by Martin Devereux, Deputy Catalogue Manager
The BPMA’s online catalogue was updated on Friday 27th February. This update didn’t include huge amounts of material, just an extra 765 records, bringing the total available to 74,426. It did include some significant additions, however.
The first significant addition is a record for the Postal History Collection. The term Postal History is often applied to the study of postal markings and the collection includes approximately 200 albums of material, comprising letters, covers, envelopes, postcards and postal stationery, dating from before and after the introduction of the first adhesive postage stamp in 1840. The collection has prompted significant amounts of research and this has been compiled into detailed lists which we’re making into downloadable pdfs. The pdfs can be found by following the hyperlinks on the catalogue record for the Postal History Collection. The lists are being loaded onto the website in tranches; the first four available are for provincial penny post, 5th clause, mileage and missent and misdirected mail marks. This represents a considerable amount of work from our dedicated group of volunteers who give freely both their time and their knowledge, for which we are grateful.
We’ve also added photographs to the records of dies, plates and rollers found in our philatelic holdings of King George V Commemorative issues. For the first time, members of the public can see the original printing objects that were manufactured to create these stamps.
Additionally, new members of our cataloguing team have been busy cataloguing Christmas cards and material returned from loan by the Museum of London, and we also have some additional public records from The Royal Mail Archive available in the form of POST 73: Regional Administration and Operations and POST 122: Post Office: Registered Files: Minuted and Decentralised Registry Papers.
Catalogue updates can often take several hours to process and sometimes things go wrong. Last week’s update included the unintended addition of approximately 30 blank war memorial records. These will be taken off at the next update. In the meantime, if you spot anything unusual or that you think is an error then please get in touch with us directly. There is a feedback button on the catalogue for you to contact us.