The Royal Irish Academy/Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann champions research. We identify and recognise Ireland’s world class researchers. We support scholarship and promote awareness of how science and the humanities enrich our lives and benefit society. We believe that good research needs to be promoted, sustained and communicated. The Academy is run by a Council of its members. Membership is by election and considered the highest academic honour in Ireland.

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Library lunchtime lecture: A century of Irish stamps


Tuesday, August 15, 2023, 13:00 - 14:00


Royal Irish Academy, 19 Dawson Street, Dublin 2, D02 HH58


Tickets for this event are now sold out. Any ticket refunds will be re-released through Eventbrite. The lecture will be recorded and made available to listen back to

To help us celebrate National Heritage Week 2023, Stephen Ferguson, An Post Archivist & Museum Curator will deliver a lunchtime lecture at RIA Library on Ireland’s stamps and changing national image.

Shortly after independence in 1922, the new Government turned its attention to the design of stamps to replace the contemporary British stamps then is use. Over the years since then Irish identity, culture and aspirations have been expressed through the medium of these miniature masterpieces with postage stamps acting as our ambassadors throughout the world. Long before the advent of the postage stamp, however, the idea of a stamp as a form of tax was well-known and the Academy’s library holds a remarkable album of eighteenth century revenue stamps which can, in a sense, be seen as the world’s very first stamp album. Highlighting such connections between the Academy and Irish stamps, Stephen Ferguson will trace the changing nature of Ireland’s image from the conservative and inward-looking era of the early Free State to the more confident, socially progressive and tech-savvy nation of today.

Since he joined the old Department of Posts & Telegraphs, Stephen Ferguson has worked in many areas of the Post Office and is now An Post’s Company Archivist and Museum Curator. He has written and lectured widely on aspects of Post Office history and is the author of The Irish Post Box, The Irish Post Office – an illustrated history and, most recently, Bessbrook to Ballinadee, a postal tour of Ireland.

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