To collector interested in the period prior to 1984, the Post Office Guide is useful; to the Postal Historian it is invaluable. The Guide was published in two volumes. Volume I covered Inland Services and General Information; Volume II addressed Foreign Services.
The first volume covered General topics, Inland post, Money orders, postal orders, savings bank and savings certificates. A section on telegraphs addressed telegrams, telex, and telephones. A final section lists all post offices in both Irish and English, their capabilities, and the nearest telegram, money order office, and telegraph delivery point. Useful information for the mailer covers how to pack some problematic items.
The second volume covered foreign posts, money orders and postal orders, and telegraph, telex, telephone and radio-maritime services. This contains useful information on what is banned in some countries, which post offices can accept insured letters and packages, and other restrictions. Some are readily understandable; however, why can’t binoculars be imported to Iraq? Likewise, chocolate and calendars to Mexico?
The breadth of services available at many post offices was large; in many small villages, the post Office was the only representative of the government.