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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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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Back on the Chain Gang…

This coming Saturday, the 4th of August, is another work day at the Library.  We will be cataloging books and pamphlets, and setting up occupanacy of the expansion area.  This will include installing new light fixtures, moving boxes of books, moving some shelf units, and other misc tasks.  Of course, you are welcome to visit, even if you don’t have the time or energy to contribute to the work.  A bit of schmoozing makes the work go better.

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Space, the Final Frontier…

Well, not final, nor exactly a frontier, but definitely space!  As of this morning, the Northern Philatelic Library has doubled its floor area.  This provides:

  • More space for our rather crowded collection
  • A larger and more convenient meeting room
  • Room for a circulation desk
  • A periodicals room
  • An accessions work room
  • A produciton/copying/media room
  • storage

Our next meetings will use the new meeting room space, and through the month of August we will be working on the facility.  By Labor Day we should be fully utilizing the space.  The August 4th Workday will use the new meeting room.  There will be other workdays coming up, too.

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From the Show

Our experience at the Minnesota Stamp Expo this past weekend was very gratifying.  We added several new members, and we received multiple contributions of material for the library.  At our annual member meeting, we authorized the doubling of our physical space, allowing room for a specialized periodicals room, better meeting room space, some space for displays, and less crowded shelving of our colleciton.

We can forsee that our location on Sims Avenue in St. Paul will only be adequate for a few years.  One of our members thinks 2 years, another thinks 10 years.  In any case, we are looking.  We have decided that all monies not required for operations (we are frugal!) will go into the Building Fund. 

The Library can only live on donations.  With the generous suppot of our members and friends, we expect to continue to grow rapidly.  Thank you for your participation.

Happy birthday to us!  We are one year old.

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Some members may not know that…  The Northern Philatelic Library has an active bindery.  The best way to curate periodicals is to bind them into books with hard covers.  Our goal is to get the first copy of our periodicals bound, as much as possible.  So far there are about 120 bound volumes in the library, and many more to come. 

At the Library’s table at Minnesota Stamp Expo there will be a continuous demonstration of bookbinding.  I am bringing my portable kit, and will be binding some volumes of the American Philatelist, the German Postal Specialist, and the Canadian Philatelist.  Please stop by to schmooze.

There are about 600 volumes-worth of periodicals awaiting binding, and we expect many more soon.  This is a notable backlog.  If one of you wants to learn bookbinding and do some for the Library, please contact me.  Maybe we can work something out.

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