The Postal Museum launches public call out for letters, cards, parcels and packaging from Lockdown

Lockdown Post: a letter, handmade face covering and mail art envelope © Rehana Gittens

The Postal Museum are searching for letters, envelopes, greetings cards and packaging from Lockdown – the latest chapter in the 500-year old story of postal services in the UK. The museum, which opened in 2017, explores British social and communications history as seen through the eyes of its iconic postal service.

Now, they are seeking donations of items from across the UK, to add to the museum’s collection, telling the story of Lockdown through items sent and received in the post since March.

Chris Taft, Head of Collections at The Postal Museum, said:

“Postal networks have long been a part of our social infrastructure, but the COVID-19 emergency has created new and different meanings to the purpose and value of the post. We want our museum collections to reflect how postal operations have changed to deal with the pandemic, how people are using the post to maintain personal relationships and the importance of the post to the economy.

Our museum might be based in London, but our collections represent the whole of the country, so we want to reach far and wide to capture how the post is connecting people across the UK and the world at this moment in time.”

The museum are looking for the public to submit offers of donations and a selection will be collected across three areas:

Letters and envelopes: The museum are looking for letters, whatever the content, and where possible envelopes particularly those that have been personalised with mail art sent since March 2020.

Greetings cards: Cards reflect how the post has helped us mark special occasions without us being able to meet in person and many new designs have been created that respond to major world events in 2020.

Parcels and packaging: Businesses have used the post to continue trading during the pandemic. One box can tell many stories, from the innovation of a company and the changing buying habits of consumers, to the personal impact receiving items had on someone in lockdown from supplies to gifts.

The project, COVID-19 and the Post, will provide a vital resource to understand the changing uses and the importance of the post in this unprecedented time. It is the first phase of an ongoing project collecting objects and personal accounts to reflect the shifting relationships people have with the post and the impact on postal and delivery workers.

You can submit an item to donate to The Postal Museum on their website: www.postalmuseum.org/wecollect