Asian philatelic material


The British Library has important holdings of stamps and postal history from Asia, including India, Near and Far East.

About the collection

Special coverage:

  • India - Hyderabad (The Burnett Collection)
  • Thailand 1883-1918 (Row Collection)
  • The Harrison and Sons Collection (Egypt and Palestine)

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 Foreign and Commonwealth Office Collection (British Commonwealth including Iraq)
  • The Harrison Collection (Die Proofs including Spain)
  • The Crown Agents Philatelic and Security Printing Archive (British Commonwealth including Iraq)
  • The Board of Inland Revenue Stamping Department Archive (Great Britain and British Commonwealth – particularly India)
  • The Kay Collection (British Commonwealth Revenue stamps)

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 Asian stamps in the 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:

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