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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0402 SSC/11
Held at: Royal Geographical Society
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Date(s): 1865-1952
Level of description: Collection level
Extent: Unknown
Name of creator(s): The British Association for the Advancement of Science


Administrative/Biographical history:

The British Association for the Advancement of Science (BA) was founded in York on 27 September 1831. The organisation's initial purpose as expressed through its annual meetings held in different towns and cities throughout the UK was: 'to give a stronger impulse and a more systematic direction to scientific inquiry; to promote the intercourse of those who cultivate Science in different parts of the British Empire with one another and with foreign philosophers; to obtain more general attention for the objects of Science and the removal of any disadvantages of a public kind that may impede its progress.'

Notable events at early meetings include the coining of terms such as 'scientist' and 'dinosaur, 1841, also the debate on Darwinism between Huxley and Wilberforce, 1860, Joule's experiments, 1840s and the first demonstration of wireless transmission, 1894.

The BA organises major initiatives across the UK, including the annual BA Festival of Science, National Science and Engineering Week, programmes of regional and local events, and an extensive programme for young people in schools and colleges. The BA is a charity established under Royal Charter and governed by a Council which forms the Board of Trustees.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of The British Association for the Advancement of Science, 1865-1952, comprise committee Minute Book of Section E (Geography and Ethnology), 1865-1873; correspondence of the geodetic committee of Section A, 1917-1919; minutes and correspondence of a committee for the making of a popular map of the British Isles, 1921-1947; minutes, notes and correspondence of the geographical glossary committee, 1950-52; photocopies of papers resulting from the work of a committee appointed in 1947 to 'collect of the revival of Geography in the British Isles dating from the later years of the nineteenth century'. (The papers provide biographical details about academic geographers.)

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

As in Scope and Content.

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 the discretion of the Archivist and subject to completion of 'application for copies' form. No reproduction or publication without permission of the RGS-IBG Archivist.

Finding aids:

A hard copy catalogue and card list can be found in the Foyle Reading Room at the Royal Geographical Society and online at Access to Archives.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:


Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Prepared by an archives volunteer using existing finding aids and edited by Samantha Velumyl, AIM25 cataloguer.

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:
10 December 2001 and modified May 2008.

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