Collections

We have over 60,000 objects and thousands of records detailing nearly 400 years of postal history.

Research

You can search collection records in the online catalogue and study material from our archives by visiting The Discovery Room.

Access and enquiries Search our catalogue Visit The Discovery Room

Themes

Explore themes from our collections below.

  • Design & icons

    Explore the history of design in the postal service, from posters, uniforms, letterboxes and maps to iconic designs like the Penny Black and Machin stamp.

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  • Philatelic collection

    Our postal history includes British stamps from 1840 and the world-renowned RM Phillips Collection of British Victorian stamps.

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  • Land, air & sea

    From horse-drawn coaches to airmail, explore stories from our collections about methods used to transport the mail.

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  • Animals

    Explore the roles of different animals in the postal service, meet Tibs the Great and delve into the furry world of Post Office cats…

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  • Postal services

    Explore the history of postal services, including changes to postage rates over the years, post offices, new machines, the origins of modern postcodes and more…

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  • Wartime

    The collection includes objects and documents showing the integral role of the postal service and its employees during wartime.

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  • People

    Read stories from the collection about the variety of roles in the postal service, the changing roles of women and notable individuals in postal history.

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  • Notable events

    Read about some of the notable stories from our collection.

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Caring for the collection

The Postal Museum has a team of curators, conservators and other staff to help preserve and digitise our collections.

For more information about what and how we collect, please see our Collections Development Policy.

    • Behind The Scenes
    • 30 January 2018

    What is a Rotation?

    Having completed the first object rotation Assistant Curator Jessica explains what it is and why it is vital for objects on display.

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    • Conservation
    • 18 April 2018

    Conservation of Letters

    Meet our Conservator Barbara and find out what it takes to care for delicate objects from our collection.

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  • Caring for stamps and postal history

    Advice for preserving a collection of stamps or postal history.

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  • Digitisation studio

    Our digitisation studio has the specialist gear to digitise our varied collections. We can help with yours too!

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Where else to look

Haven’t found what you’re looking for?

Have a browse through our list of other useful sources for postal research on the British Isles:

  • Links to other sources

    A list of other postal archives and museums, as well as philatelic and postal history organisations and websites.

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