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Match Factory Update

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The former "Match Factory" (where matches were manufactured) is a complex of more than a dozen buildings, built starting in the late 19th century, plus a nondescript warehouse built in the 1960s. Over the years since its purchase by the APRL (which for tax reasons is the property owner), we've watched the complex grow from a shambling bunch of buildings that were headed for demolition to a modern office/library complex that still retains much of its "Gilded Age" charm.

The next big step is coming later this year: The APRL is moving to its permanent location. One of the first areas that will be finished is this second floor reading room. Next time you see it, instead of scaffolding, it will have study carrels in it. (But the first time APS executive director Ken Martin saw this room, his foot went through the rotted flooring!)
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When I was first shown the Match Factory, before its purchase, I remember coming into this building, with the second floor that overlooked a first-floor atrium and sunlight streaming in the (windows? holes in the roof? Could have been either or both! ) and saying, "Wow!" Here's that second floor of the library now, near completion.
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...and an architect's rendering of what this same area will look like soon:
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And another view of what that area will look like, from below:
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Several sculptures have been placed in the APC recently. None has a philatelic theme, but I learned at tonight's Summer Seminar opening dinner that the sculptures of a man and a woman have been nicknamed Fred and Wilma by the staff. Here's Fred, in the main stairwell to the second floor. Note the strategically-placed paper towel!
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Much of the library's holdings are currently stored in unfinished buildings in the complex...
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Those holdings include rare original photographs, including group photos of everyone attend early APS (or, at that time, American Philatelic Association) conventions.
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The APRL has an extensive collection of programs from stamp shows, such as these from Americover and earlier American First Day Cover Society shows:
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The annex is also where former APS executive directors are kept, such as Bob Lamb!
Seriously, Bob had been working on evaluating a huge collection donated to the APS (six figures), and finished within an hour of this photo.

That's the end of this tour. The next time we see "the Match Factory," the library should be in its new quarters.

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