Tuesday, 5 July 2016

500 Years of the Royal Mail - Online Museum

LEGO postman with a LEGO
Penny Black, first and
rarest British stamp from 1840.
Well you don't see many of these every day, a on-line museum for the 500 years of the Royal Mail. Now I know some museums are doing digital stored collection and I am happy to see this happening more and more as years go on. You can go to museums without leaving the comfort of your own home or pay for entry. These stored collections catalogs get the collection out to the public easier (one of the fundamental principles of a museum) and are great for researchers to see what they have before inquiring to see the items. 

This beautifully done on-line archive of images of portraits, documents, engravings, artefacts, stamps etc. Each image is provided with a few paragraphs of information describing what it is and the history behind the item you have selected. The layout almost gives a similar style to some social media sites, e.g. Instagram or Pinterest. A unusual way of displaying this but I think it works really well.

You have 6 categories to choose from to help you narrow down your search of items and information. Although the images and information is repeated in some of the different categories provided. The categories include:

  • Moments in History - taking a look at the main milestones of the Royal Mail.
  • Stamps - taking a look at main milestones in design and changes of the history of Stamps.
  • The Beginning of the Royal Mail - obviously looking at the beginning of the Royal Mail and how it came about. 
  • World Firsts - taking a look at what the Royal Mail started first in the world of the postal service.
  • Iconography - taking a look at the visual images, symbols, or modes of representation collectively associated with the Royal Mail.
  • People - taking a look at all the people who were involved in the Royal Mail and how they impacted it.

To help you even farther with navigation around the site you have a filter system in which you can select for all an item you are specific looking for. So you can choose the century the item was made or used in and which category you wish it to be from and the order they are all listed in. For example I want everything from the 1500s, themed to The Beginning of the Royal Mail and be viewed by latest - oldest items. 

Another feature with this section is you have a option to favorite items that you like best and gives you a opportunity to come back to them later on.   

Victorian post
Now you also have a search engine to search for specific item. However, if you don't visit the site often you can't possibly know what is there specifically. So this is only good if you know you way around and know what is actually there to see. 

Now it doesn't stop there you have the Features section which house additional thing to take a look at. This are some:
  • By Land, Sea and Air - this section talks about the evolution of how the post got from a) to b) and how this benefited society. 
  • The Letters of our Lives Campaign - a campaign to collect letters on hidden social and political history of the UK through the people who lived it.
  • And so much more...

Now this is a great public resource which the Royal Mail had provided us. The complete collection which is provided here can be interesting to a Royal Mail enthusiast, Stamp collectors or any history buff who fancies knowing more on the Royal Mail and its history behind the British postal service we know today.

1 comment:

  1. I really love sitting on the computer and then click and search some museum tours online, it is a wonderful and amazing experience without moving from home