The first Annual Crawford Festival

The first Annual Crawford Festival took place on 28th-29th June 2022. The theme for that event was “How to write a book – A practical guide to producing a work of philatelic literature”. Videos of the presentations made during the 2 days can be viewed here.

Organising Philately in the United Kingdom - the first 150 years

Tuesday 30th November 2021, 14:00.  Zoom & 15 Abchurch Lane.  

The history of philately is a relatively new subject – either for a museum, where we think we are unique, or at least one of very few institutions, in our major collecting theme – or in philatelic literature.

Many basic facts are lacking. Complete lists of exhibitions either by type or by country are missing. Lists of exhibition catalogues, results and ephemera are incomplete. Commercial organisations involved in philately are listed in various directories, but there is no fundamental reference list. Researchers such as Brian Birch, Wolfgang Maassen, Glenn Morgan, Graham Wilson and others have worked hard to remedy this deficiency, but there is still a long way to go.

Nowhere is this more true than in the world of philatelic clubs and societies, specialist or general, geographically based, or based at a place of work. No one can answer simple questions such as ‘How many Societies were there in Great Britain?’, or ‘When did the society in Bude, Cornwall begin?’.

The Spear Museum of Philatelic History intends to rectify this lack, although it may take a long time. Chris King RDP Hon. FRPSL made a start on revealing the history of organised philately in the British Isles in his presentation.

The event was at 15 Abchurch Lane and was also live online via Zoom, and a video recording of the presentation can be viewed here.

Methods of Stamp Printing Seminar

Dr Geoffrey Eibl-Kaye FRPSL and Paul Skinner FRPSL

At the Stamp Printing Seminar given at the Royal Philatelic Society London on 9 October 2021 there were all day displays, PowerPoint presentations, and talks on all aspects of stamp printing methods.

A memory stick was prepared for the Stamp Printing Seminar, containing 16 files of the presentations and displays. Three of the files included on the memory stick were found to require updating, and the updated versions can now be downloaded by clicking on the following links:

The Tapling Collection in the British Library’s Philatelic Collections: A Brief Survey.

Dr Richard Morel FRPSL

This presentation provides a brief overview of the world famous Tapling Collection of postage and telegraph stamps and postal stationery now housed in the British Library’s Philatelic Collections. Richard considers the life and philatelic pursuits of Tapling , the management of his collection, as well as how it has gone on to form the foundation of the national philatelic collection. The presentation finished off by providing details about the collection for research. 

Dr Richard Scott Morel FRPSL is a Curator of the British Library’s Philatelic Collections.  In 2020, he was awarded the Tapling Medal for his article on the design of the India 1852 Half Anna Red ‘Scinde Dawk'. He is a Fellow of the Royal Philatelic Society London and a member of the American Philatelic Society, China Stamp Society and the International Banknote Society.

 Click here to watch the video recording of the event.

Exhibition Ephemera.

by Chris King RDP Hon. FRPSL

RPSL Past President Chris King RDP Hon FRPSL  presents an overview of the kinds of exhibition ephemera that the Society collects to preserve the history of philatelic exhibitions at all levels. The primary focus of the presentation is on the ephemera supporting the stories of the 1897 and 1906 London exhibitions - exhibitions that have been overshadowed by the Golden Jubilee exhibition of 1890. Without ephemera, the story is incomplete, and many of the items are attractive, some are rare, but as times goes by, all are at risk, and it is hoped that those watching this video will find the material interesting, and perhaps be able to help build the Society's collection.

 Click here to watch the video recording of the event.

Writing Philatelic Book Reviews.

Dr Gwynne Harries FRPSL

RPSL Book Reviews' Manager Gwynne provides an overview of the process of book reviewing for The London Philatelist and aims to allay any fears people may have about writing a book review.  

 A recording of the event can be viewed by clicking on this link.

Research in the Falkland Islands Jane Cameron National Archives.

In this seminar, Kim Stuckey FRPSL and Mike Roberts FRPSL, with input from the Falkland Islands Government Archivist Tansy Bishop, discussed how putting archive information online has assisted philatelic research of this remote territory. 

 Click here to watch the video recording of the event.

Conserving the Perkins Bacon Archives.

ICON Conservator Victoria Stevens ACR discusses the work she has done on conserving the RPSL's collection of Perkins Bacon Delivery Books.
During 2018-2020, grant funding from the Association of Independent Museums, The Pilgrims Trust, and the National Manuscripts Conservation Trust has enabled the RPSL to conserve our significant archive of Perkins Bacon & Co. This unique material reveals much about the history of security printing, and gives an important insight into the inner workings of a Victorian business in London.

A recording of the event can be viewed by clicking on this link.

Copyright and Philately.

In this seminar, Prof. Charles Oppenheim FRPSL discusses the basics of copyright, as well as common issues in philatelic research and libraries. 

Charles Oppenheim is a Visiting Professor at Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, Scotland and is an independent consultant. 

A recording of the event can be viewed by clicking on this link.

The Istituto di Studi Storici Postali "Aldo Cecchi" - History, Heritage, Activities.

In this talk Director of the Istituto di studi storici postali "Aldo Cecchi" and Editor of its journal Archivio per la storia postale, Bruno Crevato-Selvaggi FRPSL discusses the foundation of the Institute, located in the Palazzo Datini in Prato, Italy and outlines its main activities and collections.   

A recording of the event can be viewed by clicking on this link.

The role of a library in a major philatelic research project in Finland.

 In 2012, five philatelists undertook an enormous research task when they decided to write a book about Finnish postage rates from 1875 until 2001 using original sources to find the rates and fees. This talk gives insight to the research process needed to compile this 400 page book and discusses the role of libraries and their collections in philatelic research.

Ari Muhonen is a philatelist and the University Librarian of the Jyväskylä University. Currently he serves as a member of the Board of the FEPA (Federation of European Philatelic Associations) as well as AIJP (Association Internationale des Journalistes Philatéliques) and as a secretary of the FIP Literature Commission.

A recording of the event can be viewed by clicking on this link.

A Guide to Writing Articles for The London Philatelist.

In the first seminar of the RPSL Collections Summer Series, former RPSL President Frank Walton RDP FRPSL presents his guide to writing articles for The London Philatelist.  Frank was Honorary Editor of The London Philatelist from 2001 to 2014 and Honorary Editor of Cameo, the journal of the West Africa Study Circle from 1996 to 2001. He has published numerous books and over 200 articles in specialist and national journals.

A recording of the event can be viewed by clicking on this link.

The Evolution of the Postcard: a talk by John Scott

On 14 November 2019, Fellow of the Royal Philatelic Society London and postcard collector,  John Scott, informed and entertained us on the topic of the evolution of the postcard.  This event also formed part of the Postcrossing celebrations of the 150th anniversary of the first officially recognised postcard (


The Joy of Philately- People and Places: a talk by Dane Garrod

Tuesday 10th December 2019 in the Dr Paul Ramsay Room, 4th floor, 15 Abchurch Lane, London.

As always, Dane presented an entertaining and light-hearted look at philately and how it can help us uncover mysteries within our own families and glimpses into the lives of Royalty.  Dane Garrod is a Fellow of the Royal Philatelic Society London and a regular contributor to Stamp Collector magazine and Royal Mail Philatelic Bulletin.

On Saturday 28th September 2019 we held the first public event at Abchurch Lane to showcase philately and the resources of the Royal to a wider audience. 

The Dr Paul Ramsay Room provided the perfect setting for an informal afternoon discussing the preservation and potential uses of our Perkins Bacon archive.  Ian Barnes from Temple Binders explained some of the binding techniques he has used to restore our book collection and bound archives. Victoria Stevens, an ICON registered conservator, gave a lively and informative talk about her work restoring the Perkins Bacon delivery books, a project made possible by grants from Association of Independent Museums, National Manuscript Conservation Trust and The Pilgrims’ Trust. To round off the afternoon, Dr Richard Morel FRPSL gave a brief introduction to the Perkins Bacon records and the many possibilities they present for historical research.

Thank you all those involved in the organisation of the day, particularly the three speakers, and to the attendees for their enthusiastic support. 


The audience enjoying a lively Q&A session and conservator Victoria Stevens describes her restoration work on the Perkins Bacon delivery books.