What is the Museum Store?
The British Postal Museum Store is where we house some of our larger exhibits. Like almost all museums we keep much of our object collection in a carefully managed store until they are needed for exhibitions and display. As we currently have limited permanent display space the Museum Store is also an important way for visitors to see the collection. It is important to realise however that first and foremost the Store is a storage facility and is not a museum that can be visited on a drop-in basis.
Where is the Museum Store?
The Museum Store is situated on the Debden Industrial Estate in Loughton, Essex and is open for visitors on a pre-booking arrangement on selected days throughout the year. The Store is also open for special events each year and from time to time for private tours by groups. For details of our free scheduled tours please visit our events pages. For a map and travel advice please see Getting to the Store.
What's at the Museum Store?
The Store houses a range of items from some small objects like office equipment, scales and balances, and telephones, to the national collection of letters boxes (numbering in excess of 200 boxes), as well as the BPMA's collection of motorised vehicles. The Store is a great way of seeing parts of the collection in a way that would not be possible within a traditional museum environment.
It is important to remember however that the objects here are in storage and do not generally have captions, signage and explanatory text, and it is for this reason that we offer regular curator-led tours of the Store to help visitors get the most from their visit. As it's a working Store things are often moved in and out for exhibitions or conservation work and so it is not always possible to guarantee certain objects will be available on particular days.
Information for Researchers
Those wanting to access the collections for study are encouraged to contact the Curatorial team at the BPMA to arrange an appointment and discuss their requirements. The collection is an active and growing one and new objects are regularly being added.