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British Postal Museum and Archive: The Royal Mail Archive

Post Office: Records on the International Parcel Post Service


Reference code(s): GB 0813 POST 49 Series

Held at: British Postal Museum and Archive: The Royal Mail Archive

Title: Post Office: Records on the International Parcel Post Service

Date(s): 1856-1986

Level of description: Series

Extent: 56 files and volumes

Name of creator(s): Post Office


Administrative/Biographical history:

In 1880 a Postal Conference was held at Paris with the view to creating an International Parcel Post. At that conference the British Post Office was represented, although having no Inland Parcel Post it was unable to enter into any international agreement.

The Inland Parcel Post came into operation on 1 August 1883, and from the outset it was intended to link this service with the International Parcel Post as soon as possible.

Early in 1883 the proposals to be submitted to the forthcoming Postal Congress were being circulated and it was apparent that there would be an attempt to introduce into the Parcel Post Convention modifications which the Post Office would find very difficult to accept while its parcel post was yet in its infancy. A circular letter

was sent to all the signatories of the convention asking whether they were willing to concede to Great Britain the special terms agreed to at the Paris Conference of 1880. The replies to the circular were generally favourable but the Treasury at this time declined to allow the Post Office to proceed with negotiations until the Inland Parcel Post was more firmly established. It was not until November 1884 that authority for the establishment of a Foreign and Colonial Parcel Post was at length obtained, and the service established.


Scope and content/abstract:

This record series comprises memoranda, letters and reports on the establishment and operation of the Foreign and Colonial Parcel Post, and agreements between the Post Office of the United Kingdom, and foreign postal authorities and shipping companies. It also includes papers relating to 1970s and 1980s overseas parcel services.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

Item are arranged chronologically within each sub-series.

Conditions governing access:

Public Record

Conditions governing reproduction:

Photocopies/photographs/microfilm are supplied for private research only at the Postal Heritage Trust's discretion. Please note that material may be unsuitable for copying on conservation grounds, and that photographs cannot be photocopied in any circumstances. See our published policies for full details. Researchers who wish to publish material must seek copyright permission from the copyright owner.

Finding aids:

A Guide to the Royal Mail Archive


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Records transferred internally from Royal Mail.


Related material:

For records on the Inland Parcel Post see

POST 25 For agreements on the exchange of mail between countries see

POST 46 For UPU agreements on the exchange of mail between countries see POST 117.


Archivist's note: Entry checked by Barbara Ball

Rules or conventions:

Compiled in compliance with General Internation Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G) second edition 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997

Date(s) of descriptions: 24/03/2011 Entry checked June 2011

Memorandums | Documents | Information sources
Postal services | Communication industry

Personal names

Corporate names
Post Office