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Society Publications

One of the Society's principal objects as defined in its constitution is " print, publish, issue and circulate, or contribute to the expenses of production of such papers, periodicals, books, circulars and other literary undertakings as may seem necessary for the objects of the Society". Over the years the Publications Committee has played no small part in implementing this objective.

Since its inception, the Society has produced many major works relating to philately which represent the latest state of knowledge on the subject at the time of publication. In some cases, they have remained the standard reference for over 50 years.

The first major work published by the Society was Catalogue of Postage Stamps, Stamped Envelopes and Postcards: Spain and Colonies in 1878, and this was followed in 1881 by the seminal publication The Postage and Telegraph Stamps of Great Britain by Philbrick and Westoby, a technical study against which all future publications would be judged.

It was not until 1890 that the first Publications Committee was appointed. It was a formidable team of three of the most famous philatelists of their generation, namely T.K. Tapling, E.D. Bacon and Major E.B. Evans, together with the Honorary Secretary, Douglas Garth.

Over the intervening years many works have been published, from erudite and detailed studies to more general books on wider subjects. The high standard set in those early days has been maintained up until the present day. The publications are too numerous to detail here but one work worthy of mention is Perkins Bacon Records by Percy De Worms in 1953, a detailed listing of many of the secrets that are in the Perkins Bacon archives. To this day this book remains one of the primary research sources for those studying the design, printing and production of the early stamps of most British Colonies and several foreign countries.

Among recent publications was The Stamps and Postal History of Nineteenth Century Samoa which will remain the definitive study of this Pacific Island for many years to come. It sold out within 12 months of publication.


RPSL Members' Collections 2019

For our 150th anniversary, the RPSL will publish a permanent and representative record of how and what RPSL members collect in 2019. Each page of the book will be a scan of the complete sheet(s) submitted by Fellows and Members, all of whom are eligible to contribute and can submit as many pages as they wish. Click here for more information.

Baghdad in British Occupation: The Story of the 1917 Provisional Stamps

by Freddy Khalastchy FRPSL Published January 2017

Spring Stampex 2017 featured a special display devoted to the stamps of the Ottoman Empire and the countries emerging from it after the end of World War 1. The display had a special emphasis on Iraq to mark the centenary of the country’s first stamps, which were issued in Baghdad in September 1917, following the occupation of the region by British and Indian troops in March of that year. On display were eight frames devoted to the Baghdad stamps and a further 50 frames devoted to the stamps of Iraq from 1918 until the end of the monarchy in 1958.

The “BAGHDAD IN BRITISH OCCUPATION” stamps have always been desired by collectors of Iraq and British Colonies both because they were the first stamps issued in Iraq and also as a significant issue of World War 1. Since quantities printed were relatively small and all the values were exhausted from the Baghdad Post Office just seventeen days after they were put on sale, they fetched high prices from the very beginning. Numerous articles have been written about this issue over the years but none in great detail.

There has never been a proper census of the errors, while the covers bearing these stamps have not previously received the attention they deserve; no one really knew how many existed. This issue also had a political motive for its existence. Sir Percy Cox, the Chief Political Officer in Iraq, thought that the stamps would annoy the enemy and would also indicate the change of administration whereby the British replaced the defeated Turks. Much correspondence was exchanged between Iraq and the India Office, with the occasional involvement of King George V, before these stamps were eventually issued.

This book explains why and how the stamps were issued, and presents a full record of all known errors and covers as a reference for future collectors. The book was awarded a Large Gold Medal at Spring Stampex 2017. It is offered as a contribution to the philatelic history of Iraq, in the hope that readers will find it useful and informative.

This book, which runs to 320 pages, can be purchased from the online Shop; click here for details.

Southern African Mails, Routes, Rates and Regulations 1806 – 1916

by Brian Trotter RDP FRPSL Published November 2016

As well as postal history, this book provides an overview of the main routes, rates and regulations. Covering all the territories of Southern Africa, the book begins in 1806 with the Second British Occupation of the Cape of Good Hope and ends in 1916. This ranges from the period when the first postal system was available to the public to a time when the postage routes, rates, and regulations in Southern Africa were well developed.

This well illustrated book, which runs to 600 pages, was awarded a Large Gold Medal at Spring Stampex 2017 and can be purchased from the online Shop; click here for details.

The Postal History of the Oxford Union Society

by Vincent West FRPSL Published February 2012
Addenda and Corrigenda can be downloaded on this link

Swaziland Philately to 1968

Unfortunately, page 59 has some characters missing from the page. A replacement pdf is available here.

Replacement for Page 59

We apologise for the error.

The King George VI Large Key Type Revenue and Postage High Value Stamps 1937–1953

Corrections And Amendments - March 2009 by Eric Yendall

Click here