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: Tuesday to Saturday from 10.00 – 17.00.

You do not need to pay for 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.

Closure dates

Closed on Sundays, Mondays and bank holidays.

In addition, The Discovery Room and access to The Royal Mail Archive will be closed on the following dates. We apologise for any inconvenience caused:

  • Saturday 29 December 2018.
    • This means we are closed from Friday 28 December, 5pm to Wednesday 2 January, 10am.
  • Tuesday 8 January – Saturday 19 January 2019.
    • Closed for two weeks as part of the 2019 Postal Museum maintenance closure.


Touch Table at the Discovery 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 (photographic ID required).
  • 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.

    Read more
  • 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

What's on in The Discovery Room

    • Archive
    • 04 - 28 December 2018
    • 10:00

    Discovery Room Mini-Exhibition: Christmas Stamps

    Explore some of the original artwork behind these stamps and view the first ever Christmas stamp.

    Read more
    • Talks
    • 10 December 2018
    • 11:00

    Talk: Letters to Santa

    Learn about how the Post Office helps Santa reply to the letters he receives every year. See some of the letters children have sent in the past and the replies they received.

    Read more