British and Irish philatelic material

Half-crown specimen showing George V and Britannia

The British Library has stamps, postal history, proofs, telegraph stamps, revenue stamps, philatelic literature and related philatelic materials from Great Britain and Ireland.

About the collection

Special coverage:

  • The Fletcher Collection (Great Britain Stamps and Postal History)
  • The Board of Inland Revenue Stamping Department Archive (Great Britain and British Commonwealth)
  • The H M Customs and Excise Collection (Great Britain Revenue Stamps)
  • The H M Stationery Office Collection (Great Britain Revenue Stamps, National Savings Stamps)
  • The Treasury Excise Correspondence Collection (Great Britain Postal History)
  • The Sherborn Collection (Great Britain Postal Stationery - 1841-84 1d pink envelopes)
  • The Dolphin Collection (Great Britain Royal Mail, PPI + meter mail)
  • The Scott Collection (Great Britain Airmails)
  • The Langmead Collection (Great Britain Telegraph stamps)
  • The Ewen Collection (Great Britain Railway Letter stamps)
  • The Turner Collection (Great Britain Railway Letter stamps)
  • The Turner Collection (Great Britain Cypher Labels)
  • The Turner Collection (Great Britain Newspaper Tax stamps)
  • The Smith Collection (Great Britain Postal Strike stamps)
  • The Walker Collection (Channel Islands 1941-44)
  • The Chinchen Collection (Lundy Island)
  • The Landmark Trust Lundy Island Philatelic Archive (Lundy Island)

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 Harrison Collection (Die Proofs)

What is available online?

The Global Philatelic Library includes the catalogue of the Crawford Library of Philatelic Literature online.

What is available in our Reading Rooms?

You can study British and Irish philatelic items 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:

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