Olympex 2012 exhibition to be held at the British Library
Sunday, 20 May 2012
May 20 - A unique exhibition which brings to life the history, symbolism and personal stories through philatelic collections of individuals will be held by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the British Library, St Pancras from July 25 until September 9, it has been announced.
"Olympex 2012: Collecting the Games" will use postage stamps, postcards, letters, programmes and maps to provide insights into the Olympic Games, past and present.
The event will be held at the world's greatest research library and is focused largely on the interests of individual collectors, highlighting the way the magic of the Olympics captivates an individual's spirit.
It will demonstrate the way in which everyone can become involved in interpreting the Olympic story.
IOC President Jacques Rogge said: "The IOC is delighted to have the British Library as its partner in this exhibition.
"The Library's international reputation for bringing stories to life makes it the natural home for this fascinating and unique view of Olympic history."
Olympex 2012 will tell a chronological story of the Games, starting with the first modern Olympic Games in 1896, when Olympic philately first began, followed by the London 1908 and 1948 Games, and finally bringing the story up to date with the London 2012 Games.
The event will feature more than 2,500 stamps, handwritten postcards and letters from athletes, spectators and public figures – with recordings of their significant memories of past Olympics.
Frances Brindle, the British Library's Director of Strategic Marketing and Communications, said: "The British Library is thrilled to be working with the IOC on Olympex 2012.
"Each stamp, postcard and letter to be featured tells a story – understanding who sent them, and to whom, gives very personal insights into historical events."
Olympic stamps were originally issued to budget the balance of the Organising Committee.
Host countries will issue stamps to finance the Games and in addition, participating countries will add their own stamps for memoribilla.
They were the first collectable items and have continued to be the passion of many generations of Olympic collectors.
The British Library (pictured above) established in 1973, is the national library of the UK, and was last year visited by the Queen when she opened the "Royal Manuscripts: the Genius of Illumination" exhibition.
It is known as a world-class cultural and intellectual resource that serves the needs of today's researchers as well as being the home of the nation's written and spoken history.
The Library's collection has developed over 250 years and exceeds 150 million separate items representing every age of written civilisation.
It includes books, journals, manuscripts, maps, stamps, music, patents, photographs, newspapers and sound recordings.
The Olympex 2012 exhibition will be held in the Front Hall of the British Library, St Pancras, London.
Admission is free.
Further information is available by clicking here.