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Philatelic Collections: Special Collections

The British Library Philatelic Collections are the National Philatelic Collections of the United Kingdom. This is a brief overview of our Special Collections.

The Crawford Library

The Crawford Library is probably the most complete collection of philatelic literature covering the period 1861 to 1913, comprising approximately 4,500 volumes. Bequeathed in 1913 by James Ludovic 26th Earl of Crawford. Listed in Catalogue of the Crawford Library of Philatelic Literature at the British Library, 1991 edition.
Article on the Crawford Library

The Muraleetharan PapersĀ 

Formed by George Muraleetharan and relate to research into various British Commonwealth postage stamps including the 1935 Silver Jubilee issue, the 1937 Coronation issue, the 1947 Victory or Peace issue, 1953 Coronation issue, the Royal portraits for the issues of George V, George VI and Elizabeth II, correspondence relating to security printers, the Royal Mint Archives, De La Rue Archives, and Australian issues in the Australian Archives. Eleven volumes.

The Postal Authority Pre-Issue Publicity Collection

Comprises leaflets, press releases, etc. for world new issues 1960s to 2000.

The Photograph Collection

Is a collection of photographs of material not in the Library's collections. Mainly given by philatelic auctioneers, it is an important source for research.

The Royal Philatelic Society London meeting notes

Grey literature being notes and papers presented at meetings of the Society from 1950.

The Williams PapersĀ 

Formed by L.N. and M. Williams and Norman Williams and relate to research for books and articles 1940 to 1999.