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THOMSON, Joseph (1858-1894)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0402 JTH
Held at: Royal Geographical Society
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Full title: THOMSON, Joseph (1858-1894)
Date(s): 1878-1901
Level of description: Collection level
Extent: 4 observation boxes
Name of creator(s): Thomson | Joseph | 1858-1894 | explorer of Africa


Administrative/Biographical history:

Born, 1858; educated, Edinburgh University, 1875-1878; geologist and naturalist to an expedition under Alexander Keith Johnston the younger, sent by the Royal Geographical Society (RGS) to open up a road from Dar es Salaam to lakes Nyasa and Tanganyika, 1878-1880; Fellow of the RGS, 1881-1895; RGS expedition to find a route between the seaboard of eastern Africa and the northern shores of Lake Victoria, 1883-1884; RGS Founder's Medal, 1885; expedition for the National African Company to gain territorial and trading privileges, 1885; expedition in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, 1888; treaty making expedition to Katanga (Shaba) for the British South Africa Company, 1890; died, 1895.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Joseph Thompson, 1878-1901, comprising four observations files, 1879-1888, including: computations of observations made in Morocco, 1883-1884 and 1888; positions, altitudes and temperatures, Tanganyika 1879; barometric observations, Morocco, 1888; barometric and hypsometric observations, Kenya, 1883-1884; computations of observations made in Kenya, 1883-1884; journals: of East Africa, 1881-1893; North Africa, 1889 and the Nile, 1879; correspondence, 1878-1901, (Correspondence Blocks 1871-1880, 1881-1910 and 1911-1920) including 17 letters 1878-1880; printed copies of letters Mar and Nov 1882 and Feb 1883; letters from Taveta 4 Apr 1883 and from Mombasa 5 Jun [1883] on his journey to Kilimanjaro and retreat from Ngara; 8 letters, Dec 1882, from the Foreign Office to Royal Geographical Society (RGS); 21 letters from Thomson 1882-1886 and 1892; 11 telegrams with typescript copies, 1883-1886; statement of financial accounts, John Kirk (Consul General, Zanzibar) in account with RGS for Thomson's expedition; 4p. proofs of 'Hints to Travellers' with corrections by Thomson; nine letters from J H Thomson (nephew) ,1901; three letters from J B Thomson (brother), 1895-1896; letters on a portrait of Thomson; letters to J Scott Keltie and letter to Gilmour (Keltie's son-in-law) nd.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Original order

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:

Collection level description available in the Foyle Reading Room

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. Revised by Sarah Drewery.
Sources: Obit. Geog. Jnl, Vol. 6, 1895, pp 289-291; Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

Rules or conventions:
ISAD(G) ed. 2, name authority NRA.

Date(s) of descriptions:
31 Jan 2001. May 2008.

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