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Royal Geographical Society collections receive support and support new research

The Royal Geographical Society with IBG, is partnering with Wiley Digital Archives (WDA) on an extensive digitisation programme of substantial parts of the pre-1945 Collections.

As part of its mission to undertake research on the Collections and to make the Collections more accessible to a wider audience, in collaboration with Wiley, it has recently awarded 11 Research Fellowships for 2020-21 which provide researchers with access to the WDA platform, who would not otherwise have access to it.

The projects cover a wide range of topic areas, advancing knowledge on a number of key themes, including providing new insights into the science and technology of exploration, making use of innovative new digital methodologies, highlighting hidden and forgotten histories, exploring under-researched parts of the Collections, and more.

The projects supported are as follows.

  • Alicia Colson (Independent): From ‘Banishment’ to ‘Cool’: a chairborne exploration of a ‘forgotten archipelago’ - Santa Catarina, Brazil

  • Sherezade Garcia Rangel (Falmouth University, UK): Unbound beauty: Venezuela according to the Wiley Digital Archive

  • Emily Hayes (Oxford Brookes University, UK): (Un)commonplace knowledge: geographical relativity in the fin de siècle

  • Sandra Hayward (Independent): Hidden treasures: low-latitude historical aurorae and their relevance to future space flight

  • Rick Mitcham (Kindai University, Japan): Corresponding geographies: a critical exploration of Walter Weston’s contact with the Royal Geographical Society, 1892-1924

  • Fred Morton (University of Botswana, Botswana): Cattle people: the Tswana and Metsemegologolo: multimodal landscape of African urbanisms

  • Joanne Norcup (University of Warwick, UK): The life and legacies of the 1998 British Council / Royal Geographical Society exhibition (1998) Photos and Phantasms: Sir Harry Hamilton Johnston’s photographs of the Caribbean (1908 – 1909)

  • Catherine Oliver (University of Cambridge, UK): Animals in the Royal Geographical Society’s archives

  • Karen Rann (Queen’s University Belfast, UK): Moving mountains: early uses of isobaths and contour lines on maps

  • Bradley Rink (University of the Western Cape, South Africa): Airmindedness redux: growing tourism and worldliness through aeromobility in Africa

  • Shaun Seah (Columbia University, USA): Watch on Deck – the Orientalist gaze of tourists, naval officers and colonial officialdom along the Straits of Singapore (1850-1950)

More information about each of the projects, new materials that are found, and how the digital archive is enabling new kinds of scholarship with be shared over the year.

The programme is expected to run again for 2021-22.


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