The Archive

Find out more about the history of the postal service and study original archive material in The Discovery Room.

Location: The Postal Museum, First Floor


Opening hours: 10.00 – 17.00

  • Open Tuesday to Friday and the following Saturdays:
    • 8 and 22 February 2020
    • 14 and 28 March 2020
    • 11 and 25 April 2020

You do not need to buy a museum ticket, or make an appointment unless you want to view original material. Whether you have never visited before or are a regular user, our staff are here to help you.

Touch Table in the Discovery Room
Explore past issues of staff magazines
Study original material
Browse the reference library
Archive Reading Room

What to expect

Visitors to The Discovery Room can:

  • Browse our reference library
  • View microfilm copies of archival material
  • Look at staff magazines, Post Office Circulars, photograph and poster albums
  • Search our catalogue and other digital resources
  • Explore your family history using our records and Ancestry online
  • Get closer to visual material from our collections using the touch table
  • Study original material from The Royal Mail Archive in the Archive Reading Room (two forms of ID required).

Discovery Room Mini Exhibitions

An Archivist’s Toolbox
14 January – 14 February 2020

Learn more about how staff take care of files which are often hundreds of years old. How have they survived? How can we make sure they survive for future generations?


League of Nations
18 – 28 February 2020

Marking 100 years since the formation of the League of Nations, part of the peace legacy of the First World War. This display will tell the intriguing story of the various attempts to set up a free postage service for the new organisation.

  • Study original material

    If you just want to come and browse the reference area, then you don’t need to do anything in advance! If you know you want to consult original archive material, then some preparation will make your visit go more smoothly.

    Read more
  • Archive facilities

    Information for visitors on general facilities, lockers, computer and internet access, copying and photography in the Discovery Room.

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  • Family history

    The Postal Museum is the definitive place to find out about past postal employees.

    Read more
  • Distance research

    We understand that not everyone can physically visit The Postal Museum, but we want to make the archive as accessible as possible. Our staff will do their best to answer general queries, and point you in the right direction.

    Read more