The Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) is the UK's learned society and professional body for geography, founded in 1830 for the advancement of geographical sciences. Today, it is the leading centre for geographers and geographical learning. The Society has over 16,500 members and its work reaches millions of people each year through publications, research groups and lectures.


Partial content launch 2019.

Collection Features:

Materials are from a date range of 1450-2018

  • Accounts and bills
  • Atlases
  • Books – including incunables (the very earliest printed books)
  • Committee Records, memoranda and minutes
  • Correspondence
  • Domestic Manuals
  • Grants, Charters, Wills and Statutes
  • Illustrations, Sketches, Photos and Drawings
  • Journals
  • Manuscripts
  • Maps (tens of thousands), including manuscript maps
  • Personal Papers
  • Physical Artifacts
  • Proceedings and lectures
  • Questionnaires
  • Reports
  • Scrapbooks
  • & More!

Collection Specifics:

  • Expedition reports
  • David Livingstone papers relating to the colonization of Africa
  • Papers relating to Scott’s Polar expedition
  • Unpublished material relating to the 1953 conquest of Everest
  • T.E. Lawrence papers (Lawrence of Arabia)
  • Manuscript map (unpublished maps) collections
  • Memoirs and diaries of colonial administration
  • & Much More!


The RGS archive is perfect for researchers studying Geography (in all its different forms and manifestations: physical, cultural, historical, anthropological, etc). The archive is also suitable for researchers engaging in General History Research, Colonial and post-Colonial Studies, Social Anthropology, Historical Sociology, British Empire History, Economics of the developing world including Development Studies, Law and government relating to colonization, International Relations, European Studies, Human Rights, Cartography, Cultural Semiotics, History of photography, Gender Studies (women in the developing world), Climate and Climate change studies, Agriculture.

Advisory Board

Wade Davis, Professor of Anthropology, University of British Columbia.

Felix Driver, Professor of Human Geography, Royal Holloway, University of London

Mona Domosh, Professor of Geography, Dartmouth College

Alison Blunt, Professor of Geography, Queen Mary University of London

David Lambert, Professor of History, University of Warwick

  • Royal Geographical Society: A Wiley Digital Archives Collection brochure

    View Brochure
  • Wiley Digital Archives and the Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers Partner to Digitize Millions of Pages of Unique Primary Source Content Read Press Release

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