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The Museum of Philatelic History

The Museum of Philatelic History at the Royal Philatelic Society London holds a collection of internationally significant objects. The collection of the Museum of Philatelic History started shortly after the Society’s inception in 1869 and has grown and expanded into the vast collection it is today. The collection covers these main areas:

  • The Royal Philatelic Society London
  • Philatelic Exhibitions
  • Philatelic and Security Printing
  • Philatelic Collecting
  • Philatelic Studies
  • Philatelic Trade
  • Philatelic Organisations
  • Postal Service Accessories and Administrations

Mission Statement

To create and maintain a world-leading philatelic Museum whose activities assist with the Royal Philatelic Society London’s charitable aim of promoting education.

Accredited Museum

The Museum was awarded full Accreditation status in 2014 through Arts Council England (ACE).

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About the Museum

Click here to read the article, published by Stanley Gibbons Limited in the June 2018 edition of Gibbons Stamp Monthly, in which Richard West highlights some of the many treasures from The Museum of Philatelic History at The Royal Philatelic Society London.
The article is copyright and has been reproduced with the consent of the Editor of Gibbons Stamp Monthly, Dean Shepherd, and the author, Richard West.

The Museum of Philatelic History is at the Royal Philatelic Society London. Click here for a location map.

Events

We will be opening our doors this September as part of Heritage Open Days. This will be your last opportunity to see the Society at No. 41 Devonshire Place as part of Heritage Open Days before we move to our new home in 2019.

Two guided tours are on offer, Friday 7th September 11am-12.30pm and Sunday 9th September 11am-12.30pm. The guided tour will cover the history of the Royal Philatelic Society London and the building. Don't worry if you know nothing about stamps - everyone is welcome!

We will start by exploring the various rooms including the Library, Meeting Room and the Museum, and you will be able to view the main display and a temporary exhibition, 'Women in Philately'. In 2018, Heritage Open Days are celebrating "Extraordinary Women", widening the spotlight beyond those who are already recognised and championed. The Women in Philately exhibition will feature the female members of the Society, past and present, as well as a look at how women have been represented on stamps. The tour will also include a rare opportunity to see where we authenticate stamps from around the world.

 

Heritage Open Days

These tours are free, but booking is required, so please book by sending an email to museumarchives@rpsl.org.uk or calling 020 7486 1044, option 3.

Research

The Museum holds an extensive collection of objects and archives relating to the history of philately. Appointments for the Research Room can be booked between the hours of 10am and 4pm, Monday to Friday, by emailing museumarchives@rpsl.org.uk. Further details on where to start, including details of our booking procedures and fees can be found here: Research Guidelines and Fees.

Visiting us

Visits are by appointment only. Appointments can be arranged with the Museum Curator between the hours of 9.30am and 4.30pm, Monday to Friday.

Guided tours are available by appointment with the Museum Curator. There is a fee of £5 per person and for larger groups (10+) the charge is £7 each. Self-guided visits are free.

Appointments cannot be booked on the same day as a Society meeting. 

No. 41 Devonshire Place

Display

The permanent Museum display is located in the basement of the building. If the item you wish to view is not on display, please contact the Museum Curator who will organise an appointment in the Museum store.

Our temporary exhibition is located in the foyer, large library and the landing adjacent to the President's Room.

More information on the exhibitions

Jean de Sperati hand press on show in the permanent display,
Copyright J.D. Ray

Have your say about the new Museum

Please complete our survey if you would like to have your say about the new Museum. If you are a Member, please complete this User Survey. If you have never visited the Museum before, please complete this Non-User Survey.

Volunteer with us

The Museum relies on the work and support of volunteers to help us in achieving our charitable aims.

If you are interested in volunteering, please click here for information on specific projects or email the Curator at museumarchives@rpsl.org.uk.

Online Audio Tour App

Do you want to discover more of our objects online? Click on this logo for an audio-described tour of our collection:

Using this iZi Travel app for The Museum of Philatelic History, you can learn about Jean de Sperati, the famous forger, or Miss Adelaide Fenton, one of the first female members to join the Society, or find out about the complex process of lithographic printing.

The App was developed in partnership with U3A Volunteers over the course of three months.

Donations and loans

The Museum is always interested in donations to enrich its collection. If you would like to make a donation, or wish to discuss an ongoing donation, please contact the Curator.

The Museum benefits greatly from financial donations which enables greater quantities of the collection to be digitized and conserved. If you would like to make a financial donation to the Museum, please contact the Curator.

The Museum is happy to consider the loaning of material for exhibition, education or research purposes. For further information, click View Loans Policy otherwise please contact the Curator to discuss your needs further.

 

The Royal Philatelic Society London
41 Devonshire Place London W1G 6JY
020 7486 1044 (Option 3)

Email: museumarchives@rpsl.org.uk

The Museum of Philatelic History is now on Facebook; Like us at @musphilhistory

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