Announcing the Passing of David Bushard

It is with great sadness that the Northern Philatelic Library and Society announces the passing of its founder, David Bushard, on November 1, 2014, in River Falls, Wisconsin, at age 68, after a long struggle with prostate cancer.

David was a man of many interests and endeavors, ranging from moving boulders with his personal backhoe, to raising tropical fish, to astronomy, to cave diving, photography and stamp collecting.  He founded the Northern Philatelic Library in 2011 after purchasing the large book collection of a local Twin Cities philatelic judge who had recently passed away.  He first kept the thousands of volumes in his home basement, then moved it to a small apartment in a St. Paul apartment building he was considering purchasing as a real estate investment.  When the library quickly out paced his initial vision, and hundreds more books and periodicals began pouring in, the library was again moved, this time to a more permanent site on the ground floor of the Old Thompson Hotel, a former speakeasy and pleasure house now converted to an apartment building across the Mississippi River from downtown St. Paul. David’s many friends and contacts began to help him build the library, donating thousands of books and catalogues from around the country. David would often go to big out-of-town stamp shows pulling a trailer with his pickup truck and returning with boxes and boxes of new stuff, keeping the library’s many volunteers perpetually busy cataloguing and shelving the new arrivals.  In all of these endeavors, he was ably helped by Susan, his saintly wife of 47 years, a Twin Cities nurse and medical researcher, with whom he eloped at age 19.

David was born in Grand Rapids, Minnesota and grew up in Saint Paul and Bid Lake. He attended the University of Minnesota. In his life he worked as a draftsman, home builder and cabinet-maker. He taught computer-assisted design at the st. Paul Technical Institute and later worked as a computer programmer. He finished his professional career as the owner of an internet service provider company. He truly enjoyed being an entrepreneur.

Throughout his life, David and Susan enjoyed a wide variety of fascinating hobbies.  He learned to bind books in high school and was often busily at work binding the stamp library’s thousands of loose catalogues into a more user-friendly form.  His interest in spelunking included contributing to the exploration of the well know Mystery Cave in southern Minnesota. He did a great deal of photography, but his interest in this hobby slowed down with the advent of the digital era. His interest in astronomy involved his purchase of a large telescope, which he enjoyed on his rural River Falls estate, far from the lights of the big city. During all these years he kept up his interest in stamp collecting, the hobby he began as a teenager.  David collected worldwide material and donated most of it to the stamp library to be used as a fund-raiser.

David’s many friends and stamp colleagues will miss his upbeat attitude and positive outlook.  Even as his several illnesses began to sap his strength, he’d come to the library to build shelving and fix up the building in which it is housed.  He still actively attended local stamp club and library board meetings. One of his final acts was to donate the library to the Northern Philatelic Society so that his dream would be kept alive.  David will be sorely missed but his legacy is solidly up and running and attracting users and donations from near and far.  As per his wishes, a memorial pig roast and fireworks display will be held in River Falls in early December.  There will be lots toasts surely to be made to the memory of this charming, generous and jovial one-of-a-kind guy.

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Presentation on Postcard Collecting

Postcard collecting, or deltiology, as the formal name for the hobby is known, is one of the most popular hobbies in America.  Only coin collecting and baseball card collecting are  bigger (with stamps coming in fourth).   Many card collectors also collect stamps, and vice versa.     On Saturday morning, April 5th, at10 AM, Fred Schiffman, a leading picture postcard dealer and collector in the Twin Cities, will give a presentation at the Northern Philatelic Library on postcard collecting, with an emphasis on how this hobby intersects with stamp collecting.  Fred has been a popular and knowledgeable postcard dealer for a long time and knows the hobby well.  He also collects stamps and ran a stamp shop in south Minneapolis for many years.    Fred will discuss the nature of the hobby and show examples of various types of collectable cards;   some people collect “classic” cards like early valentines, others collect photo views of their home towns, while other collect cards sent by travellers  who saved them as souvenirs of their vacations or to show folks back home where they’d been.     At this presentation, Dr. Gene Young, president of the Northern Philatelic Society, will also show some picture postcards that he has gathered and integrated into his stamp collections.   He likes to collect cards that illustrate the history and geography of the countries he collects.  Here is a great chance  for the stamp collector to learn about postcards and see how they can be used to enhance your collections.   If you find postcard collecting of interest to you as a result of this presentation, Fred can give you information about the Twin City Postcard Club and tell you about their annual spring show in early May where you can obtain some cards for your own use.   As usual, a board of directors meeting of the library will follow the presentation and any attendees of the seminar are invited to attend.

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Presentations at the Library

We had a great presentation last Saturday by Al Sarvi on disposing of parts of your stamp collection.  Al dealt with the various types of auctions available, selling to stamp dealers and using other types of local and national resources.  He also dealt with such topics as getting “certs” for high value material before putting it up for sale and select strategies for maximizing sales on the local level.  It was attended by over a dozen participants.

Our next presentation will be onSaturday, January 4th, 2014, at 10 AM at which time Dr, Gene Young will present a slide show on his travels to Kenya and bring examples from his extensive collection of stamps  of Kenya and British East Africa.  He will also bring a lot of ephemera from the area (postcards and other paper souvenirs ) and his almost complete collection of stamps from the related areas of Belgian Congo and Ruanda- Urundi.   All collectors in the area are invited to attend.   We all hope to see you then.

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Seminar on “Maximizing Your Return When You Dispose of Your Collection”

On Saturday 7th of December 2013, Al Sarvi will be presenting “Maximizing Your Return When You Dispose of Your Collection”.  This will be a very informative presentation and knowing Al it will be a lot of fun.  Following on from Al’s presentation will be a meeting of the Northern Philatelic Library Board.  Anyone attending Al’s presentation who would like to sit in on the Board Meeting would be welcome.

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Grand Open of the New Library on Oct 26th 2013

IMG_0126The Northern Philatelic Library has moved to new premises and will have a grand open on October 26th 2013 which will include the first Annual Joint Collectors Bourse.  The Bourse will be between 11:00am and 3:00pm.  All stamp clubs are welcome and there will be a number of dealers present.

The address of the new library is:

Old Thompson Hotel, Suite B,
426 South Wabasha Street
St. Paul, MN 55107

Click here to see a map.

Starting from November 1st 2013, the regular library hours are:

  • Monday 9:00am to 3:00pm (Rudy and Linda)
  • Tuesday 9:00am to 3:00pm (David)
  • Wednesday 9:00am to 3:00pm (Susan)
  • Friday 1:00pm to 5:00pm (Steve)
  • Saturday 11:00am to 3:00pm (Al and Joe)

Exception: the third Thursday of the month the library is open 3:00pm to 7:00pm covered by Gene.  At 7:00pm the Twin Cities club meets at the library.

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Northern Philatelic Society Annual Meeting at Minnesota Stamp Expo July 20th

The Northern Philatelic Society will hold the annual general meeting for 2013 at the Minnesota Stamp Expo in Crystal, MN on July 20th at 12 noon.  The agenda for the meeting includes election of officers and setting a budget for the coming year. David, Paul and Susan will update the meeting on the library’s construction process, noting what has been completed and plans for the next phases of the build out.  We’ll talk money, what we need and how we hope to get it as well as what programs we can begin once phase one of the library build out is complete (books on shelves etc).  We will also talk about making our presence known around town and what we can do to feature our programs with local stamp clubs and other groups.  Dr Gene Young will give a short seminar on ephemera collecting following the membership meeting as an example of the types of program we hope to start offering one the bibrary site is up and functioning.

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New in the Library

A generous friend of ours has sent us a 25-year long run of Japanese Philately!

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With help from volunteers including Joe Conrad, Jim Bateman, Paul Hempel, Steve Lund, Viggo Warmboe, Al Sarvi, Linda King, and David and Susan Bushard, our move went quite well. All the books and other materials were packed in boxes, all the shelves dismounted, furniture disassembled, and the whole shebang moved to the new location.

Work is underway to make the new space usable. After conversations with the licenses and inspections folks at city hall, some staring and pondering, and checking the wallet contents, we have started to scale and tuckpoint the limestone walls, preparing for white paint. Our new space will be gorgeous!

When first entering, a visitor will walk past and through a construction zone (on a clean path!), to the primary meeting room and shelving area. Our potential, our challenges, and our progress will all be completely visible. Various meetings and seminars will continue to be held in the library. We are delighted to show our project as we work.

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More National Notice

The new Philatelic Literature Review has arrived from the American Philatelic Research Library in Pennsylvania. For members of the APS, the full text is available online. Larry Nix has once again provided us with some exposure. There is a picture of our table at the show in Sacramento, with the bookbinding equipment visible, and Susan and David behind the table. Susan looks busy, David looks sorta stunned. In January, the same “road show” travels to the APS Show in Louisville, KY. Stop by our table to say “Hi!”

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Philatelic Presenters Needed

I am now in the process of putting together a directory of persons who would be willing  to make presentations to other collectors on philatelic topics.   These presentations can be about stamps and/or covers, but just as likely about history, geography, travel or ephemera.   They can also be how-to presentations about things related to philately, such as how to be a successful philatelic exhibitor or how to best preserve stamps in albums.    I have, over the years, attended presentations on dozens of topics  –  many of these presentations deserve to be shared with the general philatelic public.   The ultimate goal of my project is to create a catalog of speakers that could be accessed by stamp clubs, or even better, by us at the society for monthly stamp seminars at the library or at big stamp shows in town.  If you look at the monthly newsletter of the Rocky Mountain club, you’ll be amazed at the variety and frequency of seminars that they offer to Colorado collectors.  I will, shortly, start publishing a log, in these pages, of presentations that I am willing to make to local stamp clubs or the society.  If you would like to add your name to this list please contact me through this web site and indicate the topic(s) that you are prepared to present on.   I am also going to develop an audio-visual library and a supply of a-v supplies ( slide projectors, slide cassette  trays,  screens, digital projectors, etc) for use by presenters.

Let me hear from all you guys whose presentations I’ve so enjoyed over the years  —

let’s spread the wisdom and experience around!

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