RM Phillips Collection
In 1965, Reginald M Phillips donated his award-winning collection of British Victorian stamps to the nation. The former National Postal Museum was in part established to house the collection. Today, The British Postal Museum & Archive has taken over responsibility for caring and developing access to the Phillips Collection.
The Phillips Collection is an essential resource for the understanding of postage stamps and philatelic research. It contains the world's very first, first day cover - that of the Penny Black. It also includes 1839 Treasury Essays for pre-paid postage, Rowland Hill letters and unique proofs and studies of stamps such as the Twopenny Blue and the Penny Red.
You can find out more about the story told by the collection in Highlights of the Phillips Collection.
The Penny Black Changed the World project in 2005-2006 - supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund - has allowed for all 45 volumes of the Phillips Collection to be digitised (pages that contain only text have not been digitised as the text is copied in the relevant catalogue entry).
An education pack and online resources have also been created for use in the Key Stage 2 History curriculum, supporting work on the Victorians.
How to use the Phillips Collection online
You can view the digitised albums by:
If you are new to philately, start with the Highlights of the Phillips Collection.
- Clicking on the volume lists to the right-hand side of this page.
- Searching the online catalogue. In the catalogue, enter a search term and enter POST 141 (the archive POST class for the Phillips Collection) into the finding number box. This will limit your search to the Phillips Collection.
Future developments are planned for later this year (2011) to enable users to browse the images of material in the RM Phillips Collection, without visiting the online catalogue. Dedicated pages will appear in due course and updated links to them will be added to this page and the subsequent pages. Since the RM Phillips Collection was digitised developments in Internet technologies mean that we can now consider enhancements to access. We will be making higher-resolution images available later this year, as many users now have broadband access to the Internet.
Higher resolution images are available on the computers in our SearchRoom.
Using the volume list on this page
1. Select a volume link from the right-hand menu to be taken to the catalogue descriptions for that volume.
2. Small images of each page is shown in each catalogue record, along with a link to a larger set of images.
3. Once you have finished looking at the full-sized image, use the Back button to return to the catalogue page.
Reproduction of images on this website
The images on this site are free to view and download for personal or educational use. They should not be reproduced in any books or publications, or used for any profit-making purpose. High-resolution images are available, subject to the usual BPMA reproduction policies and charges, please contact our Search Room on +44 (0)20 7239 2570.
We've made every effort to render the colours on digital images as closely as possible to the original material. We cannot, however, guarantee exact colour reproduction as colours will vary depending on your monitor and printer settings.