If there is one thing philatelists are not short of it is reading material.
Decades of book publishing has produced a wealth of literature on every subject imaginable and each month brings a swathe of new titles. Coupled to that, society magazines, articles, catalogues and the multitude of websites and forums and, well…you get the picture.
One particular publication that I think should be high on any Latin America collectors list though is The Mainsheet.
Produced quarterly between 1972 and 2004, The Mainsheet ran to 104 issues and covered every aspect of Latin American philately with a strong emphasis on the early years.
The Mainsheet was launched and published by John and Molly Fosbery with Brian Moorhouse as Sales Manager. Brian took over the editorship in 1981 when John Fosbery stepped down.
The journal of The Spanish Main Society
It was the journal of The Spanish Main Society, a UK based organization that catered for collectors of Latin America and included meetings, an auction, club packet and specialist sub-groups.
Contributors included many advanced collectors of the day who would supplement their own findings with data from the past to provide fresh insights into the key issues with numerous side trips into various philatelic backwaters.
The articles are as relevant today as they were when published: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Columbia and Peru are particularly well catered for although all countries are represented across its thirty-two year existence.
I had amassed a reasonable selection of back issues until I spotted the full series, professionally bound, in a recent auction. Too good an opportunity to miss, the five volumes now provide a readily accessible reference source to dip into.
They still crop up from time to time in stamp auctions and are thoroughly recommended. Get in touch if you are looking for back issues; I usually have a selection to hand.