Although a complete list of the Society’s publications can be found on this website, it was thought that the brief outline which accompanies each title was insufficient to provide scholars and researchers with adequate information on the precise scope and content of the books. As a result, at the suggestion of council member Bernard Stonehouse*, it was decided that the Society would introduce a series of regional guides which would group the volumes by geographical region and provide a considerably more detailed overview of what the books contain. These would be written voluntarily by specialists in the fields they cover and would be available for free download from the Society’s website. Within each guide the books would be listed chronologically by content, and would include background information and, if thought necessary, a critical examination of their text in the light of more recent scholarship.
The Society’s volumes are numbered in four series, three of which are in chronological order of issue while a fourth, designated ‘Extra Series’, includes occasional publications which were too lavish and costly in their production to be issued free to members. The First Series, published between 1846 and 1899, numbers 100 volumes, while the Second Series includes 190 volumes, the last of which was issued in 2000. In 1999 a new large-format Third Series was introduced and has continued to the present day.
All books published since 1874 indicate the volume number on the half-title page, and since 1899 both the series and volume numbers. Those published before 1874 are numbered consecutively by publication year according to the list prepared by Paul Hair, printed in Compassing the Vaste Globe of the Earth (2nd series, 183) and reproduced in the bibliography on this website.
So far, five guides have been completed and are available for download in PDF format. A guide to Africa is currently in preparation, while volunteers (who may be any members of the Society with specialist knowledge) are sought for the following regions:
The Atlantic Ocean, eastern Americas and the Caribbean
Europe and the Near and Middle East
Russia, Asia, China and Japan
Australasia and the East Indies
* Bernard Stonehouse passed away peacefully on 12 November 2014. Responsibility for continuing his initiative with regard to the Regional Guides has been assumed by other members of Council.