Stamp Collecting plus much, much more!

Stamp site sponsored and run by the National Philatelic Society, London, United Kingdom


Welcome to UK Philately
Introducing Philately in the UK
See stamps
postal history







 Introducing Philately
Philately is not just about stamp collecting. The subject is enormous and can be as detailed or as general as you, the student or collector (or both), likes to make it.

Strictly, a philatelist is someone who has an interest or a liking for stamps (and related material), so you don't even have to be a collector to be a philatelist - but it helps! And it isn't just about stamps or even postage stamps.

For example, Postal History is a popular area of collecting and study - in general terms this covers "routes and rates" - how a letter travelled to its destination, what it cost and the markings postal administrations along the way applied to it.

In the 19th Century as transport and shipping services opened up (the railways in particular), the transmission of the post and the routes it took are in themselves a social history of that period.

And of course there are postage stamps themselves, with all the myriad differences that can exist as to paper, watermarks, methods of printing, printers, shade and type of ink, perforation, gumming, usage, etc.

You only have to look at a list of books  on philatelic topics to realise just how wide a field it is. NPS Library But you don't have to be daunted by this; most people select a subject or country or issue which particularly appeals or attracts them and focus on that.

We are here to help you.

The United Kingdom has an extensive network of local philatelic societies and stamp clubs. It also has the most developed network of clubs and societies devoted to specialised areas of philately, which have meetings and publish newsletters dealing with their particular subject; many also have libraries. ABPS

There are also more general societies, such as the National Philatelic Society NPS.


wo publications that give an introduction to the hobby are available from the National Philatelic Society 

Stamp Collecting Starts Here
a joint publication by the National Philatelic Society and Stanley Gibbons, this 13-page A5 illustrated booklet contains illustrated articles on many aspects of the hobby and some interesting stamp facts. A copy is automatically included with the Stamp Lover Centenary Edition (see below) but to obtain this leaflet on its own, send 1 (UK only) to Peter Mellor, National PS, 10 Gilpin Green, HARPENDEN AL5 5NR

Stamp Lover Centenary Editi
published by the National Philatelic Society to mark the centen
ary of its magazine Stamp Lover, this 100-page A4 special issue contains something for everyone. Click here for details of the contents

To obtain a copy (which will include the Stamp Collecting Starts Here booklet described above) send 4 (UK only) to
Peter Mellor, National PS, 10 Gilpin Green, HARPENDEN AL5 5NR

Cheques should be payable to National Philatelic Society.

What Philately covers

Today, philately includes such diverse topics as:
 Basic Stamp Collecting
 Aerophilately - postal material and letters to do with transmission by air at some point in their journey;
 Astophilately - material of a postal nature related to space research and programmes;
 Maximaphily - picture postcards bearing a stamp and cancellation related to the card picture;
 Postal History - described at left;
 Postal Stationery - pre-printed stamped material;
 Thematics - The development of a theme illustrated by postal and other material "telling a story";
 Social Philately - using philately to tell an historic story
 Revenues - stamps used for revenue/tax purposes rather than postage;
 Locals - local, non-official postal services such as college stamps, local delivery and parcel services, private authorised or non-authorised services, etc;
 Railways - where these involve the transmission or carriage of mail;
 Cinderellas - stamps and related material of a non-postal nature - e.g. charity stamps, poster stamps, etc.







Last updated 19/11/2012

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