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Recent Publications

Society Publications

All the Society's current publications can be purchased from the online Shop.

Ceylon: The Pence issues
By Kurt Kimmel RDP FRPSL & Patrick Pearson VRD RDP Hon-FRPSL

This book provides a comprehensive overview of the stamps of Ceylon, their uses, their printings and varieties.  It also covers the postal stationery, being the earliest stationery issued by any of the British Colonies, as well as the revenue stamps, reprints and forgeries.

Retail price £72, Members Price £65

Click here to purchase in the shop





The Postal History of the Universal Postal Union:
The Postal Card (Worldwide) 1869-1974

By James Peter Gough RDP FRPSL

Retail price £115, Members Price £105. Click here to purchase in the shop.

A two volume book on the postal card, from its very beginnings to its virtual end in the 1970's, this provides a postal history of the evolution of “when, what and why” of postal cards and how they related to each other in sequences of time worldwide vis-a-vis philosophical approaches, rules, regulations and rates.

This book is primarily a philatelic history – but also a social history – of the postal card, from its very beginnings to its virtual end in the 1970s. Born of social necessity before the ages of the telephone, internet, mobile phones and text messaging, the postal card filled an important social need for a fast, direct means of communications without formalities. This utility for messaging was made possible when post offices typically provided up to five mail deliveries per day. 
The genius of the invention caught imaginations across Europe so quickly that other countries started to plan its duplication even before the first postal cards were jointly issued (in slightly different designs) in Austria and Hungary on the same day, 1 October 1869.
When copying the simple idea, many other countries’ post offices felt the need to experiment with its design concept, its pricing (letter rate vs. discounted rate), its limitations of use and its priority of delivery (1st vs. 2nd class). 
Many of these differences were ironed out at the Congress of Berne in 1874 when the new Postal Union adopted postal cards as a mandatory service to be offered by all members – even though some founding members had yet to issue their own first postal cards. 
After Berne’74, the subsequent congresses of the Universal Postal Union (UPU), continued to tinker for decades with postal card rules and requirements. 
While the UPU had been the biggest sponsor of the postal card concept in the 19th century, the UPU was one of the first to foresee its decline in use by the public. 
By 1974 (the UPU’s 100th anniversary), the UPU authorised members to discontinue the postal card completely, and not just as its own class of mail. This book then is the 100 year story of the postal card. Click here to view the Table of Contents

Morocco: The History of the Local and Sherifien Posts
By Richard J. M. Garcia MBE FRPSL and Maurice Hadida FRPSL

Retail price £65, Members Price £60. Click here to purchase in the shop.Price £65

The postal history of Morocco in the 1890s, and the years up to World War I, is rich and varied as four Imperial powers (Great Britain, France, Spain and Germany) maintained postal services which were in competition with each other and with the Sultan’s newly-created Sherifien Post. In addition, some entrepreneurs saw an opportunity to create Local Posts which complemented the foreign posts. As a result, many of the postal services worked in tandem with each other, producing rare and eye-catching combination covers. 
This is the first comprehensive and detailed account of this remarkable period in Morocco’s postal history, and explores the background to this time before considering the development of the Sherifien Post and each of the Local Posts. It also examines the role played by the intrepid rekkas, the postmen who carried the mail on foot up and down the country, and who made possible the expansion of the various postal services in Morocco. 
The richly-illustrated book draws widely on hitherto unpublished information gleaned from the French Diplomatic Archives and the Gibraltar National Archives. 

L’histoire postale du Maroc dans les années 1890 et les années qui ont précédé la Première Guerre mondiale est riche et variée : quatre grandes puissances (France, Grande-Bretagne, Espagne et Allemagne) disposaient de services postaux en concurrence les uns avec les autres et avec la poste chérifienne, récemment créée par le Sultan. De plus, des entrepreneurs saisirent l’opportunité de créer des postes locales qui complétaient les services rendus par les postes étrangères. En conséquence, la coopération entre les nombreux services postaux, qui travaillaient en tandem, s’est traduite par des affranchissements mixtes, rares et spectaculaires. 
Il s’agit du premier récit complet et détaillé de cette période remarquable de l’histoire postale marocaine. Il commence par l’exposé du contexte de cette époque avant d’aborder le développement de la poste chérifienne et de chacune des postes locales, sans oublier le rôle joué par les rekkas, facteurs à pied intrépides, qui transportaient le courrier à travers le pays, et ont permis le développement des divers services postaux au Maroc. 
Le livre, richement illustré, s’appuie largement sur des informations, inédites jusqu’ici, recueillies auprès des archives diplomatiques françaises et des archives nationales de Gibraltar.

Tibet Stamps & Postal History
by Steve Chazen and Danny Wong FRPSL

Retail price £65, Members Price £55. Click here to purchase in the shop.

This book is the first attempt to outline the postal history of the entire Tibetan highland, covering the pre-adhesive period, the Chinese Imperial post, the Tibetan local post, the Republican and finally the People's Post, examining both civilian and military mail, British and Indian military and civilian post offices in Tibet are discussed in their historical context.





Retail price £76, Members Price £70 A History of The Royal Philatelic Society London 1869 to 2019
Edited by Charles Oppenheim FRPSL

Retail price £76, Members Price £70. Click here to purchase in the shop.

The Royal Philatelic Society London is the oldest philatelic society in continuous existence in the world. Its combination of research library, museum, research monographs, The London Philatelist, renowned expertising service and amazing displays by its members, not to mention its association with the British Royal Family stretching back well over 100 years, also make it the most prestigious in the world.
To celebrate the 150th anniversary of its creation, the Society commissioned this book. There are thirteen chapters, each written by a Fellow of the Society, and each looking at one aspect of the Society’s past and current activities. The chapters cover: management and finances; meeting places; meetings held; membership; royal patrons; honours, medals and awards; the Expert Committee; the Library; the Museum; its Philatelic Collections; its use of information technology; its monograph publishing; and its journal, The London Philatelist. Many appendices and an index support the text. The chapter on premises introduces the reader to what is indeed a new chapter in the Society’s history – its new home in Abchurch Lane in the city of London.
There have been official histories of the Society before; one to celebrate its 50th birthday in 1919, one for its centenary in 1969 and another in 2006 for the celebration of the centenary of it being granted the title “Royal” This latest volume not only covers those early histories thanks to the input of new research findings, but also updates them with developments right up the present day. The book is an essential reference work for all who are interested in the past and present of the Society.

The Court Bureau: A London Company and its Stamps 1889-1891
by Vincent West FRPSL

Retail price £18, Members Price £16. Click here to purchase in the shop

This is the first authoritive history of the short-lived Court Bureau and its classic local stamps. Drawing on primary source material in The Postal Museum and elsewhere, this fully illustrated study includes much hitherto unpublished information of interest to postal historians and railway philatelists.




The 1840 One Penny Black
by Michael Chipperfield

Retail price £100, Members Price £100. Click here to purchase in the shop.

A profusely illustrated leather-bound hardback book on the first postage stamp, the 1840 1d black.






The Fathers of Philately Inscribed on the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists,
by Brian J. Birch FRPSL.

Retail price £65, Members Price £60. Click here to purchase in the shop.

The Roll of Distinguished Philatelists was established in 1921 by the Philatelic Congress of Great Britain to recognise outstanding contributions to the development of philately. At its launch, 43 philatelists were deemed to be "The Fathers of Philately". The oldest had been born 40 years before the issue of the 1d black. The Roll now consists of over 300 signatories, each of whom has been selected on merit.

A century after the last of the "Fathers" died, this book recalls and recounts the reasons for the establishment of the Roll, and its development as the most prestigious honour in philately.


Royal Philatelic Society London Members' Collections 2019,
Edited by Mark W. Bailey FRPSL and Frank L. Walton RDP FRPSL.

Retail price £78, Members Price £70. Click here to purchase in the shop.

For our 150th anniversary, the Society is publishing a permanent and representative record of how and what RPSL members collect in 2019. Each page of the book is a scan of the complete sheet(s) submitted by Fellows and Members, over 200 of whom will have contributed to the book.
RPSL Members' Collections 2019 is a departure from the type and style of book usually published by the Society. The closest seen in recent times is the catalogue for Monacophil 2011. It includes a wide range of material from most philatelic disciplines and it emphasises very clearly the development of our addictive hobby.


British King George V Definitive, Profile Head and Seahorse Stamps Overprinted for NAURU,
by Robert C. Stein FRPSL.

Retail price £50, Members Price £45 Click here to purchase in the shop.

This study provides a detailed examination covering production from design, paper and ink, to printer, and distribution to Nauru for the definitive King George V Profile Head (½d to 1s) and Seahorse (2/6 to 10/-) stamps of Great Britain overprinted for use in Nauru.
The book is relevant to a wider audience than just Nauru collectors, as it is more about the production of British stamps supervised by Great Britain's Inland Revenue Stamping Department.



The Returned Letter Offices of Great Britain to 1912 and Beyond
by J. Kenneth Snelson and Robert B. Galland FRPSL.

Retail price £70, Members Price £63 Click here to purchase in the shop.

The book, arranged in 3 parts, provides postal historians and collectors of UK postal history with a comprehensive reference on the handling of undeliverable mail, the history of the Returned Letter Offices (RLOs), the stationery of the RLOs, and the rules and procedures used in the RLOs.





The Paper Trail: World War II in Holland and its Colonies as seen through Mail and Documents
by Kees Adema RDP FRPSL and Jeffrey Groeneveld.

Retail price £70, Members Price £63 Click here to purchase in the shop.

This book tells the story of the postal history of Holland and its colonies during World War 2 in a fresh and compelling way. A myriad of correspondence has been unearthed from family records, and the book weaves together the evidence from mail and other documents into a distinctive narrative.




Perkins Bacon Great Britain Line-Engraved Postage Stamp Printing 1840 to 1846
by Alan Druce FRPSL.

Retail price £125, Members Price £112 Click here to purchase in the shop.

After five years of research in the archives of Perkins Bacon Records and the Postal Museum, primary sources in the British Library, the Victoria & Albert Museum and the National Archives at Kew, the information gleaned has been meticulously analysed and the full story told in more detail than ever before.