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Philatelic Collections: Great Britain collections

The British Library Philatelic Collections are the National Philatelic Collections of the United Kingdom. The Collections were established in 1891 with the bequest of the Tapling Collection. This is a brief overview of our Great Britain collections.

The Board of Inland Revenue Stamping Department Archive

Comprises proofs of postage stamps, postal stationery, and revenue material, from 1710 to date. It includes large numbers of plate proof sheets in black of Great Britain and India postage and revenue stamps, and Great Britain overprinted for use in other territories, in proof and issued form. Very extensive.

Great Britain: 1912 Downey Head, 1d. die 2, trial printed in reverse, overprinted 'CANCELLED'.

Great Britain: 1912 Downey Head, 1d. die 2, trial printed in reverse, overprinted 'CANCELLED'.

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Article on the Board of Inland Revenue, Stamping Department, Archive

 The Chinchen Collection

Of Lundy Island 1929-77, includes stamps (many in sheets), proofs, and covers and is comprehensive. It was formed by Barry Chinchen who donated it in 1977.

 The H M Customs and Excise Collection

Revenue stamps in proof or registration form, including Table Water Duty, Medicine Tax, Playing Card Tax stamps, and Pension Order Forms. Transferred in 2002.

 The Ewen Collection

Ireland - Railway Letter Stamp: 1891 Finn Valley Railway Company 2d. unused.

Ireland - Railway Letter Stamp: 1891 Finn Valley Railway Company 2d. unused.

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Railway Letter stamps for the period 1891 to 1912 with sheets, proofs, and covers. It was formed by Herbert L'Estrange Ewen, and donated in 1949 by his sister Mrs Clement Williams.

 The Fletcher Collection

Great Britain: 1858-79 1d. red, an example of the rare plate 77 used on piece.Great Britain: 1858-79 1d. red, an example of the rare plate 77 used on piece.

Great Britain: 1858-79 1d. red, an example of the rare plate 77 used on piece.

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The collection covers nearly 300 years of public and private postal services. About half of the Collection is of postal history material comprising pre-adhesive and other markings, which illustrate the development and operation of a large number of different services. The other half comprises mainly used stamps, (including plate reconstructions), and some postal stationery. The Collection was formed by H.G. Fletcher, and transferred from the London Borough of Haringey in 1989. Extensive in 341 volumes.

Article on the Fletcher Collection

 The H M Stationery Office Collection

Great Britain - National Savings: 1958 Princess Anne 6d. essay.

Great Britain - National Savings: 1958 Princess Anne 6d. essay.

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Of Excise Revenue material, is strong in National Savings and National Insurance stamps. Received from HMSO between 1982 and 1992.

 The Landmark Trust Lundy Island Philatelic Archive

Mainly comprises artwork, essays, proofs and issued stamps of Lundy Island from 1969, and an extensive range of postmarking devices from 1929. Given by the Trust in 1991.

 The Langmead Collection

Great Britain - Telegraph: 1876-81 £5 handpainted essay

Great Britain - Telegraph: 1876-81 £5 handpainted essay

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Of Great Britain and Ireland Telegraph stamps and stationery, 1851-81. Formed by Peter Langmead and received via the ‘in lieu of tax’ scheme in 1991.

The McInroy Collection 

See under General Collections

The Scott Collection 

see under Air Mail Collections

 The Sherborn Collection

Of 1841-85 Queen Victoria embossed 1d pink postal stationery envelopes. Formed by C Davis Sherborn and donated in 1913.

 The Treasury Excise Correspondence Collection

A correspondence of letters between the Treasury and Excise, dated between 1826 and the 1840s, showing a wide variety of postal marks and rates. Transferred from Her Majesty’s Customs & Excise in 1992.

 The Turner Collection

Railway Letter stamps covering the period 1891 to the mid-1940s, the collection is strong in covers. Formed by S.R. Turner and bequeathed in 1973.

The Turner Collection

A collection of Newspaper tax stamps, and of the 1694 6d revenue tax stamps. Formed by S R Turner and bequeathed in 1973.

 The Walker Collection

Of Channel Islands, Second World War German Occupation issues (mainly Guernsey). The collection includes a range of covers and many sheets. Given in 1948 by G.L. Walker.