The Global Philatelic Library (globalphilateliclibrary.org) has become a world-wide success as an international philatelic venture. The global-free access to philatelic research from partner libraries has established the library as one of the most significant philatelic developments to have ever taken place.
The Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum hosted a celebration event this month to recognize Alan Holyoake, whose leadership helped spearhead the initiative, and the founding partners— Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum and Smithsonian Libraries in Washington, D.C., the Royal Philatelic Society London and the American Philatelic Research Library and the American Philatelic Society in Bellefonte, Pa. A total of 19 global philatelic libraries are now participating in the project, contributing more than three-quarters of a million philatelic records.
Officially launched June 1, the Global Philatelic Library website, hosted by the Royal Philatelic Society London, is a present-day reality due to the inspiration and dedication of its founding partners. Along with partner libraries around the world, the website establishes 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, are now one click away, providing an invaluable resource to those doing philatelic research.
“The amazing success of the Global Philatelic Library, in so quickly becoming the world’s number one information retrieval gateway enabling philatelists and researchers to gain access to the world’s major library and reference centers, justifies the trust initially given by the founding partners in supporting my proposals,” said Holyoake, internationally known philatelist. “I also wish to thank all those who have worked so hard in enabling this concept to become a reality.”
The Global Philatelic Library now enters a new phase, with a need to strengthen the gateway in order to meet the tremendous global demands being placed upon the existing infrastructure. Continued expansion of participating libraries from around the world and technical enhancements to the system will be priorities moving forward.
“This project has become a tremendous success, and one benefitting philatelists around the world,” said Allen Kane, director of the museum. “It was rewarding to celebrate the founding partners and acknowledge Alan Holyoake’s efforts in championing the initiative at such a special event.”
The National Postal Museum is devoted to presenting the colorful and engaging history of the nation’s mail service and showcasing the largest and most comprehensive collection of stamps and philatelic material in the world. It is located at 2 Massachusetts Ave. N.E., in the Old City Post Office Building across from Union Station. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. For more information visit the museum’s Web site at postalmuseum.si.edu.
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