Note: All links verified on January 28, 2012.
If you find a dead link, please let me know.

Sites of Interest to Great Britain Collectors

Note: Machin links are now found in the Machin Mania section. Links to clubs for Machin collectors are found on the Machin Clubs page.

Royal Mail - The letters and stamps branch of Royal Mail Group, Britain’s Post Office. Limited online shopping is offered, as well as postal rate information. Royal Mail Group also has its own site.

British Postal Museum and Archive (BPMA) - The former National Postal Museum in London closed in 1998. After considerable thought about the future of the organization, a decision was made that a private trust would be a better organization than Royal Mail to preserve and display postal history. Last year the Postal Heritage Trust was formed. The NPM collection was given to it, and it also took over the operation of Royal Mail’s Post Office Archives. The Trust decided to use “British Postal Museum and Archive” as its public name to express who it is and what it does. There’s more information in this news story. An online catalogue of their collection is located here.

Collect GB Stamps - a very extensive web site for GB collectors with many images of GB stamps. It is actively being enhanced and is well worth a visit.

Royal Mail Postage Labels - Early in 2002, Royal Mail started using postage labels printed on demand at postal counters, and they were in use nationwide by September. Ian Billings has the full story. Also information about SmartStamps, Faststamps and Horizon labels with the Machin portrait.

Postage Labels of the UK - Brian Sinnott’s site covering all the labels, including the Post & Go and Horizon labels with the Machin portrait.

The Bath Postal Museum - Bath is probably the second most important city in British postal history. The excellent Bath Postal Museum reflects the city’s importance, and now the museum has a superb web site. There are a number of interesting features, including the Victorian Post Office, the history of the British post box and the history of the British Post Office uniform. Samples from the archives include wreck covers and Victorian lace Valentine cards. You can also purchase many unique items from the museum shop. Highly recommended!

The British Library - The Library’s philatelic collection reopened to the public in early June, 1998, after the Library’s move to new quarters. Among many rare and notable stamps on display is a plate No. 77 1864 Penny Red, of which fewer than 10 are known to exist.

Stamp Photos - A site with a collection of stamp images and related information. The link is to the GB section.

Western Philatelic Library GB Holdings - A little closer to home for us in the U.S., the WPL has a vast amount of GB-related literature and serves all collectors by mail. This large library is located in Sunnyvale, California. The site shows the library’s location and contact information as well as other information. There's a list of some of the GB literature that they have. You can become a Friend of the library and receive its bimonthly publication, “The Bay Phil.”

UK Philately - Site with much information about British philately, sponsored by the Association of British Philatelic Societies (ABPS), the National Philatelic Society (NPS) and the British Philatelic Trust (BPT).

Stamp Domain - A UK reference site with good information on UK specialist societies, a UK and USA auction firm list and a diary of upcoming sales in the UK, and links to web sites relating to Thematic Philately.

Philatelic Database - Lots of philatelic information, including videos. The Great Britain page, with some current and some historical videos, is here.

Royal Philatelic Collection - The official British monarchy site has a page on the collection, with links to pages on the collection’s history, British stamps and a gallery where you can view a few items from the collection. - Glenn Morgan’s excellent site has information about stamp printing and printers all over the worlk, so you can find information about all the printers that have created British stamps. He also has quite a few articles about other topics, most relating to British mail and stamps and many about topics that are rarely if ever written about. Many are downloadable in the form of pdf files. See the site plan for a complete list.

Smilers-info - Everything about Smilers, Royal Mail’s name for its sheets of stamps with personalizable labels. There have been many of these since they were introduced in 2000; this site has information on them all.

British Postal History - Several pages on aspects of British postal history, mostly pre-1840. There’s an interesting essay about the Scottish Additional Halfpenny Wheel Tax. And you can read about the time Before the Penny Black. - Reference articles mostly about Great Britain philately, as well as a British postmark database, plate statistics for line-engraved (1840-1880) stamps, and a long list of philatelic links.

Victorian London - Lee Jackson’s site with extensive information about, well, Victorian London. Sections of interest include The Postal System, Delivery Times and Postal Regulations (can you even imagine seven deliveries per day????), and postage stamps. For fun, try this. Thanks to Tim Burgess for the suggestion.

What’s a Guinea? - Or a farthing? Or a florin? Though there never were stamps denominated in these units of currency, we often come across them while reading about Great Britain prior to decimalization in 1971. This is a handy guide. There’s another description here.

Sites by Individual Great Britain Collectors

Queen Victoria Overprints and Underprints - Andy Donaldson’s site with excellent illustrations and lots of information about Victorian era stamps with overprints and underprints.

The One Penny Postage Stamps of Great Britain 1848-1864 - Tim Burgess’ introduction to the some of the postage stamps of the Queen Victoria period of Great Britain. He concentrates on the Perforated Stars Issues (stamps that are perforated and have stars in the upper corners). He also has extensive information on the work of Henry Archer, who developed the method first used for perforating stamps. Many well-illustrated and informative pages with clear explanations.

Queen Victoria Line Engraved Made Easy - William Blank’s guide to the Victorian issues with hand punched letters and stars in the upper corners. This site is a big help to identifying the various printings. The graphics are superb.

Great Britain Philately - John A. McCulloch’s online exhibition featuring stamps from the Victorian era. The two main sections are Problems of the Penny Plates and Errors, Freaks and Oddities. Although concentrating on the Victorian era, the site opens with a lovely image of the four George V high values, known as the Seahorses.

British Stamps Engraved by Czeslaw Slania - Ann Mette Heidorff has an award-winning site dedicated to the stamps of the world-famous engraver. This link leads to the first of several pages featuring the stamps he has engraved for Great Britain. And don’t forget his postal orders.

Collecting British Squared Circle Postmarks - Stanley Cohen’s site about the postmarks with a circle in the center surrounded with bars and triangles to give the impression of a circle inserted in a square. Cohen has written a book on the subject and ordering information is given.

British Definitive Stamps 1840-1970 - Greatly expanded from the prior version, the site now includes illustrations and information on all GB definitives up to 1970. Scroll down for stamps later than the Victorian period. Also has a trivia page and two quizes to test your knowledge, plus many other interesting pages, including some postal rates and a section on design and color changes of British stamps. By Ross A Taylor.

SPIFS and Perfins - The history of SPIFS (Stamps Perforated by Initials of Firms and Societies), which are also known as perfins, is on this page of Toke Norby’s site. Perfins were invented by an Englishman, Mr. Joseph Sloper. Norby’s site recently won an award from the International Federation of Philately (FIP) as one of the best philatelic sites. As a bonus, on this page, you’ll find out why one of Michael Baadke’s cats is named Perfin. Baadke is the editor of Scott Stamp Monthly.

Jonz Stamping Ground - Jon has features on several aspects of GB collecting including the penny red, security embossing, commercial overprints and perfins. There's a Machin section, too. - John Tollan’s site with useful information about postal history and lots of links. The Great Britain page has many links to sites about GB postal history plus a listing of GB-related philatelic literature.

Great Britain Booklet Ads Relating to Golf - For many years, British booklets featured ads on the covers and interleaves. This site shows all ads that are in some way related to golf, plus a few prestige booklet panes for good measure.

Imperforate Line Engraved Stamps of Great Britain from the Plate Position ‘CG’ Chip Gliedman’s exhibit of stamps with his initials, including many covers. I would like to see more exhibits on the web, so we all could learn from them.

Great Britain Imperforate Line Engraved — The Vanity and The Insanity - Richard Frajola’s exhibit of plated stamps from position RF, his initials. This site, Exponet, is the home for 110 philatelic exhibits. Unfortunately, they are only indexed by the home country of the exhibitor, not by topic. - A collector site about aerograms, air letter sheets, and similar items. There are two exhibits of Great Britain material, “The Elizabethan Coronation Airletters” and “The Houses of Parliament Airletters.”

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II - the site of Alyssah Alcala, a young collector who is eagerly assembling an exhibit about Queen Elizabeth.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II - Kirsten Ollies’ exhibit that she started a few years ago when she was in the fifth grade. She showed her collection to the Queen herself in 2002. (I bet you haven’t met the Queen. Me, neither.) Her exhibit was also displayed at the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum and on its web site.

Clubs and Societies Relating to Great Britain Philately

Links to clubs for Machin collectors are found on the Machin Clubs page.

The Great Britain Collectors Club - The GBCC is the only North American society for GB collectors. It features a quarterly journal, “The Chronicle,” sales circuits, auctions and meetings at stamp shows. The club’s web site is right here at

Great Britain Philatelic Society - The GBPS is based in the U.K. and covers all aspects of GB philately. The site has a meeting schedule, sample newsletter, list of publications, and an application form.

Royal Philatelic Society London - The RPSL is the oldest philatelic society in the world, with headquarters in London. The Society headquarters has a meeting room, library and museum. Its journal, “The London Philatelist,” appears ten times per year.

The Great Britain & Commonwealth Philatelic Society (Switzerland) - The GB & CW PS is the Swiss society for GB and commonwealth collectors. Some of the site is in English. The club recently published a book (in English) on German propaganda parodies and espionage forgeries aimed at Great Britain. Other publications are also available.

GB Overprints Society - Specializing in GB stamps with overprints, the society publishes an illustrated quarterly journal called “The Overprinter.”

Commercial Overprint Society of Great Britain - Online association of people who share an interest in stamps commercially overprinted with the name of the user priior to being used. Covers several countries including GB.

Help If You Have Inherited a Stamp Collection or Want To Sell Your Stamps

I Inherited a Stamp Collection, Now What? - This book, now completely available on the web for free, is a guide for the non-collector who has inherited a stamp collection. Charles F. Myers is to be commended for making this available to everyone.

Inheriting A Stamp Collection - A guide from the Virtual Stamp Club on what to do with an inherited stamp collection.

What is My Collection Worth? - Information on valuing and selling your collection.

What Do I Do With An Inherited Stamp Collection? - advice from the Stamps of Distinction blog

What Do I Need To Know When It Comes Time To Sell My Collection - a group of links at the Learn About Stamps site.

You can find lists of dealers at the site of the American Stamp Dealers Association and the American Philatelic Society. You can also look for a nearby stamp show at Stamp Shows Worldwide.

For All Stamp Collectors

Measuring Worth - Ever want to know what the 1840 one-penny rate would be in today’s currency? This site lets you calculate relative worth over time in various currencies. The relative worth depends on how you compute it. Using the GDP Deflator, the average price of all the goods and services produced in the economy, 1d in 1840 was equivalent to 42p in 2008. Since the first-class rate in most of 2008 was 36p, today’s postage in the U.K. is cheaper than it was at the beginning of the postage stamp era.

Wikipedia’s Philately Portal - Wikipedia is a very useful on-line encyclopedia covering many, many topics. The Philately Portal is an entrance-way to articles on subjects relating to stamp collecting.

new The Unique Gift of a Stamp Collection: Beginners Philatelic Resources - A description of stamp collecting and philately with many helpful links. (Thanks to the Bright Futures Charter School for the tip.)

The Ultimate Guide to Stamp Collecting - Lots of information for beginning stamp collectors and links that are of general interest.

2 Clicks Postage Stamp Links - Stamp collecting directory at 2 Clicks, features complete lists of stamp resources and links. Also some articles about stamp collecting that are suitable for beginners. “Our ambition is to give you comprehensive stamp information in 2 clicks.

Stamp Collectors Against Dodgy Sellers - SCADS - a site to help protect stamp collectors from fraud when buying on the internet. There’s a special page of advice for eBay buyers. Dodgy? It’s a British term meaning dishonest, deceitful, disingenuous.

Identify Your Weird Stamps - a site where visitors can post images of stamps (including revenue stamps) and cinderellas that they cannot identify. Other viewers can send in their identifications that are posted. As of this writing on February 12, 2002, the site has not been updated since last October, so it may be dormant.

Got a question? AskPhil - A great site sponsored by the Collectors Club of Chicago. You can send a question by email for an answer, and past questions and answers are posted on the site. There is also an extensive reference section with how-to articles and others, links, and so on. Definitely worth a visit.

Learning about the hobby - Basic stamp collecting information.

Preservation and Care of Philatelic Materials - A comprehensive guide to taking care of your stamp collection, provided by a committee of the American Philatelic Society.

Council of Northern California Philatelic Societies - If you live in Northern California or are planning a visit, this site has a list of clubs and shows in the area.

Linn’s Stamp News - This weekly publication carries a monthly column on GB philately written by my friend, David Alderfer, plus the news and lots more. Also check out the images you can use for desktop wallpaper.

Gibbons Stamp Monthly - The monthly magazine now has its own web site. The former free access has been discontinued, unfortunately, but the new subscription price of £10 for the web site is much less than the cost of having the magazine delivered to the U.S.

Stamp Shows Worldwide - A comprehensive listing of stamp shows around the world.

American Philatelic Society (APS) and American Philatelic Research Library (APRL) - The APS is the largest stamp collector’s society in the United States. The site contains a lot of information useful to collectors. There is a questions and answers page. The library affiliated with the APS has a search capability, and APS members can borrow materials by simply sending an email request.

A.J.’s Encyclopedia Of Stamps And Philatelic Links - General information about stamp collecting and lots of links, mostly organized by country. Also includes a little basic information about each country. Good place to browse if you have some countries you are interested in.

Lee’s Illustrated Stamp Listopedia - A well-organized, easy to use set of links, good for the beginning collector as well as the experienced one. Some interesting topics such as emblems commonly seen on stamps.

Fabio’s Stamp Resources - A listing of postal authorities, stamp catalogs, stamp exhibitions, single-country stamp links, and more. (Beware of popups.)

Stamp and Philatelic Links - a free resource for stamp collectors.

Stamp Link - A large collection of stamp collecting links.

PhilaGuide - The Golden Guide for Philatelists. This is a well-organized philatelic internet portal with lots of links. - Formerly a site of links, it now has a large number of articles for stamp collectors. Click on the Disney Stamps and Virtual Museum links for some innovative ways of presenting stamps.

Stamp Collecting by Peter G. Aitken - Philatelic links database, tips on scanning, stamps for sale, and more.

A Few Scanning Tips by Wayne Fulton - Help on scanning items such as stamps to get the best results.

Worldwide Postage Rates - A bit of a misnomer, this site shows the basic rates for 54 countries (out of over 250 worldwide), though it does not give the weight limits for those rates.

Virtual Stamp Club - A web gathering place for stamp (and coin) collectors, VSC offers news and information, discussion forums, and periodic chats. The site is hosted by Lloyd A. de Vries.

Western Philatelic Library - This large library is located in Sunnyvale, California. The site shows the library’s location and contact information as well as other information. The library serves everyone via mail. You can become a Friend of the library and receive its bimonthly publication, The Bay Phil.

If you know of any other links that would be of interest to GB collectors, please write to me.

Last update: February 9, 2012   Macintosh!
Copyright © 2000 by Larry Rosenblum