In 1996 was published The Royal Philatelic Society of Victoria Library: A History and Catalogue by Geoffrey Kellow (later an RDP, the highest award in philately) and Russell Turner. The library of the RPSV is perhaps the biggest in the Southern hemisphere. I have written an article on the library which can be found in the Articles section of this website and those interested may want to refer to that.
The Catalogue is perhaps one of the last, if not the last, of the big philatelic catalogues cum bibliographies to be published in printed form. While stamp collectors may be declining, the rate of philatelic output continues to be added at a prodigious rate and hence it is very difficult for printed works to be published and stay relevant for any length of time. The Global Philatelic Library on the internet is an initiative to provide a consolidated listing of philatelic publications, archives, museum items etc. held by libraries; so far 27 libraries have contributed their listings.
Now more on the Catalogue. It is a high quality work published in two editions:
(1) A pre-publication Subscribers' limited, and numbered edition of 75 hard bound in maroon cloth with a matching slipcase.
(2) A Standard, limited, but unnumbered, edition of 75 bound in blue cloth with a matching slipcase.
The information on (2) has been taken from the Auction Catalogue of The "Maharaja", Dromberg & Garratt-Adams (last part) Philateic LIbraries, Sale held 26-27 Apr 1997.
The subscriber's edition is signed by the authors as well as the President of the Society, John Trowbridge, on the Introduction page. It is also numbered (mine is no. 23). However I am unable to find any other difference between the two.
Needless to say any hardcore bibliophile will do well to have a copy of this book in his library.
What is the difference between the two booklets shown here (apart from the fact that the one has the price mentioned on top)? Both are exactly the same except that the one on the left is the first and the one on the right is the second edition of Fred.(erick). J.(ohn) Melville's Postage Stamps Worth Fortunes. This is one of the first, if not the first, book dealing exclusively with rare stamps of great value (Crawford 261).
Melville needs no introduction to philatelic bibliophiles, being the most prolific writer in all of philatelic history (more than 100 books can be attributed to him) Incidentally he published a booklet of 8 pp called Stamp Collecting in 1897 when he was just 15; he was later so embarrassed of his work that he actively hunted for it and destroyed the copies that he could lay his hands upon!
In their book, A "Melville" Bibliography (yes, such a book was needed to just list out the great man's works), the Williams brothers (L.N. and M. Williams) give the story behind the two editions. Apparently the first edition was published on 11 March 1908 in a run of 2,000 copies. All copies were exhausted in one day (!) warranting a second edition to be published three days later, again in a similar sized run. This fact is also printed in the second edition of the work.
Apart from the British edition, a Swedish edition came out in 1910, a Dutch edition in 1911, and an American one in 1918.
The Stamp Collector's Magazine (SCM) is the second journal on stamp collecting or philately ever published in the world. The reason I use the word "philately" after "stamp collecting" is because Georges Herpin had not yet coined the former word; he did so only in Nov 1864, almost a couple of years after the first issue of SCM came out in Feb 1863.
Published over 12 volumes from 1863-74, SCM set extremely high standards of philatelic journalism. It was edited by Dr. Charles William Viner till about end-1866 and thereafter by George Overy Taylor; Viner having left to edit The Philatelist.
Vol. 1 No. 1 was reprinted. In Vol. II No. 4 of The Journal of the Philatelic Literature Society, Edward D. Bacon, eminent philatelist, mentions two variations to distinguish the original from the reprint.
1. On page 15, in the advertisement at the top of the right hand column the letters "lake" of the name "Blake" are in small roman capitals in the original and in lower-case type in the reprint.
2. On page 16 the error of spelling in the words "Just Pubished" (missing "l") above the advertisement of "The Postage-Stamp Collector's Pocket Album" in the right hand column, is corrected in the reprint to "Just Published".
Bacon further adds that the original No. 1 was probably dispatched only in March 1863 since he has seen one postmarked March 4 while the reprint was not made until August 1863.
Note: My copy of Vol. 1 No. 1 is the original.