The Library History Buff

Promoting the appreciation, enjoyment, and preservation of library history

Home

Librariana

 Postal Librariana

Library History


Evolution of a Philatelic Exhibit on America's Libraries

In 2003 I entered my first philatelic exhibit at the National Topical Stamp Show in the Display Division. It was entitled "The Story of America's Libraries" and it included ten exhibit frames devoted to all types of libraries. That exhibit has evolved considerably over the years and in 2008 I made a major revision of the exhibit which was previously entitled "America's Libraries 1731-1920". I called the revised exhibit "The Evolution of the American Public Library".  The new version of the exhibit allowed me to tell a fuller story of the American public library by eliminating material relating to other types of libraries. In 2009 after more changes, I exhibited at the Rocky Mountain Stamp Show in Denver. This time the exhibit was titled "America's Public Libraries and Their Forerunners". In 2009 I received the Diamond Award from the American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors after receiving 10 gold medals for the variations of my exhibit in national competition. My thoughts on receiving the award appear at the end of this web page.  The exhibit  underwent another major revision in 2012 and was titled "America's Public Libraries and Their Forerunners 1731-1956". That exhibit received gold medals in all four shows that it was entered in and received the highest honor of any exhibit that I have developed at the Minnesota Stamp Expo 2012 - the Reserve Grand Award. I completed another major revision of that exhibit in 2013 with more than 50% new material. It is titled "Libraries in 19th Century America". It was exhibited in four national level stamp shows in 2013. A reverse chronology of the development of this exhibit with the various awards it has received is given below.

For exhibit titled: "Libraries in 19th Century America"

The Plymouth Show (MI)  2013
Gold Medal
American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors - Creativity in Philatelic Exhibiting Award

The Rocky Mountain Stamp Show 2013
Vermeil Medal (level between gold and silver)
Collector's Club of Denver Best Display Division Exhibit

Minnesota Stamp Expo  2013
Gold Medal

American Philatelic Society StampShow 2013
Gold Medal
Ephemera Society of America Certificate

For exhibit titled: "America's Public Libraries and Their Forerunners 1731-1956"

CHICAGOPEX 2012
Gold Medal
American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors - Creativity in Philatelic Exhibiting Award

MILCOPEX 2012
Gold Medal
American Philatelic Society Research Medal

Minnesota Stamp Expo 2012
Gold Medal
Reserve Grand Award (second best exhibit in the show)
American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors - Creativity in Philatelic Exhibiting Award

Rocky Mountain Stamp Show 2012
Gold Medal
Collector's Club of Chicago Philatelic Exhibitor's Award
Collector's Club of Denver Best Display Division Exhibit

For exhibit titled: "America's Public Libraries and Their Forerunners"

Rocky Mountain Stamp Show 2009
Gold Medal

For exhibit titled: "Evolution of the American Public Library"

CHICAGOPEX 2008
Vermeil Medal (medal level between gold and silver)
AAPE Gold Award of Honor

MILCOPEX 2008
Gold Medal
American Philatelic Society Research Award
American Philatelic Congress Award

Minnesota Stamp Expo 2008
Gold Medal
Award for Best Americana Exhibit

For exhibit titled: "America's Libraries 1731-1920"

St. Louis Stamp Expo 2007
Gold Medal
Best Display Exhibit

MILCOPEX 2006
Gold Medal
William J. Ulhein Award for Best Americana Exhibit
AAPE Creativity in Philatelic Exhibiting Medal

American Philatelic Society StampShow 2006 (Chicago)
Gold Medal

For exhibit titled: "America's Libraries"

American Topical Association National Topical Stamp Show 2005
Gold Medal (the first Display Division exhibit to win gold at an ATA show)
American Philatelic Society 1900-1940 Medal of Excellence
American Philatelic Society Research Medal
American Philatelic Congress Award for Excellence

American Philatelic Society StampShow 2005 (Grand Rapids, MI)
Gold Medal

For exhibit titled: "The Story of America's Libraries"

MILCOPEX 2004
Gold Medal
William J. Ulhein Award for Best Americana Exhibit

St. Louis Stamp Expo 2004
Vermeil Medal (Vermeil is the medal level between Gold and Silver)

CHICAGOPEX 2003
Gold Medal
American Philatelic Congress Award for Excellence
AAPE Creativity in Philatelic Exhibiting Medal
American Topical Association First Place Medal

MILCOPEX 2003
Vermeil Medal
American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors (AAPE)
Award of Honor

American Topical Association National Topical Stamp Show 2003
Vermeil Medal
Best Americana Exhibit Award

Thoughts about Receiving the Diamond Award by Larry T. Nix
June 8, 2009

There has been some controversy over the creation of the Diamond Award by the American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors. It has been likened to just another incentive for “mug hunting”. However when I was notified that I would become the 35th recipient of this award, it was personally extremely gratifying. The first glimmer of the idea of philatelic exhibiting occurred to me in 1995. Eight years later, in 2003 after the creation of the Display Division, I finally had the courage to put together my first exhibit. It was entitled “The Story of America’s Libraries” and it was entered in National Topical Stamp Show 2003 in Denver as a display exhibit. It received a vermeil award, barely. Six years later, at the Rocky Mountain Stamp Show 2009 in Denver, I received my tenth gold award which qualified me for the Diamond Award. My exhibit was now titled “America’s Public Libraries and Their Forerunners”. During that six year period, my exhibit underwent major revisions each year requiring hundreds of hours of effort on my part. Generally, the exhibit’s focus was narrowed over the six year period so that my exhibit which started out dealing with the entirety of America’s library history ended up focusing only on public libraries and their forerunners. With changes in focus, treatment, and material included, each new version of the exhibit could be and was viewed more or less favorably by the judges. I was willing to take the risk of receiving a lower medal level because revising the exhibit provided me with more personal challenge and creative opportunity. Although there were setbacks, I have achieved far more recognition for my efforts than I ever expected. The Diamond Award will represent different levels of effort and accomplishment for those who apply for it and some will not bother to apply even though qualified. To me the Diamond Award represents the culmination of years of collecting and untold hours of exhibit preparation, and I consider it a high honor to receive it from AAPE.

To see information about my other philatelic exhibits click HERE.
 

Home

Librariana

 Postal Librariana

Library History

This site created and maintained by Larry T. Nix
Send comments or questions to nix@libraryhistorybuff.org

Last updated: 08-24-13  © 2005-2013 Larry T. Nix
Also check out the Library History Buff Blog.