One of the Society's principal objectives as defined in its constitution is "...to 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.