Tristan philatelic collection to be sold
- William Eugene "Gene" Scott (1929 - 2005) was a wealthy, controversial American pastor and teacher who served for almost 50 years as an ordained minister and religious broadcaster. During his lifetime he amassed the largest collection of rare Bibles in private hands, and notable collections of horses, philatelic material, wives and partners. His University Cathedral is the largest Protestant congregation in downtown Los Angeles. By 1990, his University Network was available to 180 countries, with short wave operations transmitted from my island, Anguilla.
1 April 2012
Philatelic libraries to join forces in global alliance
Stamp Collecting Examiner
One of the most important aspects of philately beyond the mere accumulation of postage stamps, covers (unstamped or stamped envelopes that have passed through the mail) and postal history (defined by the International Philatelic Federation as a collection "based on the study and the classification of postal and philatelic items which are directly relevant to the methods, routing and condition of dispatch of postal communication of all periods" beyond all that, is the accumulation of the knowledge to make those items into a comprehensible collection or exhibit. In so doing, a collector demonstrates having done more than accumulated items; they've formed a true collection.
Now, some of the world's leading philatelic organizations are joining forces to make the finding of that specialized knowledge easier.
According to an announcement from the Royal Philatelic Society London, or RPSL, the groups will "provide a centralized gateway to the greatest philatelic research in existence."
Founding partners in the initiative include the Smithsonian Institution's National Postal Museum and Smithsonian Libraries, both in Washington, D.C., the American Philatelic Research Library, Bellefonte, PA (near State College), and the RPSL. Other participating institutions include the Rocky Mountain Philatelic Library, Denver, CO; the Slusser Memorial Library and the Postal History Foundation Library, Tucson, AZ; The Collectors Club, New York, NY; the Harry Sutherland Philatelic Library of the Vincent Graves Greene Philatelic Research Foundation, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; and the Western Philatelic Library in Sunnyvale, CA.
According to the RPSL statement, the project's goal "is to establish a single destination a centralized gateway by which philatelists around the world can search, locate and access philatelic research from partner libraries in real-time, from any computer. Searchable listings of books and publications, as well as resource locations and access, will soon be one click away, providing an invaluable resource to those doing philatelic research. Major pre-1923 publications, including The Stamp-Collector's Magazine, Illustrated, London, from 1865-1874, have been digitized and will be made available at no charge. Other resources considered proprietary by partnering libraries [might] also be accessed through membership programs and other avenues via the centralized gateway, which is planned to launch in June ."
"This is a fantastic program that will benefit philatelists around the world," said Allen Kane, the Smithsonian's National Postal Museum director. "I would like to thank Alan Holyoake [of the RPSL] for proposing the concept and helping to make it become a reality."
RPSL President Brian Trotter said: "This Society is delighted to be one of the founding partners in this exciting initiative, creating a centralized information gateway that will prove an invaluable tool for all philatelists around the globe. This ambitious project has only become reality thanks to the inspiration and dedication of those who have turned the concept into reality."
Visitors to http://www.rpsl.org.uk can see the full range of services available from the RPSL.
Want to see a real world example of the importance of philatelic research? Check out the upcoming auction of the Dr. Gene Scott collection of Tristan da Cunha, a British colony in the south Atlantic made up of several volcanic islands. Yet this place does have a philatelic history, and a postal history. Dr. Scott, a collector of many interests, made Tristan da Cunha one of his specialties. His collection won a number of awards, and you can find an online listing (and photos) at the Website of Daniel F. Kelleher Auctions, LLC, beginning with this group of postal history.
But while you're at it, check out the last nine lots in the auction, here:
At the upper range of estimates, the philatelic literature section of the Scott collection is valued at $3,800 and there's no saying any of the lots won't exceed their estimates. But the point is that Dr. Scott a very well educated man who knew what he was doing felt it so important that he have the knowledge on which to create and display a collection, he was willing to spend hundreds of dollars on these literature items. The genius of the RPSL project is that with digital access, future collectors may not have to spend as much money, or time, to learn about the items they own.