Collection of papers illustrating the history of the Post Office, 1837-1904

Scope and Content

The collection consists of printed notices, press cuttings and other papers concerning aspects ofthe working of the British postal service and its historical development. The main categories are asfollows:

  • File of printed lists and manuscript notes relating to the Post Office branch in Wellington,Salop (now Shropshire). 1893-1894 (MS 171/1);
  • Published items comprising: Post Office Act (1837), instructions to sub-postmasters (1852), PostOffice parliamentary directory (1855), booklet about Post Office Savings' Banks (1861), and a reportof the Interdepartmental Committee on Post Office Establishments (1897). 1837-1897 (MS 171/2);
  • Printed cuttings of published photographs, illustrations and cartoons sometimes accompanied withcuttings of printed text relating to the history of the Post Office. The cuttings have been mountedon board. 1839-1904 (MS 171/3).

Administrative / Biographical History

It is not known who was responsible for this collection of printed and manuscript items relatingto the history of the Post Office or when it was assembled. The inclusion of some material relatingot Shropshire may indicate a regional origin.


The collection has been divided by document type into three series. Within these series, itemshave been arranged chronologically where possible.

Access Information

ACCESS: Pending full cataloguing access is limited andis possible only for registered users by advance notice only.


Other Finding Aids

This description is the only finding aid available for the collection. Copyright in thedescription belongs to The University of Nottingham.

Conditions Governing Use

REPROGRAPHIC: Reprographic copies can be supplied for educational use and private study purposesonly, depending on access status and the condition of the documents.

COPYRIGHT: Permission to make published use of any material from this collection must be soughtin advance in writing from the Keeper of the Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections(email The Department will try to assist in identifying copyright owners but the responsibility for copyright clearance before publication ultimately rests with the reader.

Custodial History

The collection was given to The University of Nottingham by Professor Henry Swinnerton, alecturer in geology, and transferred to the university's Department of Manuscripts from July1966.