At the British Library you can study stamps and postage material. We have millions of philatelic items covering every country and period. Our collection includes airmail envelopes, original artwork and printing plates.

Collection guides

The Philatelic Reading Room in the British Library

Philatelic Reading Room

To explore our philatelic materials, please contact our Philatelic Reading Room and make an appointment.

If you can, try to contact us at least 10 days before you intend to visit. We'll ensure our experts are available to help you.

You'll need a Reader Pass

Email: philatelic@bl.uk

Tel: +44 (0)20 7412 7635

Blog posts

Founding Greatness: Migration on United States Postages Stamps, 1869-1987

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

The central role of Migration in the development of the United States ensures it is a theme well represented upon the nation’s postage stamps.

The creative genius of Edmund Dulac: Artist, illustrator and stamp designer extraordinaire

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Although Edmund Dulac graduated in law from Toulouse University his true passion was art, so he also attended a number of art schools whilst at university. Passionately Anglophile, Dulac studied English and often wore the latest English fashions thereby earning...

Endangered heritage: cultural sites at risk from conflict on postage stamps

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The appreciation of postage stamp designs transcends the mere aesthetic since their designs can be used to enhance our understanding on a range of contemporary concerns relating to heritage. This is best exemplified with the postage stamps of Afghanistan, Iraq,...

A Wonderland of Knowledge - Behind the Scenes of the British Library (Nadya Miryanova work experience)

Monday, July 17, 2017

Posted by Nadya Miryanova BL Labs School Work Placement Student, currently studying at Lady Eleanor Holles, working with Mahendra Mahey, Manager of BL Labs. Introduction to the British Library Day 1 It was with a mixture of anticipation, curiosity and...

More blog posts

Library experts

Paul Skinner

Lead Curator, Philatelic Collections

More staff members

External links

The British Library is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

British Library Philatelic Collections

A Wikipedia category list of all our collections

Royal Philatelic Society, London

The oldest philatelic society in the world