail Service to Cuba
First Direct Transportation of Mail Service to Cuba in More Than 50 Years

WASHINGTON — Today the United States Postal Service announced it resumed direct transportation of mail service with Cuba for the first time in more than 50 years. [The USPS tells The Virtual Stamp Club that direct service began March 16th, the day before this announcement.]

“The U.S. Postal Service is pleased to participate in the historic direct transportation of mail service with Cuba,” said Postmaster General and CEO Megan J. Brennan. “Moving letter mail and package volume directly between our countries will improve service for businesses and consumers.”

The types of mail customers in the U.S. can send to Cuba include First-Class Mail International items, such as postcards and letter size envelopes, First-Class Package International Service items, Priority Mail International Flat Rate Envelopes and Priority Mail International Small Flat Rate Priced Boxes. A comprehensive list of mailing conditions to Cuba can be found in the International Mail Manual at: http://pe.usps.gov/text/imm/ce_017.htm#ep1416554.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

The VSC radio feature on this, and how it could prove an opportunity for postal history colletors, can be found here.

Special March 16th postmarks, available until May 16th:

cubapmk1United States Postal Headquarters
USA⁄Cuba Direct White House Station
National Postal Museum Post Office⁄Special Cancellations
2 Massachusetts Avenue
Washington, DC 20002-9998

cubapmk2United States Postal Headquarters
USA⁄Cuba Direct Postal HQ Station
National Postal Museum Post Office⁄Special Cancellations
2 Massachusetts Avenue
Washington, DC 20002-9998