Graphical version

British Postal Museum and Archive: The Royal Mail Archive

Post Office: Packet Minutes: Documents


Reference code(s): GB 0813 POST 29 Series

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

Title: Post Office: Packet Minutes: Documents

Date(s): 1811-1920

Level of description: Series

Extent: 2760 files

Name of creator(s):

No further information available.


Administrative/Biographical history:

Please contact the Archive for further information.


Scope and content/abstract:

The Packet Minute series (POST 29 and 34) comprise minutes to the Postmaster General from the Secretary to the Post Office, on the Packet Boat and overseas mails services. It began in 1811, at which date those subjects were transferred from the Postmaster General's Minute series (POST 30 and 35).

POST 29 consists of volumes containing a copy of, or reference to, every minute submitted to the Postmaster General, including those which have since been destroyed. POST 34/1 - 105 are indexed. The Postmaster General's decision on each case is also recorded. POST 29 consists of those actual papers which are still in existence (comprising both the original minute to the Postmaster General and the papers leading up to, and following from, the Secretary's submission). It has been produced in two versions, one numerical and the other alphabetical, i.e., set out under subject headings. When requisitioning papers, both the catalogue reference Nos. and the Minute No. should be quoted, e.g., POST 29/4, Pkt 203B/1314.

For details of how this class relates to the other report and minute classes, see the following section 'Related Material'.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

Please see Scope and Content.

Conditions governing access:

Public Record

Conditions governing reproduction:

Please contact the Archive for further information.

Finding aids:

Please contact the Archive for further information.


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Please contact the Archive for further information.


Existence and location of copies:

Some items in this series are available on microfilm for viewing in the Search Room.

Related material:


POST 29 is one of several POST classes that contain reports and minutes that have been generated at Headquarters level, usually for the purpose of bringing a variety of Post Office matters to the attention of the Postmaster General. Records can relate to people, places or subjects. The various POST classes that hold these records cover the years 1790-1973. The reason there are numerous classes for such records is that organisational changes have occurred within the Post Office through the decades and different and sometimes overlapping systems have been put in place for such record keeping. For a fuller understanding of central records and how the POST classes that they can be found in relate to each other, readers are advised to consult the 'Guide to Reports and Minutes', which includes a timeline that illustrates what periods and subjects are covered by the various POST classes and how they relate to each other. This can be viewed in the BPMA search room or online. For now, here are two pointers.

1. As a rule of thumb, there are two POST classes for each run of records. One class contains the full paperwork for each case ('papers') and the other class is likely to contain an index or series of précis to this material ('volumes'). This means that the indexes of a 'volume' class will often list the material in the corresponding 'papers' class by subject, name, or place.

2. There are a number of POST classes that address issues such as Packet Service minutes, Scottish minutes, Irish minutes and miscellaneous matters. However, the principal classes likely to address central issues of general importance for England and Wales are:

1790 - 1840: POST 40 (POST 42 volumes)

1840 - 1921: POST 30 (POST 35 volumes)

1921 - 1955: POST 33 (POST 38 volumes)

(1941 - 1948): POST 102 (overlaps with POST 33)

1955 - 1973: POST 122 (also POST 35 volumes)


POST 34 is the accompanying class to POST 29, as it contains indexes and series of précis to the material in POST 29 in addition to précis of minutes that would have been in POST 29 had they not been lost or destroyed.

POST 41 and POST 39 are a parallel series also containing Packet Service and overseas minutes and these classes cover the period 1807-1837. For cases earlier than 1807, researchers should consult the Postmaster General's Reports in POST 42 and POST 40. After 1837, POST 34 and POST 29 became the principal series for overseas and Packet services until 1920.

In 1921, a significant change occurred to the way all reports and minutes were recorded. Before this time, reports and minutes for England and Wales, Ireland, Scotland, and the Packet Service had been recorded separately. From 1921, they were all (including POST 34 and POST 29) amalgamated into POST 38 (Postmaster General's Minute Volumes) and POST 33 (Postmaster General's Minute Papers).


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: Entry checked June 2011

Packet boats | Boats | Vessels | Vehicles | Transport
Postal services | Communication industry
Postmasters | Communication personnel | Personnel | People by occupation | People
Shipping | Maritime transport | Transport
Water transport

Personal names

Corporate names
Post Office