Archive Research Guides
Looking at archive material can be difficult if you are not sure where to start. We have produced Archive Guides designed to help you find the records you need.
These are large documents, but you do not have to read every page! Read the first few pages to find out how to use each guide.
These Guides also are available to use in our Search Room, along with the best guides of all - our staff. Don't forget to contact us in advance of a visit if you have any questions.
Royal Mail Archive - Overview Guide (PDF, 1.1MB)
This Guide gives an overview of all the records we have in the Archive - our records have been divided into POST classes, covering a wide range of subjects. This Overview Guide explains what records are held in each POST class and also has a subject index at the back where you can cross reference key words.
Royal Mail Archive - At a Glance (PDF, 170KB)
This shorter guide gives a more concise overview of our Archive. It is a quick alternative to the Overview Guide above.
Family History Research Guide (PDF, 1289KB)
Family history research makes up around half the current use of our Search Room enquiries. This is a step-by-step Guide to discover any ancestors who worked for Royal Mail or the Post Office in the past. Please note we only have appointment and pension records up to the 1960s.
Further information on conducting family history research can be found on this website.
Reports & Minutes Guide (PDF, 91KB)
This Guide tells you how to follow entries through related groups of records in Post Office Reports & Minutes. The Reports (1790-1841) and Minutes (1794-1973) comprise cases dealt with at Post Office Headquarters level and usually culminate in a report or minute to the Postmaster General for a policy decision.
You can also look in the History section for information on selected parts of postal history.
Our online catalogue allows you to search across our museum and archive collections.