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 Nicola Davies, Head of Collections at or by telephone: 0207 486 1044.

The Museum is happy to consider the loaning of material for exhibition, education or research purposes. For further information please contact us using the above details.

The collection of The Spear Museum of Philatelic History at The Royal Philatelic Society London falls under the following themes:

The Royal Philatelic Society London

This collection includes items associated with the Society and its members, such as commemorative items, pictures, photographic plates, records, correspondence, minutes and items used in the day-to-day running of the Society. This part of the collection ranges from 1868 to the modern day, with most emphasis on the 20th century.

Philatelic exhibitions

The Museum holds a unique collection of commemorative items, exhibition medals, papers, photographs, videos and memorabilia from British and international philatelic exhibitions hosted in territories around the globe.  These date from 1881 to the present day.

Philatelic and security printing

The collection spans the emergence and spread of philatelic and security printing (and the printing of other paper products) in the UK and abroad, from the early 1800s to the early modern era.  This principally includes (but is not restricted to), dies, lithographs, letterpresses, transfer rollers, papers, photographs, perforations, printers, correspondence, financial records, sales records and watermark materials. The Museum also holds the Perkins Bacon archive as well as prints from Waterlow & Sons Ltd, Grover technical drawings and De La Rue correspondence.

Philatelic collecting

This collection illustrates the method and practice of philatelic collecting.  Items in the collection include the tools used such as magnifiers, perforation gauges, photographic plates, stamp boxes, stamp hinges and tweezers.  Many objects were produced by Stanley Gibbons Ltd., although other items demonstrate the worldwide interest in philately collecting. The collection covers the second half of the 19th century to the modern era.

Philatelic studies

This comprises specific studies, research notes, photographs and records on a variety of subjects, all with a philatelic connection from the UK and abroad.

Philatelic trade

Records related to British and foreign philatelic trade, including advertising, United Kingdom dealers, foreign dealers and publishers.

Philatelic organisations

Records include papers, photographs, memorabilia related to philatelic organisations including Congresses, Federations, Societies, Fédération Internationale de Philatélie (FIP) and others.

Postal service accessories and administrations

This collection includes objects used by postal services from around the world.  The majority of items were produced in Great Britain and designed for worldwide use, and includes bag seals, handstamps, scales and balances, weights and other items. The Museum also collects records, photographs and documents related to British and foreign Post Office regulations and procedures, awards given by postal services, equipment and organisations.