European philatelic material

Switzerland Basle Dove 125

The British Library has wide ranging and important holdings of stamps, related material and philatelic literature from Europe.

About the collection

Special coverage


  • The Chismon Collection


  • The Ertughrul Collection (Cyprus – UN Peacekeeping Forces)


  • The Feldheim Collection (Bavaria, Thurn and Taxis)
  • The Model Collection (Germany 1945-46)
  • The Foreign Office Collection (Germany)
  • The Schoolley-West Collection (East German Official Stamps)


  • The Bojanowicz Collection
  • The Kaluski Collection
  • The Solidarity Collection

Spanish Civil War

  • The Bailey Collection
  • The Blackburn Collection
  • The Shelley Collection

General and specialised coverage

  • The Tapling Collection (World)
  • The Supplementary Collection (World)
  • The General Collection (World)
  • The Universal Postal Union Collection (World)
  • The FitzGerald Collection (Pioneer Airmails – World, particularly France 1870-71 Siege of Paris)
  • The Foreign and Commonwealth Office Collection (British Commonwealth including Cyprus, Gibraltar, Malta)
  • The Harrison Collection (Die Proofs including Malta and Spain)
  • The Crown Agents Philatelic and Security Printing Archive (British Commonwealth including Cyprus, Gibraltar, Malta)
  • 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 European philatelic material in our Philatelic Reading Room. Our experts will be on hand there to advise. You’ll need to make an appointment to use this Reading Room. 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.