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BARCLAY, William Singer (1871-1947)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0402 WSB
Held at: Royal Geographical Society
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Full title: BARCLAY, William Singer (1871-1947)
Date(s): 1901-1918
Level of description: Collection level
Extent: 4 boxes, 16 files
Name of creator(s): Barclay | William Singer | 1871-1947 | explorer


Administrative/Biographical history:

William Singer Barclay was born in 1871; educated at Bedford School and on leaving school travelled to central Uruguay to join a relative who was contracted to build a railway. This contract was cancelled and led to Barclay travelling South and Central America for twenty years. Barclay contributed to the Society's journal from 1904; became editor of a monumental commercial map of South America, published by George Philip in 1922; worked as General Secretary of the Tower Hill Improvement Trust and in later life lectured at the Society's evening meetings; became an authority on South America working as Commercial Secretary to the British Mission to South America, under Sir Maurice de Bunsen during the latter part of World War One and General Secretary to the British Empire trade exhibition in Buenos Aires, 1929-1931. Barclay was a fellow of Royal Geographical Society, 1903-1947 and received the Back Award in 1913. He died in 1947.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of William Singer Barclay, 1901-1918, comprise diaries, 1901-1918, of residence and travel in Uruguay, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina Ecuador and Colombia; reports on the Misiones region, 1904-1907 and miscellaneous notes and news cuttings from a variety of sources concerning South America.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Arranged in chronological order.

Conditions governing access:

Accessible 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 an 'application for copies' form. No reproduction or publication without the permission of the RGS-IBG Archivist.

Finding aids:

The RGS Archives: a handlist compiled by Christine Kelly (London: RGS, 1977); full catalogue available online at Access to Archives; hard copy catalogue and card list can be found in the Foyle Reading Room at the Royal Geographical Society.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Diaries were donated to the RGS in 1966.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Album D3 photograph collection, letter from Barclay to W E Goodenough, 1933.

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Sources: The Geographical Journal 1947, Vol: 109 pp 286/7.
Prepared by Archives Vounteer 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:
24 May 2001 modified in May 2008.

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