The Royal Philatelic Society of New Zealand Library

Our Physical Library

The Society established a library at the very beginning, with the first library listing being published in 1895. A fire destroyed that library in 1906 but stocks were soon re-established. The current Library List (205) is available as a free PDF download here.

The Library seeks to obtain publications about Philately (in its widest sense) according to these priorities:

1. New Zealand topic, or any Philatelic topic where published in New Zealand, or by a Society member. Includes New Zealand Dependencies
2. Antarctica, Australia and local Pacific Islands. General philatelic interest, such as Exhibiting, Forgeries, Cinderellas, Postal History.  Indexes and Bibliographies.
3. Historical research relating to Priority 1 philatelic study e.g. Military history publications, NZ shipping registers.
4. British Commonwealth, especially Great Britain; USA; Asia

These run across collecting themes of Stamps, Postal History, Postcards, Thematics, Postal Service etc. 

Philately, at the advanced research level, involve serious historical inquiry.  In addition to the consideration of stamps and covers, it analyses cancellations, postal routes, methods of mail transportation and delivery, locations of stamps on a pane or block, method of printing, types of paper, ink, adhesive (or lack thereof), and printing errors.  Our permanent holdings aim to support this research in our areas of priority.

As at 2015 the Library holds around 1400 books & monographs, over 500 catalogues and dealer listings, 300 Exhibition publications and 360 journal titles.  Around 1000 specialised auction sale catalogues and a further 100 different issuers of general auction sales are retained.  Many items of grey literature and more ephemeral material are held on the Misc. Papers section. Finally, over 120 copies, some in colour, of various exhibition entries and members’ collections are also held.

Members are welcome to browse the Library during normal Office hours, and on meeting nights.  Books can be borrowed by members in person, or by mail within New Zealand, with the member paying suitable postage costs both ways. Email requests to the

Our Online Library

Our Online Library debuted in March 2020 with a copy of the 2015 Library Listing, the last six years issues of Royal Lines, and a near complete set of issues of the New Zealand Stamp Collector.

It's initial focus will be on items we have published: newsletters, journals, handbooks, monographs and bibliographies, and on items supplied to us in digital format by third parties.