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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0402 CB4
Held at: Royal Geographical Society
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Full title: RGS CORRESPONDENCE BLOCK 1851-1860
Date(s): 1851-1860
Level of description: Collection level (sub-fonds)
Extent: 23 boxes
Name of creator(s): Royal Geographical Society


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Royal Geographical Society (RGS) was founded in 1830 as the Royal Geographical Society of London. Its aim was the advancement of Geographical Science. The Society was granted a Royal Charter by Queen Victoria in 1859. In 1995 the RGS merged with the Institute of British Geographers (IBG) to create the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers).


Scope and content/abstract:

Royal Geographical Society Correspondence Block, 1851-1860, consists of correspondence with the Society covering administrative matters as well as all aspects of geography and exploration throughout the world. These files contain incoming letters only, replies are held separately in the out-letter books. Authors include the Admiralty, Sir James Edward Alexander, Capt Henry Haversham Godwin-Austen, Dr William Balfour Baikie, Samuel W Baker, John Thomas Baines, John Bartholomew Junior, Dr Heinrick Barth, James Silk Buckingham, Richard Francis Burton, Board of Education, Earl of Ellesmere, Lt Col George Everest, Lady Jane Franklin, Francis Galton, Sir John W Herschel, Joseph Hume / India Office, London Missionary Society, Sir Roderick Impey Murchison, Erasmus Ommanney, Maj Gen Edward Sabine, Dr Norton Shaw, Charles Stuart, the War Office and Alfred Russel Wallace.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:
Mainly English but with some letters in other European languages.

System of arrangement:

Alphabetically by author or institution.

Conditions governing access:

Accessed via the Foyle Reading Room. Free of charge for Fellows, Members and those with valid academic identification. All other users pay a charge and must bring identification in order to register on arrival.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Photocopying at Archivist's discretion, and subject to completion of Request for Copies form. No reproduction or publication without permission of the RGS-IBG Archivist. Please note that in some cases copyright of the author or owner may need to be sought.

Finding aids:

The RGS archives: a handlist / compiled by Christine Kelly. London: RGS, 1977. Also Access to Archives database at

Archival Information

Archival history:

In most cases the items were sent to the RGS directly by their authors and have remained with the Society ever since.

Immediate source of acquisition:

Transferred directly from the RGS Secretary to the Archives.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Correspondence Blocks 1-3 and 5-11, RGS Administrative Papers, Out-Letter Books, Director's correspondence.

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Compiled by Sarah Drewery using hard copy listings held in-house.

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal Place and Corporate Names 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
Nov 2008.

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