Explore the largest collection of primary source maps and charts from the one of the world’s most prestigious geographical institutions

Founded in 1830 for the advancement of geographical sciences, the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) is a 16,500-member learned society and professional body that serves an exceptionally wide range of public and professional audiences. The society reaches millions of people each year through its work to advance geography and support geographers.

The Wiley Digital Archives: Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) collection spans all aspects of geographical thought and includes materials from the society’s library, as well as its extensive archives and maps collections. Tens of thousands of maps and charts are complemented by manuscript material, fieldnotes, correspondence, drawings, photographs, pamphlets, atlases, gazetteers, and a range of other published and unpublished material.

The collections shed light on the impact of geographical science on history, exploration, colonialism, and diplomatic policies, as well as natural resources, cultural studies, anthropology, and ethnography. Researchers can explore one of the world’s largest collection of maps and charts from their earliest geographical delineations, dating from 1486 to the 20th century, as well as atlases and gazetteers. The collections create new pathways for interdisciplinary research and education, while, at the same time, preserving one of the world’s most important geographical collections.


  • Arabia and the Middle East Photographic Collections
  • Papers of Dr. David Livingstone and Henry Morton Stanley
  • Expedition Reports, including the Everest Collection
  • Robert Gunther Collection
  • Photographic and Artwork Collections on desert exploration, the Arctic, and Antarctica
  • Harry Johnston Collection on Africa and the Caribbean
  • Central Asia and Tibet Photographic Collections
  • Travel Guides and 17th-19th century Roadbooks
  • Royal Geographical Society Manuscript Maps Collection

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Key Data


  • Cultures and Identities
  • Borders, Nations, and Power
  • Climate Change and Environmental Degradation
  • Colonial, Post-Colonial, and De-Colonization Studies
  • Development Studies
  • Gender and Representation
  • Gender Studies
  • GeoHumanities and Spatial Humanities
  • Geopolitics
  • Historical Sociology
  • Human Rights
  • International Relations
  • Law, Trade, and Policy
  • Resources and Land Use
  • Visual Cultures
  • ...and much more


  • 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


  • Charts and Plans
  • Expedition Reports and Scrapbooks
  • Fieldnotes, Correspondence, Diaries, and Personal Papers
  • Fellowship Certificates
  • Grey Literature
  • Illustrations, Sketches, and Drawings
  • Journal Manuscripts
  • Maps, Manuscript Maps, Gazetteers, and Atlases
  • Monographs
  • Photographs, Lantern Slides and Artwork
  • Proceedings and Lectures

Platform Features & Tools



Maps are discoverable via text search or a visual geographic browsing tool, and downloadable as GeoTiff files for use in GIS software suites.



Typeset and handwritten statistical tables are exportable into CSV files, in both fielded and structured formats.



A range of tools for interrogating primary sources, including term frequency, term popularity, term clusters, concordance, collocation, word clouds and frequency distribution tools.

Reviews & Testimonials

“This unique, extremely user-friendly collection of historical sources is highly recommended. Wiley’s dedication to the user experience, as demonstrated through promises of expanding the breadth of digitized materials from additional partnerships, improved features and search capabilities, and prominent invitations for feedback, make it an exciting platform to comb through, as well as one to keep an eye on as it expands and adapts to user needs.”

Katie McGaha, Library Journal


“Wiley Digital Archives presents extremely robust features and tools for users. The dense archival collections are highly navigable with rich metadata and advanced filtering functionality. The range of exploration and analysis tools present users with innovative ways to explore within—and across—archives and collections.”

Look inside the Archives

Supporting Materials

Royal Geographical Society: A Wiley Digital Archives Collection brochure

View Brochure

Royal Geographical Society Fact Sheet

View Fact Sheet

Current & Final Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) Content List

Download Current Content List

Faculty and Students: Royal Geographical Society 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

Royal Geographical Society: Inside the Collection

Download Ebook

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