Welcome to the Philas Library

 Items from Philas Library Items from Philas Library Items from Philas Library

The Philas Library is a specialist philatelic library containing over 6,000 books, journals and catalogues. Much of this material has been built up from donations and the many donors are warmly thanked for their contributions to the hobby.

The Philas Library Inc now has Donated Gift Recipient status with the Australian Taxation Office and all donations over $2 are tax deductible. The Philas Library is one of the largest open access philatelic libraries in the world. Philas Library Donation Form (PDF).
The Library is located on the 2nd floor of Philas House, 17 Brisbane Street, Surry Hills 2010. The Library is open on Tuesdays and Saturdays, from 9.00 am to 3.30 pm., and at other times by appointment.

To borrow from the Library you need to be a member of a Stamp Club or Philatelic Society in NSW or the ACT. Loans are normally for one month and renewal of loans is available.

You can visit the Library on any day that it is open or you can phone Philas (02) 9264-8301 or (02) 9264-8406 (Answerphone), send a fax to (02) 926704741, or write to the Philas Library at P.O. Box 220, Darlinghurst NSW 1300.

The Library is staffed on:

  • Tuesdays by: Ron Stewart and Graeme Morriss
  • Saturdays by: Geoffrey Kellow and David Collyer

The Library also houses the library of the Royal Sydney Philatelic Club (RSPC) and the Philatelic Society of New South Wales (PS of NSW). Visitors can consult both of these libraries but only members of the RSPC and the PS of NSW can borrow from them.
The Australian Philatelic Federation Research Officer can also be contacted through the Philas Library or via the APF website at apf.org.au.

The Library contains a wide range of materials:


  • These are located in the main room at the right of the entrance vestibule. On the low shelves at the left hand end are general works on philately and stamp collecting. These are followed by works on maritime mails and Aerophilately.
  • The next section is Australia. This starts with the Australian States and moves on to books about the Australian Commonwealth. Topics include: stamps, postal history including postal markings, postal stationery, franking machines, Cinderella and revenue issues.
  • Books covering the rest of world are next. The first groups are British Commonwealth in general and the United Kingdom. Books for other countries are shelved in alphabetical order by country name.

Journals, Magazines, Stamp Newspaper

  • This group is broadly termed serials and there are three separate collections arranged in alphabetical order by title. Most of the titles are donated, although there are some extensive runs.
  • The contents of the journal collection(s) can be assessed by a file box on the librarian’s desk. Please allow the librarian to check the file for you.

Australian Journals

  • These are located on the far left hand wall on the main library room. There is a continuation of this collection on the wall at the opposite end of the library. The collection contains a wide range of titles of journals published in Australia or published by overseas societies working in Australian philately.

World Journals

  • These start in the brick red compactus unit in the open area in front of the entrance vestibule. It too is arranged in alphabetical title order.

Pacific Journals

  • This collection contains journals from New Zealand and journals about Pacific Island philately. Like the other journal collections it is arranged in alphabetical order by title. It is located on a biscuit coloured compactus unit behind the vestibule and to the left of the Society Library cabinets. This collection also contains general works on Pacific Islands.

Auction Catalogues

  • This collection is located in a double width, double height compactus unit across from the Pacific Journals. The collection is in alphabetical order by name of Auction House. This is one of the few collections of such material available to serious philatelists. It covers the world but is strong in Australian and New Zealand Auction Houses.

Priced stamp Catalogues

  • Current priced catalogues are used by Philas Auction staff on the ground floor and are not available for perusal by the general public.
  • The priced stamp catalogue collection is located at the far end of the area housing the Pacific Journals and the Auction catalogue collection. In most cases it is double shelved.
  • The collection includes runs of the major international catalogue producers including: Stanley Gibbons (GB), Scott (USA), Yvert et Tellier (Fr), Zumstein (CH), Michel (D). There is a separate section for catalogues for other countries that is arranged in alphabetical order by country name.

Special Collections

The ground floor Print Room houses a number of special collections for which access has to be arranged in advance.

  • Post Office Guides - for the 20th century
  • Post Office Circulars - monthly, NSW edition, mainly 20th century
  • Instructions to Postmasters - various 20th century editions
  • Post Office Histories - NSW, in alphabetical order or those completed by the Historical Office
  • Post Office Annual Reports - 20th century
  • Post Office Publications – various
  • E.A. Crome Collection - Australian Aerophilately from the National Library of Australia, Canberra
  • E.A. & V.I Crome collection - modern Australian and world Aerophilately from the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, Sydney
  • Marguerite McNeill Collection of Music and Theatre - from the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, Sydney
  • Alec Pailthorpe photographic slide collection of Australian Commonwealth
  • De La Rue Correspondence book microfilm - Joint Copying Project contains material on Australia, New Zealand, British Pacific and Malaya
  • Philatelic Exhibition catalogues – collections of Australian, New Zealand and International Philatelic exhibitions arranged by year order, located in a cabinet backing on to the kitchen area.
  • Norman Hopson Local Histories Collection - history of NSW Local Government areas. There are two sections, Sydney and Regional areas both arranged in alphabetical order. The collection is located in a cabinet backing onto the kitchen area.

For all Library enquires Email:Geoff Kellow geoff@brusden-white.com.au