The Collectors Club of Chicago

The Library

The Collectors Club of Chicago’s Clubhouse, the Cabeen House, is the home to the largest and most comprehensive philatelic library located in the midwestern United States. Housed on three of the Clubhouse’s four levels, the Library’s comprehensive collection of philatelic literature includes worldwide publications in the English and other languages.

The Origins of the Library

The Collectors Club of Chicago’s Library’s philatelic literature collection began in 1967, when the CCC Clubhouse, the Cabeen House, was bequeathed to the Club by the late Mr. and Mrs. Richard McPherren Cabeen.

Numerous major philatelic literature donations have been added to the collection throughout the years to augment the original Cabeen Collection of Philatelic Literature, to include those received from the Benjamin F. Bailar Philatelic Library, the Austin H. Dulin Library, the Kuhlmann Library (donated by the Rasdale Stamp Co., Chicago), gifts from the Saul Newbury Estate, the Robert A. Paliafito Library, the Dr. Reuben A. Ramkissoon Library, the Paul C. Rohloff Library and the Raymond J. Vogel Philatelic Literature Estate, among many others.

Through the efforts of the previous and current CCC Librarians Harvey M. Karlen, Lester E. Winick, George P. Fabian, and Edward W. Waterous, the library has evolved into a comprehensive and important tool for philatelic research. Books and pamphlets number several thousand, with society journals, periodicals and auction catalogs accounting in excess of another 35,000 items. The large holding of foreign language books, catalogs and journals are shelved in a dedicated reading room located on the fourth level.

In addition to books and philatelic journals, the library maintains CDs and DVDs, Auction Catalogs with Prices Realized (where available), Stamp Show Catalogs and Palmares Reports, United States 1860s-1930s Post Office Yearbooks and Publications, photocopy records of advanced collections such as the Col. Robert Pratt Collection of Newfoundland, the extensive Cabeen Correspondence and the Dr. Harvey Karlen Research Materials, among others.

Col. Robert H. Pratt, of Milwaukee WI, enjoyed the use of the library. Following his death, his estate donated an impressive comprehensive holding. In addition, the estate bequeathed funds for the establishment of an annual CCC award in the amount of $ US1,000 for the best article or book related to Newfoundland philately.

The Collectors Club of Chicago continues to acquire philatelic literature, and we solicit our members and other friends for further such donations.

The Library Philatelic Literature Collection

Housed in the library are philatelic handbooks, catalogs, specialist society journals and other periodicals on the 3rd and 4th levels. In addition, runs of worldwide philatelic public auction catalogs are maintained on the 1st level. The 3rd level Main Reading Room contains United States handbooks, popular reference catalogs, and a section containing CCC publications and those of our members. Current public auction catalogs and philatelic periodicals also are available in the Main Reading Room.

Just off the northwest corner of the 3rd level main reading room is the Library Annex room, which contains a comprehensive grouping of general reference books on numerous philatelic topics, to include Cinderellas, Space and Aviation, Maritime Mails, basics for collecting and exhibiting, stamp fiction, postcards, and much more. The philatelic literature section for the General Foreign handbooks is also housed in the Library Annex room, and is filed alphabetically, by country.

Rare books are kept in the 3rd level CCC’s President’s Office and Boardroom. The ‘P’ through ‘Z’ specialist societies and other clubs periodicals are located in the 3rd level’s northeast corner room, adjacent to the CCC Boardroom.

On the 4th level, specialist society’s and other club’s periodicals in the ‘A’ through ‘O’ categories are filed alphabetically on double-depth shelving in the southeast room. This section includes bound runs of many specialized journals, to include the Aero Field (Great Britain) and The Airpost Journal (USA), and similar publications.

The northwest corner room contains worldwide official philatelic exhibition handbooks, and complete runs of Stamps Magazine, Mekeel's Weekly Stamp News, The American Philatelist, USPOD annuals, and other publications. At the southwest corner of the 4th level is the Foreign Language Reading Room containing a substantial collection of foreign-language philatelic handbooks, catalogs, and periodicals, each filed by individual language grouping. An adjacent area off of the southwest room contains runs of older general reference catalogs, including those of the Scott Publishing Co. and Stanley Gibbons Ltd.

The 1st level is devoted to the comprehensive collections of worldwide public auction catalogs, many being complete runs for the auction house. The south central room contains the foreign language auction catalogs, while the southwest room and its annex room contain English language auction catalogs. Arrangement is alphabetical by auction house.

Library Services

The Philatelic Library is maintained not only for the use of CCC members, but also is available for anyone in the philatelic community demonstrating a need to conduct philatelic research requiring philatelic literature.

CCC members may use the library on the day of the monthly general meetings, conducted the second Thursday of each month. Should there a need to access the library outside of the meeting day, the Librarian is contacted to arrange a mutually agreeable date and time for access. These arrangements also apply to non-members who wish to conduct philatelic research using our library.

A current CCC member will accompany any non-member studying at the library for the duration of the latter’s stay. Only CCC members may check books out for use outside the Club. The CCC Library does not participate in the United States inter-library loan service systems.

Two of the most useful tools in the CCC library are the computer system and the photocopier, both of which are available for use by all members. The copier may be used to produce images from the handbooks, journals, and resident in the CCC library.

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