American and Australasian philatelic material

The British Library has many stamps, philatelic material and philatelic literature from the Americas and Australasia. You can study items from areas including Latin America, North America, Australia, New Zealand, Caribbean, Atlantic and Pacific islands.

About the collection

Special coverage:

  • The Ginger Collection (Australian States – Victoria)
  • The Smith Collection (United Nations)
  • The Marx Collection (USA Fancy Cancellations)

General and specialised coverage in the following collections:

  • The Tapling Collection (World)
  • The Supplementary Collection (World)
  • The General Collection (World)
  • The Universal Postal Union Collection (World)
  • The FitzGerald Collection (Pioneer Airmails - World)
  • The Crown Agents Philatelic and Security Printing Archive (British Commonwealth - British West Indies, Pacific & Atlantic islands)
  • The Foreign and Commonwealth Office Collection (British Commonwealth - British West Indies, Pacific & Atlantic islands)
  • The Board of Inland Revenue Stamping Department Archive (Great Britain and British Commonwealth - British West Indies, Pacific & Atlantic islands))
  • The Kay Collection (British Commonwealth Revenue stamps)
  • The Harrison Collection (Die Proofs including Australia)

What is available online?

The Global Philatelic Library provides many online resources. You'll find over a million digitised pages from our Crawford Collection of early philatelic literature.

What is available in our Reading Rooms?

You can study our American and Australasian stamps in our Philatelic Reading Room. You’ll need to make an appointment to use this Reading Room. Our experts will be on hand there to advise. Please call us at least 10 days before your visit on 020 7412 7635 or email: philatelic@bl.uk.

Other Reading Rooms are available if you want to read philatelic books or journals. Search our catalogue, Explore the British Library, to find publications.

How to guides

Get a Reader Pass

Access over 200 million collection items for free with a Reader Pass. Carry out research in our Reading Rooms and access our online collections.

How to get a Reader Pass if you are under 18

How to apply for an under 18 Reader Pass