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The Royal Geographical Society (RGS) is a
learned society A learned society (; also known as a learned academy, scholarly society, or academic association) is an organization that exists to promote an discipline (academia), academic discipline, profession, or a group of related disciplines such as the ...
and professional body for
geography Geography (from Ancient Greek, Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and Solar System, planets. The first person t ...

geography
based in the United Kingdom. Founded in 1830 for the advancement of geographical sciences, the Society has 16,000 members, with its work reaching the public through publications, research groups and lectures. The Society was founded in 1830 under the name ''Geographical Society of London'' as an institution to promote the 'advancement of geographical science'. It later absorbed the older
African Association The Association for Promoting the Discovery of the Interior Parts of Africa (commonly known as the African Association), founded in London London is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or j ...
, which had been founded by
Sir Joseph Banks Sir Joseph Banks, 1st Baronet, (19 June 1820) was an English Natural history, naturalist, botanist, and patron of the natural sciences. Banks made his name on the 1766 natural-history expedition to Newfoundland and Labrador. He took part in ...
in 1788, as well as the Raleigh Club and the
Palestine Association The Palestine Association, formerly the Syrian Society, was formed in 1805 by William Richard Hamilton to promote the study of the Geography of Palestine, geography, natural history, antiquities and anthropology of Palestine (region), Palestine and ...
. The society is governed by its Council, which is chaired by the Society's President, according to a set of statutes and standing orders. The members of Council and the President are elected from and by its Fellows, who are allowed to use the postnominal title FRGS. As a Chartered body, the RGS holds the register of Chartered Geographers in the public interest, a source of qualified, practising and experienced professional geographers. Fellows may apply for chartership if they fulfil the required criteria.


History

The Society was founded in 1830 under the name ''Geographical Society of London'' as an institution to promote the 'advancement of geographical science'. It later absorbed the older
African Association The Association for Promoting the Discovery of the Interior Parts of Africa (commonly known as the African Association), founded in London London is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or j ...
, which had been founded by
Sir Joseph Banks Sir Joseph Banks, 1st Baronet, (19 June 1820) was an English Natural history, naturalist, botanist, and patron of the natural sciences. Banks made his name on the 1766 natural-history expedition to Newfoundland and Labrador. He took part in ...
in 1788, as well as the Raleigh Club and the
Palestine Association The Palestine Association, formerly the Syrian Society, was formed in 1805 by William Richard Hamilton to promote the study of the Geography of Palestine, geography, natural history, antiquities and anthropology of Palestine (region), Palestine and ...
. Like many
learned societies A learned society (; also known as a learned academy, scholarly society, or academic association) is an organization An organization, or organisation (Commonwealth English The use of the English language English is a of ...
, it had started as a dining club in London, where select members held informal dinner debates on current scientific issues and ideas. Founding members of the Society include
Sir John Barrow Sir John Barrow, 1st Baronet, (19 June 1764 – 23 November 1848) was an English geographer A geographer is a physical scientist, social scientist or humanist whose area of study is geography Geography (from Greek Greek may ...
,
Sir John Franklin Sir John Franklin (16 April 1786 – 11 June 1847) was a British Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare Naval warfare is combat Combat ( French for ''fight'') is a purposeful violent conflict m ...

Sir John Franklin
and Sir Francis Beaufort. Under the patronage of
King William IV William IV (William Henry; 21 August 1765 – 20 June 1837) was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland There have been 12 British monarchs There have been 12 British monarchs since the political union A political un ...

King William IV
it later became known as The Royal Geographical Society (RGS) and was granted its Royal Charter under
Queen Victoria Victoria (Alexandrina Victoria; 24 May 1819 – 22 January 1901) was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland There have been 12 British monarchs since the political union of the Kingdom of England The Kingdom of En ...

Queen Victoria
in 1859. From 1830 to 1840 the RGS met in the rooms of the
Horticultural Society A horticultural society is an organization devoted to the study and culture of cultivated plants. Such organizations may be local, regional, national, or international. Some have a more general focus, whereas others are devoted to a particular ...
in
Regent Street Regent Street is a major shopping street in the West End of London. It is named after George IV of the United Kingdom, George, the Prince Regent (later George IV) and was laid out under the direction of the architect John Nash (architect), J ...

Regent Street
, London and from 1854 -1870 at 15 Whitehall Place, London. In 1870, the Society finally found a home when it moved to 1 Savile Row, London – an address that quickly became associated with adventure and travel. The Society also used a lecture theatre in
Burlington Gardens Burlington Gardens is a street in central London, on land that was once part of the Burlington Estate. Location The street is immediately to the north of the Royal Academy of Arts and joins Old Bond Street and New Bond Street in the west and Vi ...
, London which was lent to it by the Civil Service Commission. However, the arrangements were thought to be rather cramped and squalid. A new impetus was given to the Society's affairs in 1911, with the election of Earl Curzon, the former
Viceroy of India The Governor-General of India (1773–1950, from 1858 to 1947 the Viceroy and Governor-General of India, commonly shortened to Viceroy of India) was the representative of the Monarch of the United Kingdom The monarchy of the United Kin ...
, as the Society's President (1911–1914). The premises in Savile Row were sold and the present site,
Lowther Lodge Lowther Lodge is a house in South Kensington South Kensington is a district just west of Central London Central London is the innermost part of London London is the Capital city, capital and List of urban areas in the United ...

Lowther Lodge
in Kensington Gore, was purchased for £100,000 and opened for use in April 1913. In the same year the Society's ban on women was lifted.
Lowther Lodge Lowther Lodge is a house in South Kensington South Kensington is a district just west of Central London Central London is the innermost part of London London is the Capital city, capital and List of urban areas in the United ...

Lowther Lodge
was built in 1874 for the William Lowther by
Norman Shaw Richard Norman Shaw RA (7 May 1831 – 17 November 1912), also known as Norman Shaw, was a British architect An architect is a person who plans, designs and oversees the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to provide ...
, one of the most outstanding domestic architects of his day. Extensions to the east wing were added in 1929, and included the New Map Room and the 750 seat Lecture Theatre. The extension was formally opened by at the Centenary Celebrations on 21 October 1930. The history of the Society was closely allied for many of its earlier years with 'colonial' exploration in Africa, the Indian subcontinent, the polar regions, and central Asia especially. It has been a key associate and supporter of many notable
explorers Exploration is the act of searching for the purpose of discovery (observation), discovery of information or resources, especially in the context of geography or space exploration, space, rather than research and development that is usually not ...

explorers
and
expeditions Exploration is the act of searching for the purpose of discovery Discovery may refer to: * Discovery (observation) Discovery is the act of detecting something new, or something previously unrecognized as meaningful. With reference to scien ...
, including those of
Darwin Darwin most often refers to: * Charles Darwin (1809–1882), English naturalist and writer, best known as the originator of the theory of biological evolution by natural selection * Darwin, Northern Territory, a capital city in Australia * Darwin ( ...

Darwin
,
Livingstone Livingstone is a surname and given name. The surname is toponymic. It is one of the habitual surnames eventually adopted by members of the Scottish branch of the Irish Dunleavy (Gaelic languages, Gaelic language Duinnshléibhe)/MacNulty royals, ...

Livingstone
,
Stanley Stanley may refer to: People * Stanley (name) Stanley is a toponymic surname dating from the 11/12th century contraction of ''Stan'' (a form of "Stone") and ''wikt:leigh, Leigh'' (meadow), later also being used as a masculine given name. Pers ...

Stanley
,
Scott Scott may refer to: Places Canada * Scott, Quebec Scott is a municipality in the Municipalité régionale de comté de la Nouvelle-Beauce in Quebec ) , image_shield=Armoiries du Québec.svg , image_flag=Flag of Quebec.svg , coordinate ...
, Shackleton,
Hunt Hunting is the practice of seeking, pursuing and capturing or killing wildlife Wildlife traditionally refers to undomesticated animal species (biology), species, but has come to include all organisms that grow or live wild in an area ...
and Hillary. The early history of the Society is inter-linked with the history of British Geography, exploration and discovery. Information, maps, charts and knowledge gathered on expeditions was sent to the RGS, making up its now unique geographical collections. The Society published its first journal in 1831 and from 1855, accounts of meetings and other matters were published in the Society Proceedings. In 1893, this was replaced by ''
The Geographical Journal ''The Geographical Journal'' is a quarterly peer-reviewed Peer review is the evaluation of work by one or more people with similar competencies as the producers of the work ( peers). It functions as a form of self-regulation by qualified memb ...
'' which is still published today. The Society was also pivotal in establishing Geography as a teaching and research discipline in British universities, and funded the first Geography positions in the Universities of
Oxford Oxford () is a city in England. It is the county town In the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' u ...
and
Cambridge Cambridge ( ) is a university city and the county town In the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' ...
. With the advent of a more systematic study of geography, the ''Institute of British Geographers'' (IBG) was formed in 1933, by thirteen geographers including
Hilda Ormsby Hilda Ormsby born Hilda Rodwell Jones (1 November 1877 – 23 October 1973) was a United Kingdom, British academic and geographer. Life Ormsby was born in Hanley, Staffordshire in 1877. Her father was a minister and the family moved around the co ...
, Andrew Charles O'Dell, as the RGS was seen as too focused on exploration. Its activities included organising conferences, field trips, seminars and specialist research groups and publishing the journal,
Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers The ''Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers'' is a peer-reviewed Peer review is the evaluation of work by one or more people with similar competencies as the producers of the work ( peers). It functions as a form of self-regula ...
. The RGS and IBG co-existed for 60 years until 1992 when a merger was discussed. In 1994, members were balloted and the merger agreed. In January 1995, the new Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) was formed. The Society also works together with other existing bodies serving the geographical community, in particular the
Geographical Association The Geographical Association (GA) is a United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for ...
and the
Royal Scottish Geographical Society The Royal Scottish Geographical Society (RSGS) is an educational charity based in Perth, Scotland founded in 1884. The purpose of the society is to advance the subject of geography worldwide, inspire people to learn more about the world around ...
. In 2004, The Society's historical Collections relating to scientific exploration and research, which are of national and international importance, were opened to the public for the first time. In the same year, a new category of membership was introduced to widen access for people with a general interest in geography. The new Foyle Reading Room and glass Pavilion exhibition space were also opened to the public in 2004 – unlocking the Society intellectually, visually and physically for the 21st century. For example, in 2012 the RGS held an exhibition, in the glass Pavilion, of photographs taken by
Herbert Ponting Herbert George Ponting, FRGS The Royal Geographical Society (RGS) is a learned society A learned society (; also known as a learned academy, scholarly society, or academic association) is an organization that exists to promote an disci ...
on Captain
Robert Falcon Scott Captain Captain is a title for the commander of a military unit, the commander of a ship, aeroplane, spacecraft, or other vessel, or the commander of a port, fire department or police department, election precinct, etc. The captain is a mil ...
's expedition to the South Pole in 1912.


Governance


Council

The society is governed by its
board of trustees A board of directors is a group of people who jointly supervise the activities of an organization, which can be either a for-profit or a nonprofit organization such as a business, nonprofit organization, or a government agency. The powers, du ...

board of trustees
called the council, which is chaired by its president. The members of council and the president are elected from its
fellow A fellow is a broad concept whose exact meaning depends on context. In learned Learning is the process of acquiring new understanding, knowledge, behaviors, skills, value (personal and cultural), values, attitudes, and preferences. The abil ...
ship. The council consists of 36 members, 22 of which are elected by fellows and serve for a three-year term. In addition to the elected trustees, there are honorary members—who include the
Duke of Kent The title of Duke of Kent has been created several times in the peerages of peerage of Great Britain, Great Britain and the peerage of the United Kingdom, United Kingdom, most recently as a Royal dukedoms in the United Kingdom, royal dukedom for ...
as honorary president—who sit on the council. The society has five specialist committees that it derives advice from the Education Committee, Research Committee, Expedition and Fieldwork Committee, Information Resources Committee, and the Finance Committee.


Presidents


Membership

There are four categories of individual membership:


Ordinary membership

Anyone with an interest in geography is eligible to apply to become a member of the RGS-IBG.


Young Geographer

People aged between 14 and 24 currently studying, a recent graduate of geography or a related subject.


Postgraduate Fellow of the Society

This status is available by application to postgraduate students who are pursuing Geography or an allied subject at a UK university and are recommended by their relevant university head of department or main research supervisor.


Fellowship

Fellows of the Society must either be proposed and seconded by an existing fellow or an individual may submit evidence of his or her own work and academic publications in the field of geography and closely related subjects such as
international development International development or global development is a broad concept denoting the idea that societies and countries have differing levels of economic An economy (; ) is an area of the production Production may be: Economics and business * P ...
,
climate change Contemporary climate change includes both the global warming caused by humans, and its impacts on Earth's weather patterns. There have been previous periods of climate change, but the current changes are more rapid than any known even ...
and expedition medicine. Applicants must be of at least 21 years of age and provide evidence of a body of relevant work; alternatively, a previous five-year commitment at the regular member level (less, at the council's discretion) is also considered for eligibility. Fellows may use the
post-nominal Post-nominal letters, also called post-nominal initials, post-nominal titles, designatory letters or simply post-nominals, are letters placed after a person's name to indicate that the individual holds a position, academic degree, accreditation, ...
designation ''FRGS'' after their names.


Chartered geographer

Since 2002 the society has been granted the power to award the status of chartered geographer. The status of can be obtained only by those who have a degree in geography or related subject and at least 6 years' geographical experience, or 15 years' geographical work experience for those without a degree. Being awarded the status allows the use of the post-nominal letters "CGeog". Chartered geographer (teacher) is a professional accreditation available to teachers who can demonstrate competence, experience and professionalism in the use of geographical knowledge or skills in and out of the classroom, and who are committed to maintaining their professional standards through ongoing continuing professional development (CPD).


Research groups

The Society's Research and Study Groups bring together active researchers and professional geographers in particular areas of geography. There are 27 active research groups, with each group organising their own seminars, conferences, workshops and other activities.


Medals and awards

The society also presents awards to
geographers A geographer is a physical scientist, social scientist or humanist whose area of study is geography Geography (from Ancient Greek, Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of ...
that have contributed to the advancement of geography. The most prestigious of these awards are the
Gold Medals A gold medal is a medal awarded for highest achievement in a non-military field. Its name derives from the use of at least a fraction of gold in form of gold plate, plating or alloying in its manufacture. Since the eighteenth century, gold medal ...
(Founder's Medal 1830 and the Patron's Medal 1838). The award is given for "the encouragement and promotion of geographical science and discovery", and are approved by
Queen Elizabeth II Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary; born 21 April 1926) is Queen of the United Kingdom The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional monarchy A constitutional mo ...

Queen Elizabeth II
. The awards originated as an annual gift of fifty
guineas The guinea ( ; commonly abbreviated gn., or gns. in plural) was a coin, minted in United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Great Britain between 1663 and 1814, that contained approximately one-quarter of an ounce of gold. The name came from t ...
from
King William IV William IV (William Henry; 21 August 1765 – 20 June 1837) was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland There have been 12 British monarchs There have been 12 British monarchs since the political union A political un ...

King William IV
, first made in 1831, "to constitute a premium for the encouragement and promotion of geographical science and discovery". The Society decided in 1839 to change this monetary award into two gold medals: Founder’s Medal and the Patron’s. The award has been given to notable geographers including
David Livingstone David Livingstone (; 19 March 1813 – 1 May 1873) was a Scottish physician, Congregationalist, and pioneer Christian missionary A missionary is a member of a Religious denomination, religious group sent into an area to promote thei ...

David Livingstone
(1855),
Nain Singh Rawat Nain Singh (21 October 18301 February 1882), also known as Nain Singh Rawat, was one of the first Indian explorers (dubbed "Pundit (explorer), pundits") employed by the British India, British to explore the Himalayas and Central Asia. He came fro ...
(1876), Baron
Ferdinand von Richthofen Baron Ferdinand Freiherr von Richthofen (5 May 18336 October 1905), better known in English as was a Germany, German traveller, geographer, and scientist. He is noted for coining the terms "Seidenstraße" and "Seidenstraßen" = "Silk Road(s)" or ...

Ferdinand von Richthofen
(1878),
Alfred Russel Wallace Alfred Russel Wallace (8 January 18237 November 1913) was a British natural history, naturalist, explorer, geographer, anthropologist, biologist and illustrator. He is best known for independently conceiving the theory of evolution throug ...
(1892), and
Frederick Courtney Selous Frederick Courteney Selous, Distinguished Service Order, DSO (; 31 December 1851 – 4 January 1917) was a British people, British explorer, British Army, officer, professional hunter, and conservation movement, conservationist, famous for his ex ...
(1893) to more recent winners including Percy Harrison Fawcett (1916), Professor
William Morris Davis William Morris Davis (February 12, 1850 – February 5, 1934) was an American geographer A geographer is a physical scientist, social scientist or humanist whose area of study is geography Geography (from Greek Greek may refer to: ...

William Morris Davis
(1919),
Sir Halford John Mackinder Sir Halford John Mackinder (15 February 1861 – 6 March 1947) was an English geographer A geographer is a physical scientist, social scientist and humanist whose area of study is geography, the study of Earth's natural environment and hum ...
(1945), Professor L. Dudley Stamp (1949), Professor (1987) and Professor
David Harvey David W. Harvey (born 31 October 1935) is a British-born Marxist Marxism is a method of socioeconomic Socioeconomics (also known as social economics) is the social science that studies how economic activity affects and is shaped by s ...
(1995). In 2004
Harish Kapadia Harish Kapadia (born 11 July 1945) is a distinguished Himalayas, Himalayan mountaineer, author and long-time editor of the ''Himalayan Journal'' from India. He has been awarded the Patron's Medal of the Royal Geographical Society, the Tenzing No ...
was awarded the Patron's Medal for contributions to geographical discovery and mountaineering in the Himalayas, making him the second Indian to receive the award in its history. In 2005 the Founder's Medal was awarded to Professor Sir
Nicholas Shackleton Sir Nicholas John Shackleton (23 June 1937 – 24 January 2006) was an English geologist and paleoclimatologist who specialised in the Quaternary Period. He was the son of the distinguished field geologist Robert Millner Shackleton and great-n ...
for his research in the field of
Quaternary The Quaternary ( ) is the current and most recent of the three periods of the Cenozoic The Cenozoic ( ; ) is Earth's current geological era An era is a span of time defined for the purposes of chronology or historiography, as in the regnal ...
Palaeoclimatology Paleoclimatology (American and British English spelling differences, British spelling, palaeoclimatology) is the study of climates for which direct measurements were not taken. As instrumental records only span a tiny part of Earth's history, the ...
and the Patron's Medal was awarded to Professor Jean Malaurie for a lifelong study of the
Arctic The Arctic ( or ) is a polar regions of Earth, polar region located at the northernmost part of Earth. The Arctic consists of the Arctic Ocean, adjacent seas, and parts of Alaska (United States), Canada, Finland, Greenland (Danish Realm, ...

Arctic
and its people. In 1902 they awarded khan Bahadur Sher Jang a Sword of Honour (the Black Memorial) in recognition of his valuable services to geography In total the society awards 17 medals and awards including Honorary Membership and Fellowships. Some of the other awards given by the Society include: * The Victoria Medal (1902) for "''conspicuous merit in research in Geography''" * The
Murchison Award The Murchison Award, also referred to as the Murchison Grant, was first given by the Royal Geographical Society in 1882 for publications judged to have contributed most to geographical science in preceding recent years. Recipients Source (1882–1 ...
(1882) for the "''publication judged to contribute most to geographical science in preceding recent years''" * The
Back Award The Back Award, also referred to as the Back Grant, was first given by the Royal Geographical Society The Royal Geographical Society (RGS) is one of the United Kingdom's learned societies and the professional body for geography Geog ...
(1882) for "''applied or scientific geographical studies which make an outstanding contribution to the development of national or international public policy''" * The Busk Medal for "''conservation research or for fieldwork abroad in Geography or in a geographical aspect of an allied science''" * The
Cuthbert Peek Award Sir Cuthbert Edgar Peek, 2nd Baronet (30 January 1855 – 6 July 1901) was an astronomer and meteorologist, and took part in activities of several learned societies. Life Peek was born at Wimbledon, London on 30 Jan. 1855, the only child of Henry ...
(1883) for "''those advancing geographical knowledge of
human impact on the environment Human impact on the environment or anthropogenic impact on the environment includes changes to biophysical environments A biophysical environment is a biotic and abiotic surrounding of an organism In biology, an organism (from An ...
through the application of contemporary methods, including those of earth observation and mapping''" * The
Edward Heath Sir Edward Richard George Heath (9 July 191617 July 2005) was a British politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom The prime minister of the United Kingdom is the head of government The head of government is ...
Award (1984) for "''geographical research in either Europe or the developing world''" * The
Cherry Kearton Medal and Award The Cherry Kearton Medal and Award is an honour bestowed by the Royal Geographical Society The Royal Geographical Society (RGS) is one of the United Kingdom's learned societies and the professional body for geography Geography (fro ...
for "a traveller concerned with the study or practice of natural history, with a preference for those with an interest in
nature photography Nature photography is a wide range of photography Photography is the art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized b ...

nature photography
, art or cinematography". * The Ness Award for "travellers, particularly those who have successfully popularised Geography and the wider understanding of our world and its environments"


Collections

The Society's Collections consist of over two million documents, maps, photographs, paintings, periodicals, artefacts and books, and span 500 years of geography, travel and exploration. The Society preserves the Collections for the benefit of future generations, while providing public access and promoting Collections-related educational programmes for schools and lifelong learners. The Foyle Reading Room acts as a consultation space for using the Society's collections, and hosts showcases and workshops as well as the ''Be Inspired'' series of talks.


Artefacts

The artefacts collection includes over a thousand items brought to the Society, consisting mainly of cultural objects from around the world, ranging from Inuit boots (from Canadian Arctic) to ceremonial leopard's claws (from the then Belgian Congo), paraphernalia of exploration, for example oxygen sets used in the various attempts on Everest, and personal items belonging to explorers, such as Shackleton's Burberry helmet. Artefacts from the collection have been loaned to exhibitions around the world and are in continual demand.


Books and journals

The library collection holds over 150,000 bound volumes which date primarily from the foundation of the Society in 1830 onwards, and focus on the history and geography of places worldwide. Example volumes include information on European migration, a 19th-century guidebook to Berlin, and David Livingstone's account of his search for the source of the
Nile The Nile, , Bohairic , lg, Kiira , Nobiin Nobiin, or Mahas, is a Northern Nubian languages, Nubian language of the Nilo-Saharan languages, Nilo-Saharan language family. "Nobiin" is the genitive case, genitive form of ''Nòòbíí'' ("Nub ...

Nile
. It currently receives around 800 journal titles, as well as many more journal titles that are either not currently subscribed to, or have ceased publication, allowing Society members access to the latest geographical academic literature in addition to the journals published by the RGS-IBG itself.


Expedition report

The RGS-IBG houses a collection of 4,500 expedition reports. These documents contain details of the achievements and research results of expeditions to almost every country of the world. The catalogue of these reports, and over 8,500 planned and past expeditions, is held on a database which provides contact with a wide variety of sporting, scientific and youth expeditions from 1965 to the present day.


Maps and atlases

The Society holds one of the largest private map collections in the world which is continuously increasing. It includes one million sheets of maps and charts, 3000 atlases, 40 globes and 1000 gazetteers. The earliest printed item in the Collection dates back to 1482. The RGS-IBG also holds manuscript materials from the mid sixteenth century onwards, aerial photography from 1919 and contemporary satellite images.


Manuscript archive

The Manuscript archive collection consists of material arising out of the conduct of Society business and manuscripts relating to persons or subjects of special interest. The document collection includes a few papers from before the Society's foundation in 1830, and is particularly useful to biographers of nineteenth and early twentieth century travellers and geographers, as well as research into the development of geographical knowledge and the historical development of geography.


Events recordings

Since 1994, the Society has recorded the majority of its Monday night lectures – Society members and Fellows can watch selected lectures from 2006 onwards online.


Photographs and artworks

The Society's Picture Library holds over half a million photographs, artworks, negatives, lantern slides and albums dating from around 1830. Historic images range from the Antarctic adventures of Scott and Shackleton to the pioneering journeys of Livingstone, Baker, Speke and Burton.


Grants

An important way in which the RGS-IBG develops new knowledge and advances geographical science is by providing funding for geographical research and scientific expeditions. The Society offers a number of
grants Grant or Grants may refer to: Places *Grant County (disambiguation)Grant County may refer to: Places ;Australia * County of Grant, Victoria ;United States *Grant County, Arkansas *Grant County, Indiana *Grant County, Kansas *Grant County, K ...
to researchers, students, teachers and independent travellers. More than 70 projects are supported each year and in excess of £180,000 is awarded annually. Research has been conducted in more than 120 countries, from Namibia to Brazil to Greenland.


Expeditions, fieldwork and independent travel grants

Every year the RGS-IBG helps teams of students and researchers to get into the field with Geographical Fieldwork Grants, the Society's longest running grant scheme. The newest initiative is the RGS-IBG International Field Centre Grants, for work in international field centres in developing nations. Independent travel grants support geographical expeditions.


Student grants

Each year, the Society supports over 50 student fieldwork projects, from PhD students collecting data for their dissertation to groups of undergraduates looking to get out into the field for the first time. Grants are available for both human and physical geography projects, in any area of the world.


Research grants

The Society supports a range of field and desk-based research by academic geographers, from established researchers undertaking fieldwork to early career academics working on smaller projects. The RGS-IBG also supports academics attending geographical conferences around the world. Some awards focus on particular geographical regions or topics, with others open to any aspect of the discipline.


Teaching grants

The Society supports innovation in teaching geography at secondary and higher education level, offering several awards for school teachers to work alongside researchers in geographical research, so to develop educational resources for the classroom, and to create teaching materials.


Public engagement


21st Century Challenges

21st Century Challenges is the Society's discussion series that aims to improve public understanding of, and engagement with, some of the big issues likely to affect our lives and society in the coming years. The talks are held at the Society's headquarters in South Kensington, London, with all talks available to watch online along with additional information.


Discovering Britain

Discovering Britain is a website featuring a series of self-led geographical walks that help explain the stories behind the UK's built and natural landscapes. Each walk explores a particular landscape, finding out about the way in which the forces of nature, people, events and the economy have created and shaped the area. There are now more than 120 walks on the Discovering Britain website, covering all regions of the United Kingdom. Walks are themed according to the landscape in which they are located, including built, prehistoric, historic, working, hidden and changing landscapes. Walks also look at people in the landscape, and shaping, preserving and exploiting the landscape.


Hidden Journeys

Hidden Journeys is a public engagement project of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) that started in 2010. The Hidden Journeys website combines images, stories and maps (many from the Society's geographical collections) into a series of interactive guides of popular flight paths, enabling people to explore the incredible places they fly over and might see from the air. Since launching, online guides have been published for more than 25 flight paths, including London to
Johannesburg Johannesburg (, also ; ; Zulu language, Zulu and xh, eGoli ), informally known as Jozi, Joburg, or "The City of Gold", is the largest city in South Africa, classified as a Megacity#List of megacities, megacity, and is List of urban areas by ...

Johannesburg
, New York City to Los Angeles, Sydney to Singapore,
Madrid Madrid ( , ) is the capital and most populous city of Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_ ...

Madrid
to
Rio de Janeiro Rio de Janeiro (; ), or simply Rio, is the List of largest cities in Brazil, second-most populous city in Brazil and the Largest cities in the Americas, sixth-most populous in the Americas. Rio de Janeiro is the capital of the Rio de Janeiro (s ...

Rio de Janeiro
. The Hidden Journeys project is also integrating its content with the moving maps aboard
airliners An airliner is a type of aircraft An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to flight, fly by gaining support from the Atmosphere of Earth, air. It counters the force of gravity by using either Buoyancy, static lift or by using the Lift (forc ...
, as a new form of
in-flight entertainment In-flight entertainment (IFE) refers to the entertainment available to aircraft passengers during a flight. In 1936, the airship ''Hindenburg'' offered passengers a piano, lounge, dining room, smoking room A smoking room (or smoking lounge) ...
(IFE) that has been termed geo-entertainment or geotainment. In December 2013,
Singapore Airlines Singapore Airlines (abbreviation An abbreviation (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, k ...

Singapore Airlines
began a trial of an enhanced moving map that featured Hidden Journeys content. Developed in partnership between Hidden Journeys and the IFE software company Airborne Interactive, the enhanced map is available for the Singapore-London route on the airline's brand new
Boeing 777-300ER The Boeing 777, commonly referred to as the Triple Seven, is an American wide-body airliner A wide-body aircraft, also known as a twin-aisle aircraft, is an with a wide enough to accommodate two passenger s with seven or more seats abr ...

Boeing 777-300ER
(flight number SQ308 and SQ319), and features a range of geographical facts and highlights, photography and maps, all curated by the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG). Information is delivered in real time, with content changing as the flight progresses, so for example, while a passenger is passing over the United Kingdom, they'll be met with a pop-up that explains the origins and importance of the English Channel.


Schools

The RGS-IBG education department offers courses, resources, accreditation, grants, awards, competitions and school membership, all for the benefit of teachers, students and parents. It also runs the Geography Ambassador scheme.


Educational resources

The Society produces cases studies, lesson plans and activity ideas for an all levels of learning, from KS1 up to post-GCSE. The Geography in the News website is available for Schools Members and Young Geographers. It has more than 300 topical case studies. Many of the Society's other resources are free to use.


Geography Ambassadors

The Geography Ambassadors scheme recruits, trains and supports volunteer undergraduate, postgraduate and graduate geographers from universities and business. Geography Ambassadors deliver lively, activity-based sessions at schools and they engage with more than 30,000 pupils each year. The scheme is aimed at introducing students to the benefits of studying geography beyond a compulsory level in schools, but also into higher education and employment.


Competitions

The Society also has competitions for students studying geography. The Young Geographer of the Year has four categories for students in KS2 through to A-Level. All students have to produce posters on a given topic, except the A-Level students who are expected to write an essay. For A-Level students there is also the David W. Smith Memorial Award, an annual essay competition, and the Ron Cooke Award for the best A-Level coursework.


Publications


Journals

The Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)'s scholarly publications provide an outlet and support for the dissemination of research across the breadth of the discipline. In 2012, three main journals alone were accessed online internationally over 1.3 million times. * ''
Area Area is the quantity Quantity is a property that can exist as a multitude or magnitude, which illustrate discontinuity and continuity. Quantities can be compared in terms of "more", "less", or "equal", or by assigning a numerical value in ...
'': has an annual prize for new researchers. * '' GEO: Geography and Environment'': an open access journal launched in 2014. * ''
The Geographical Journal ''The Geographical Journal'' is a quarterly peer-reviewed Peer review is the evaluation of work by one or more people with similar competencies as the producers of the work ( peers). It functions as a form of self-regulation by qualified memb ...
'' (''GJ''): focusing on public debates, policy-oriented agendas and notions of 'relevance' the long-running ''GJ'' has international reach. * ''
Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers The ''Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers'' is a peer-reviewed Peer review is the evaluation of work by one or more people with similar competencies as the producers of the work ( peers). It functions as a form of self-regula ...
'': one of the international journals of geographical research. * '' WIREs: Climate Change'': developed in association with the
Royal Meteorological Society The Royal Meteorological Society is a long-established institution that promotes academic and public engagement in weather and climate science. Fellows of the Society must possess relevant qualifications, but Associate Fellows can be lay enthusia ...
and
Wiley-Blackwell Wiley-Blackwell is an international scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly publishing business of John Wiley & Sons John Wiley & Sons, Inc., commonly known as Wiley (), is an American multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multina ...
, this review journal provides an important new encyclopaedic reference for climate change scholarship and research.


Magazine

''
Geographical Geography (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10. ...
'' is the official monthly magazine of the Society, and has been published continuously since 1935. The magazine contains illustrated articles on people, places, adventure, travel, and environmental issues, as well as summarising the latest academic research and discoveries in geography. ''Geographical'' also reports news of the Society's latest work and activities to members and the public.


See also

*
Hakluyt Society The Hakluyt Society is a text publication society A text publication society is a learned society which publishes (either as its sole function, or as a principal function) scholarly editions of old works of historical or literary interest, or ar ...
*
History of science The history of science covers the development of science Science (from the Latin word ''scientia'', meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and Taxonomy (general), organizes knowledge in the form of ...

History of science
* List of British professional bodies *
List of Royal Societies This is a list of Royal Societies listed alphabetically with the date of founding: UK and Ireland *Royal Academy, founded 1768 *Royal Aeronautical Society 1866 *Royal African Society 1968 *Royal Anthropological Institute 1871 *Royal Asiatic So ...
*
Royal Institution The Royal Institution of Great Britain (often the Royal Institution, abbreviated 'Ri' or 'RI') is an organisation for scientific education and research, based in the City of Westminster The City of Westminster is a City status in the Unite ...

Royal Institution
*
Royal Scottish Geographical Society The Royal Scottish Geographical Society (RSGS) is an educational charity based in Perth, Scotland founded in 1884. The purpose of the society is to advance the subject of geography worldwide, inspire people to learn more about the world around ...


References


Further reading

*Mill, H.R. (1930) ''The record of the Royal Geographical Society, 1830–1930'', London : Royal Geographical Society, 288 p. *Royal Geographical Society (2005) ''To the ends of the Earth : visions of a changing world : 175 years of exploration and photography'', London : Bloomsbury, *Winser, S. (Ed.) (2004) ''Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers expedition handbook'', New ed., London : Profile,


External links


Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)
: the heart of geography
Royal Geographical Society Picture Library
– Images of travel & exploration * {{coord, 51.5013, -0.1754, display=title, region:GB_scale:2000 Fellows of the Royal Geographical Society 1830 establishments in the United Kingdom Geography of the United Kingdom Geographic societies Learned societies of the United Kingdom Organizations established in 1830 Organisations based in the United Kingdom with royal patronage South Kensington