We Collect

Help us document how communities in the UK use the post to celebrate and stay connected. We have a range of projects to get involved in.

Religious festivals and celebrations

Traditionally, people have sent greetings cards to connect with friends and family, marking important life moments and celebrations such as religious festivals and events.

By collecting people’s greetings cards and stories of different religious celebrations we seek to better understand how people use the post to connect during these moments.

Below are details of our current projects. This work is part of a our wider commitment to collect materials and experiences reflective of the UK’s diverse communities and cultures.

Diwali card designed by The Card Wala Co. On the front of the card is printed 'A Social Distan-Singh / type of DIWALI'. The front of the card features a green background, against which three illustrated yellow and orange fireworks are exploding. In the bottom centre of the design is an illustrated face of an Asian man with a beard wearing a yellow turban. He is wearing sunglasses, in which are reflected two small oil lamps.
Diwali card designed by The Taste Buds and distributed through Thortful. The front of the card features an illustration of an anthropomorphised khandvi [indian savoury snack] with a sad facial expression, sat next to an oil lamp. The accompanying printed text reads 'Why khandvi / celebrate together / this year?'
Covid-19 Diwali Card, designed by The Taste Buds and distributed through Thortful. (2021-0017/4)
Hannukkah card depicting two Jewish children sitting at a table. The girl is lighting eight candles in a Menorah, which is decorated with the star of David in the centre. In the background of the scene are hills, trees and a moon. Message on the front reads: 'Just for you at Chanukah!'.
'Just for you at Chanukah!' Hanukkah Card, American Greetings Cleveland and Carlton Cards. (OB1995.671/2)
Hanukkah card depicting a blue background with six window scenes in pale blue, violet and yellow colours. Each window shows candles and sweets. Message on the front reads: 'To the whole family - Happy Hanukkah'.
'To the whole family - Happy Hanukkah' Card, American Greetings Cleveland and Carlton Cards. (OB1995.671/3)
Hanukkah card depicting a star of David in the centre, surrounded by heart shaped and circular patterns
'Happy Hanukkah' Card, Carlton Cards - Toronto, Ontario and American Greetings Cleveland. (OB1995.671/1)
Hanukkah card. Card has a white background and a gold border. At the bottom is a blue and pink sparkling circle with eight smaller white candles, and one larger white candle in the centre. Around the circle is the message: 'Happy Chanukah'.
'Happy Chanukah' Hanukkah Card, American Greetings, Cleveland and Carlton Cards. (OB1995.671/4)

Do you celebrate Ramadan, Diwali, Hannukah or other religious festivals?

Have you received a religious greetings card, postcard or letter? Perhaps you received a gift or ordered something for your celebrations that arrived through the post? If so, we want to hear from you.

To take part we would like you to suggest an object from your celebration sent or received via the post that you would like to donate to the museum. We are interested in:

  • Letters, greeting or postcards marking religious celebrations that you have sent or received.
  • Parcel packaging that contained items relating to your celebration.

We are interested in what the contents of these cards, letters or parcels have meant to you.

If you have an object or story you would like to donate, find out more about the process at the end of this page.

COVID-19 and the Post

Take part in our project to document the COVID-19 crisis by submitting items you’ve received via the post during the pandemic.

We aim to build an expansive view of this significant moment in history by collecting physical objects and personal accounts that reflect the complex and shifting relationship people have with the post, including the very real impact on postal and delivery workers.

You can submit suggestions of items covering the period from March 2020 onward that you would like to donate to the museum, around these areas:

  • Letters and Envelopes: We are interested in collecting letters and envelopes, whatever the content, as well as any mail art that you may have created or received
  • Greetings and Postcards: reflecting how the post has enabled us to mark special occasions, without seeing each other in person.
  • Parcels and Packaging: Across the country businesses used the post to continued trading during the height of the pandemic. We are interested in the parcels and packaging companies used and what the contents of parcels meant to you.
  • Photographs and Posters: Postal workers were key workers during the pandemic and we have documented their experiences by collecting photographs of deliveries and posters thanking them for their work. We are interested in collecting more examples of these but would like to hear from delivery workers about other types of objects that reflect their lives in the pandemic.

If you have an object or story you would like to donate, find out more about the process at the end of this page.

Photo of a handwritten letter and homemade fabric face mask.

How to submit

How do I get involved in these projects?  

If you have something you would like to donate to us across any of these projects, please contact [email protected]. You can talk to one of our Collections Team, who will explain the process of donating an object or story.

FAQs

We will take a sample of what is offered. One item can tell many stories, and we have limited space, so we will be in touch to talk about items that we would like to collect.

Some of the items may be displayed in future, but there are no guarantees. We want to present in-depth stories and this won’t be possible to do for some time.

Some may be included in online or social media content. If objects are displayed either online or in person, any sensitive information such as names and addresses will be obscured.

We currently have an extensive range of both Christmas and Easter cards, historic and recent, in our collection. We are hoping to expand our collections of cards and postal materials to be more reflective of the UK’s diverse communities and cultures.

Our current areas of collecting are part of a wider project to gather materials from a range of religious festivals and ceremonies that are celebrated in part through cards, letters and other materials sent via the post.

We are currently focusing on specific festivals but would welcome cards, letters or postal materials from other religious festivals and celebrations. If you have something you would like to donate, please get in contact with us at [email protected].

Collections Development Policy

The Postal Museum is committed to ensuring our approaches to collecting are considered, respectful and ethical and are aware of our duty of care in undertaking this work. For more information about The Postal Museum’s collecting processes, see our Collections Development Policy (PDF). We are committed to ensuring our collecting is reflective of the UK’s diverse communities and cultures.

Permissions and Copyright

If we select your submission to collect, we will share the full copyright and permission information with you, so you can ensure you are still happy to donate the item and have the correct permission to do so. Should an object be transferred to The Postal Museum’s collection, the museum becomes its legal owner. All submission correspondence are private and will only be seen by The Postal Museum staff.

If you are under 18, please ask for permission from your parent or guardian and ask them to complete the Permissions and Copyright form on your behalf.