Philatelic department consists of four sections:
The section of the Polish postmarks
Graphic documentation section of Polish postmarks
Section of foreign stamps
Section of seals and poststamps
Section of the Polish postmarks.
Section of the Polish postmarks has been collecting the postage stamps starting with the first Polish stamp from 1860 so-called "Polish 1" to the contemporary ones in use.
Stamps are collected in the form of individual units making up the collections or full-merchantable sheets, tiny sheets or blocks. What distinguishes the museum collection and makes it unique, is the philatelic material documenting the various stages of the production of stamps: acceptance (sheet of stamps with a handwritten note by the official admitting it in terms of substantive contents and color for printing, occurring in only one copy), sheets or stamps being color tests, die prints of particular phases of rites when the stamp was issued with the noble steel engraving technique.
A separate group is letter cards, envelopes and cards with printed postage stamp and First Day Cover envelopes (FDC - First Day Cover) issued on the day of a given emission.
Stamps are collected because of their faults or failures in the production process. The most common are: colour errors, text errors – including erroneous or faulty surcharge, double-made, moved or reversed or conversely printed drawing. The most famous stamp of this error type is "boxers’ reversal" - a stamp with an inverted illustration of boxers in the emission from 1956 on the occasion of the Olympic Games in Melbourne.
The most valuable are thematic collections:
collection of stamps so-called "Polish 1" single ones and on the envelopes, with the most valuable envelope of a valuable letter sent from Kalwaria to Warsaw in 1860 with six stamps stuck. Five of them form one unbroken belt, which greatly increases its collector’s value,
stamps so-called "Cracow’s edition" from 1919 - the Austrian postage stamps imprinted with "Polish Post". The rarest are i.a. a fee stamp with the value of 10 crowns or a surcharge stamp "porto" with the value of 10 crowns with black print "Polish Post" - one out of 15 known copies,
the set "Chiefs" – so-called "Lublin edition" from 1944,
German occupation stamps for the site of the former General Government in Warsaw from 1918 and 1919 printed "Polish Post",
Collection of letters illustrating the post activity in Wroclaw from the eighteenth century to modern times,
also plebiscite stamps from The Upper Silesia, The Central Lithuania, post offices of prison camps: Murnau, Woldenberg and Gross Born,
Polish postage marks graphical documentation section
Polish postage marks graphical documentation section gathers projects of postage stamps made by graphic artists, postage stamps and varied sort of overprints boards as well as plates, printing forms and dies for their production.
The most numerous inventory group form the projects and sketches of postage stamps, where in addition to projects of postage stamps and postcards, First Day Cover envelopes and occasional daters.
This collection started to begin in the twenties of the twentieth century, successively expanded, now consists of several thousand exhibits. It was created mainly thanks to transfers of National Graphic Manufacturies, Polish Value Papers Manufacturies, the Ministry of Posts and Telegraphs, later the Ministry of Communication of Central Board of the Polish Post Office in Warsaw, as well as through purchases from the individuals.
The oldest exhibits in the museum’s collection are the designs of postage stamps of urban post offices in Warsaw and Zawiercie from 1915, made by Edward Trojanowski and Juliusz Isaak. Decoration of the museum’s collection form the designs from the first competition in 1917, which were used to release the common postage stamps after regaining an independence. An interesting collection of postage stamps are the unrealised plebiscite postage stamps projects of Cieszyn Silesia ordered in 1920 at Cracow's graphic designers and projects of postage stamps of Central Lithuania emissions from the years 1920-1922.
Projects of the interwar period postage stamps made with drawings techniques by well known artists, are a reflection of trends dominating in art of that times.
In the postwar period a new generation of artists shows up that is going to shape fine art of postage stamps for decades. To the prominent artists belong among others: Stefan Małecki, Andrzej Heidrich, Jerzy Desselberger, Jacek Brodowski, Wiesław Wałkuski, Maciej Jęrdysik and Andrzej Gosik. In the collections of the Graphic Section’s Documentation there are designs from more than 100 artists, contributors in the field of arts oscillating between the rigors of miniaturisation and creative freedom.
A separate inventory group form the plates and dies for postage stamps printing, which exhibits illustrate the process of printing Polish postage marks, mostly from the interwar period. The most complete documentation of various printing phases have the stamps which are printed by typography - the technique of letterpress. In the group of the discussed exhibits there are also great-dies and secondary printing forms, obtained by mechanical or galvanic method or steel engraving technique for postage stamps printing . In addition, a high historical and cognitive value in the collection, hold the woodcut blocks of internal post of prison camp VII A in Murnau from the years 1942-1945.
Foreign postage stamps section.
Section collects foreign postage stamps issued by 190 member countries of the World’s Postal Union (Union Postale Universelle - UPU), which was founded in 1874. Poland has been a member since 1919.
Countries of the UPU send philatelic values to the union’s headquarters, Bern in Switzerland, where they are split and sent to all members. Postage stamps gathered at the Museum are used for exhibition, educational and cognitive purposes. The oldest and most valuable virtue is the world's first postage stamp 'Penny Black' released in England in 1840. To the interesting philatelic curiosities belong postage stamps, that are issued among others by Bhutan (small country in the heart of the Himalayas), made of plastic, wood, textiles, gold or silver foil, as well as postage stamps from traditional material such as paper, which were soaked with the aroma of perfume, flowers and coffee. Noteworthy are as well the postage stamps made by a three-dimensional technique with hologram or embossed. To the esteemed and admired virtues belong steel engraving technique postage stamps made by the prominent Polish engraver Czesław Słania, author of the 1070 stamps for 31 countries and the UNO. His achievements in the creation of the postage stamps have been registered in the Guinness Book of Records in three categories. Many of his works were awarded and acknowledged as the most beautiful postage stamps in the world.