Introduction to the Society


The Society, the first in Scotland, originally began as the Briefmarken-Sammler-Verein zu Edinburgh und Leith on 4th November 1893 in Hannah’s Restaurant, York Place with Herr August Schnepel as President, The founding members were a group of convivial German collectors based in Edinburgh and the minutes were initially recorded in German. In March 1895, with more local collectors joining, the name was changed to the Edinburgh and Leith Philatelic Society and then on 21 December 1897, at the 81stmeeting in 20 George Street, the decision was taken to change the name again, to the Scottish Philatelic Society (SPS). In the early years it is recorded that many members had very fine ‘complete’ collections of a wide variety of countries. However, as stamp values have increased this is now almost impossible to achieve and collectors today have to look at other ways of pursuing the hobby.


When the Society was founded, the aims were - (i) to advance the hobby of stamp collecting, (ii) to expand the collections of members by reciprocal exchange of duplicates, with a minimum of trouble and expense, and (iii) to circulate information concerning stamps. These aims are still applicable to the society today.


The SPS is affiliated to both the Association of British Philatelic Societies (ABPS) and the Association of Scottish Philatelic Societies (ASPS). In 1913 it hosted the 5thPhilatelic Congress of Great Britain and then in 1993, the 75th Congress. It has also hosted the Scottish Philatelic Congresses of 1927, 1932, 1938, 1965, 1984, and 1993. In 2018 it hosted the 89th Scottish Philatelic Congress as part of the celebrations to commemorate our 125th Anniversary and 125 years of philately in Scotland.


Although over the years the membership has included many distinguished philatelists, the SPS is open to all with a common interest in philately - from the complete beginner to the advanced specialist collector. The meetings, normally attended by about 20 to 25, are very informal and provide the opportunity for members to talk and share information about philatelic matters in a friendly atmosphere. The collecting interests of our members are varied and as well as stamps, include other areas such as covers, postal history, postal stationery, thematics, cinderellas, revenues and postcards. If you have an interest in any aspect of philately, why not consider joining us at the SPS?




Scottish Philatelic Society