Thursday, 24 July 2014

Royal Geographical Society Library & Archive

     The last library we visited as a class was the Royal Geographical Society Library and Archive. This photo  was taken by Steve Cadman and posted on Flickr; I am using it because I did not happen to get a picture of the library. Here is the link:
In fact, the only photograph I was able to take was the one below of the nameplate. 

     When we arrived, we were greeted by a very nice librarian, Eugene Rae. Eugene had an impressive spread of archives displayed on a large table. We sat in chairs around the table (it was so nice to sit and listen instead of having to stand for an hour or two) to listen to him. He told us the display was one that was considered a hot and cold display. None of us knew what the term meant. He proceeded to tell us the history of the term. The cabbies of London called the statues of Livingston and Shackleton found outside the building, hot and cold. Livingston was famous for exploring Africa, and Shackleton explored the Arctic, hence the nickname hot and cold (how clever). I forgot to take a picture of the statues after leaving, so I borrowed the one below from

     Eugene gave us information about what he does on a daily basis with the library and archives. Not only does he work the reading room, talk to groups, and help researchers, he also coordinates the use of the archives with museums around the world. The archives contain over 2 million items. Half of the collection are maps from all over the world at various times in the past and present. The rest of the collection contains atlases, globes, pictures, books, bound periodicals, and artifacts.
     The Royal Geographical Society was formed in 1830. The society helped fund expeditions to unknown parts of the world. Eugene mainly talked about Livingston and Shackleton's expeditions. He showed us some really awesome artifacts while spinning the mens' stories like a web in front of us. 
     If you would like to get more information about the Royal Geographic Society, you can go to their website: RGS. The website allows you to search the collection, place a hold on the item, and browse items on the same shelf. The website also has a stunning digitized collection of their photograph collection.

Here is the links to their social media sites:
Linkedin This takes you to a private group-you have to ask permission

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