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.

Closed on Sundays, Mondays and bank holidays.

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).
  • 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
    • today
    • 10:00

    Discovery Room Mini-Exhibitions

    Drop in to the Discovery Room during your visit to view special temporary displays of objects from The Postal Museum archive.

    Read more
    • Archive
    • 13 May 2019
    • 14:00

    Curator Chat: Women Artists of the General Post Office

    Meet our experts and view original GPO posters designed by women artists, including Mildred Ratcliffe and Vanessa Bell. Part of #MuseumWeek celebration of Women in Culture.

    Read more
    • Talks
    • 20 May 2019
    • 14:00

    Curator Chat: What time is it?

    Explore how timekeeping changed within Queen Victoria’s lifetime in a curator talk, then view original 200 year old documents related to timekeeping.

    Read more
    • Talks
    • 17 June 2019
    • 11:00

    Talk: War Memorials in the Post Office

    Find out how the postal service commemorated the lives of its staff lost in the two world wars with over 350 memorials around the country and how these are cared for today.

    Read more
    • Talks
    • 15 July 2019
    • 11:00

    Talk: The Norwich Postcode Experiment

    For its 60th anniversary, find out more about this key event in the fascinating story of the development of the modern postcode.

    Read more