This article is from the rec.heraldry FAQ, by Gordon Findlay (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Francois Velde (email@example.com) with numerous contributions by others.
The following are a few of the many books on heraldry and the work of
heralds. The list is specifically aimed at the beginner, but includes
the most often quoted references (Papworth, Woodward, Fairbairn).
See also the annotated bibliography at <http://www.heraldica.org/biblio/>.
Heraldry books can be hard to track down. One very good source is:
Heraldry Today, Parliament Piece, Ramsbury, Wiltshire SN8 2QH, ENGLAND.
Get to know your local second-hand book dealer too!
Bedingfeld, H. and Gwynn-Jones, P. _Heraldry_. London, Magna Books, 1993.
Boutell, C. (Revised J.P. Brooke-Little) _Boutell's Heraldry_. London,
1863 (latest edition 1983).
Brooke-Little, J.P. _An Heraldic Alphabet_. London, 1973 (revised
Burke, Sir Bernard. _The General Armory of England, Ireland, Scotland
and Wales_. Heraldry Today, first printed 1842; final edition 1884;
Dennys, R. _The Heraldic Imagination_. London, 1975.
Dennys, R. _Heraldry and the Heralds_. London, 1982.
Elvin, C.N. _A Dictionary of Heraldry_. Heraldry Today, 1889; reprinted
Evans, I.O. _The Observer's Book of Flags_. Fredrick Warne and Co.,
Fairbairn, J. _Fairbairn's Book of Crests of the Families of Britain and
Ireland_. 1905, reprinted 1983.
Fox-Davis, A.C. (revised and annotated J.P. Brooke-Little). _A Complete
Guide to Heraldry_. London, 1909; revised edition 1985.
Franklyn, J. _Shield and Crest_. MacGibbon and Kee, London, 1960;
revised edition 1967.
Friar, S. (ed) _A New Dictionary of Heraldry_. Alphabooks, London, 1987.
Friar, S. and Ferguson, J. _Basic Heraldry_. Herbert Press, London, 1993.
MacKinnon, C. _The Observer's Book of Heraldry_. Fredrick Warne and Co,
Moncreiffe, Sir Iain, and Pottinger, D. _Simple Heraldry_. London, 1953.
Neubecker, O. _Heraldry: Symbols, Sources and Meaning_. London, 1976.
Papworth, J. _Ordinary of British Armorials: An Alphabetical Dictionary
of Coats of Arms Belonging to Families in Great Britain & Ireland_.
Heraldry Today, Bath 1884, reprinted 1977.
Scott-Giles, C.W. _The Romance of Heraldry_. London, revised edition 1967.
von Volborth, C.A. _Heraldry: Customs, Rules and Styles_. Poole, 1981.
von Volborth, C.A. (ed. D.H.B. Chesshyre) _Heraldry of the World_.
Wagner, Sir Anthony. _Heraldry in England_. London, 1946.
Woodcock, T. and Robinson, J.M. _The Oxford Guide to Heraldry_. OUP,
[An excellent general introduction, with much material not
found in the other introductions listed here, but much more
reliable on English heraldry than any other countries]
Woodward, J. and Burnett, G.A. _Treatise on Heraldry, British and
Foreign_. 1891, reprinted 1969, with new introduction by L.G. Pine,
Charles E Tuttle Co., Rutland, Vermont.
A very large and scholarly bibliography of heraldic references was
compiled by David Sanders (firstname.lastname@example.org). It covers the entire
world, and several centuries. It is available for anonymous FTP
in ZIP format from ftp.heraldica.org as /pub/heraldry/faqs/sanders.zip
(alternate URL <http://www.heraldica.org/faqs/sanders.zip>).