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Geological Society of London's Centenary celebrations

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 378 GSL/CEN
Held at: Geological Society of London
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Full title: Geological Society of London's Centenary celebrations
Date(s): 1907-1908
Level of description: Series
Extent: 2 boxes
Name of creator(s): Geological Society of London | 1807-


Administrative/Biographical history:

The first step towards marking the Centenary of the founding of the Geological Society of London was the motion of Horace Bolingbroke Woodward, presented before Council on 9 November 1904, to consider the appointment of a 'Record Committee' to oversee the compilation of a history of Society. The motion was passed, and the resulting work published as: Woodward, H B. 'The History of the Geological Society of London', London: Longmans, Green and Co, 1908.

The second step was the re-election of the experienced Sir Archibald Geikie as President of the Society for the sessions 1906-1908, in view of the Centenary (he had previously served as President between 1890-1892). Much of the preliminary arrangements for the Centenary were discussed by the Record Committee during its meetings, but Council additionally constituted a 'Centenary Committee' (which included members of the Record Committee) to formally draw up a programme and organise the proposed event. Although the Society was officially founded on the 13 November 1807, it was thought that the end of September would be more convenient for the majority of colonial and foreign guests. In all, over 900 individuals were invited to participate in the Centenary celebrations of which 307 actually attended.

The official Centenary celebrations were held between 26 September-3 October 1907, however a series of preliminary field excursions to places such as the Lake District, Lyme Regis and the Forest of Dean were held in the preceding week. The Centenary celebrations were opened by a formal reception held at the Institution of Civil Engineers, at 11am on Thursday 26 September, where congratulatory telegrams from individuals and organisations from all over the world were read out. This was followed by a Presidential address at 3pm, and the day brought to a close by a dinner at the Whitehall Rooms, Hotel Metropole where further speeches were given. A Conversazione was organised for the Friday but short excursions and visits to places of interest were also available over the next few days to those who wished them. The Society's apartments were opened to the visitors: the Museum was converted to a conversation, writing and smoking room; the Council Room became a ladies' drawing room; and the Meeting Room was used as cloak room and dressing room. The Geological Society Club also hosted a dinner to entertain the foreign and colonial delegates on the evening of Friday 27 September. The celebrations were rounded off by a visit to Oxford and Cambridge Universities, where a number of the foreign delegates received honorary degrees.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers and photographs relating to the Geological Society's Centenary celebrations, 1907-1908; including:

Printed lists of invited delegates, 1907; roll of attendance, [Sep 1907]; General programme and printed notices, 1907; Text of speeches made at the opening reception, 1907-1908; Invitation, menu, table plan and photograph of the Centenary Dinner, held at the Hotel Metropole, 26 September 1907; Application forms, attendance lists, tickets, programmes, itineraries and photograph of the field excursions and museum visits held as part of the celebrations, 1907; Menu and photograph of the special Geological Society Club dinner, held 27 September 1907; Menu, table plan and photographs relating to the special visits to Oxford and Cambridge Universities, which took place 30 September-3 October 1907; Press cuttings from magazines and newspapers of reports of the Society's Centenary celebrations, 1907.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:
English and French

System of arrangement:

Removed from the 'deposited papers' series LDGSL and placed together for ease of use. Arranged according to the above.

Conditions governing access:

Access is by appointment only, daily readership fee is applicable unless you are a member of the Society. Please contact the Archivist for further information.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copies, subject to copyright and the condition of the original, may be supplied. Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Archivist.

Finding aids:

Detailed catalogue will be available soon online.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Allied Materials

Related material:

For minutes of the meetings of the Record Committee which oversaw the published centenary history of the Society, see: GSL/COM/SP/3/3-4; the extant minutes of Centenary Committee, see: GSL/COM/SP/3/4; congratulatory addresses and telegrams from institutions from all over the world to mark the Society's Centenary can be found in series: LDGSL/296-297.

Publication note:

Detailed account of the celebrations, including the text of the speeches and addresses, can be found in: Watts, W W. 'The Centenary of the Geological Society of London', London: Longmans, Green and Co, 1909; for the history of the Society, published to mark its centenary, see: Woodward, H B. 'The History of the Geological Society of London', London: Longmans, Green and Co, 1908.

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Sources: Watts, W W. 'The Centenary of the Geological Society of London', London: Longmans, Green and Co, 1909. Description by Caroline Lam.

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:
July 2012

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