Inscriptional information published and published works can be mentioned as a group that pays special attention to the history of the study of inscriptions in Sri Lanka. Among these is the Epigraphia Zeylenica, a collection of inscriptions published by the Department of Archaeology of Sri Lanka. In addition, there are several books authored by various scholars who have been concerned with the study of inscriptions. The first and second volumes of Inscriptions of Ceylon, compiled by Prof. Senarat Paranavitana, are of great importance in the study of the original Brahmi inscriptions of Sri Lanka. Many inscriptions have also been published in the journal of the Sri Lankan branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, the University of Ceylon Review, the Ceylon Antiquary, the Literary Register, and the Epigraphical Notes. The study of these inscriptions has identified many ancient social, economic, political, and religious aspects of Sri Lanka and the inscriptions are also very important to confirm the contents of the literary records.
Copying them is very important in the study of inscriptions. Initially, the Department of Archaeology obtained only manuscripts of the inscriptions, but later copies were made by trained officers. This was the first copying of inscriptions in Sri Lanka by Mr. AP Siriwardena. He was patron in this task in 1894 by an inscription expert in Madras, India.
Aside from this occasion, the letter to the Ceylon branch of the Royal Asiatic Society in 1855 on the two important inscriptions identified by A. C. Brody as the first attempt at reading inscriptions in recent history, the Thonigala and Paramakanda inscriptions, is significant. In addition, Mr. T.W Rhys Davis also contributed an article to the Indian Antiquity Magazine in 1872 about the cave inscription of Dambulla Temple.
In 1868, Governor Hercules Robinson appointed an Archaeological Commission to identify and study the inscriptions scattered throughout the Island. Sir William Gregory, who succeeded Governor Hercules as Governor of Sri Lanka, is a man who has made a great contribution to the field of archaeology in Ceylon. In 1872 he pointed out to the Legislature the need for a National Museum, where he also emphasized the importance of making copies of inscriptions and storing them securely in a museum. As a result of Governor Gregory’s interest in the study of inscriptions in Ceylon, in 1874 a German scholar, P. Goldsmith was designated to carry out further inscriptions research. Beginning in 1875, he turned his attention to Anuradhapura District.
Henry Parker, an irrigation engineer, read a number of cave inscriptions dating back to BC and then published the text along with the meaning.
After the appointment of Mr. HCP Bell as the Commissioner of Archaeology of Sri Lanka, he studied a number of inscriptions in the Kegalle Province and included them in the book The Kegalle Report. Also, the launch of the Epigraphia Zeylenica, contemporary to the Epigraphia Indica published in India, marks an important milestone in the history of inscription studies
Senarath Paranavitana, the first Sri Lankan Commissioner of Archaeology in Sri Lanka, can also be known as one of the greatest figures in the history of inscriptions in Sri Lanka after Mr. Bell. Later Commissioners of Archaeology such as Charles Godakumbura and Saddamangala Karunaratne are also important in the history of the study of inscriptions in Sri Lanka.