Letters and Postal Markings Their History and Significance

Letter, newspaper, envelopes and quills on a desk.

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  • Tel: +44 (0)1937 546546
  • Email: boxoffice@bl.uk

A Postal History symposium and workshop

Before readily available access to telecommunications and digital technology, the most common form of communication was by letter. Collections & holdings of letters formed since biblical times are one of the mainstays of research in archives, libraries, and museums, as they often relate first-hand accounts of events and social structures current at the time of writing. Such research tends to look at the social, political or commercial aspects of the contents of the letters, however, is there anything else that can be learnt from the letters themselves?

This symposium will look at the materiality of letters, how they were handled by messengers and organized postal systems, how postal markings can indicate the importance of a letter, the route that may have been undertaken during delivery, and how those routes may have been affected by external forces such as war, plagues or epidemics. Consideration will also be given to the interpretation of postal marking, and their significance to students of postal history.

The symposium will be free to attend, and its target audience is archive professionals, academics, postal historians, individuals undertaking research, and interested members of the public.


Name: Letters and Postal Markings Their History and Significance
Where: Foyle Visitor and Learning Centre
The British Library
96 Euston Road
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When: -
Price: Free Event: £0.00
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546