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Then and now

Then and now

Iconic highlights from the Society’s Historic Collections linked with contemporary photography

‘Then and Now’ celebrates the links between the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)’s historic Collections and contemporary photography, and is the Society’s specially curated contribution to the HLF ‘Thank-you’ campaign.

In 2004, with major support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Society was able to open up its 2-million strong Collections to the wider public as part of the ‘Unlocking the Archives’ project, which included the construction of the purpose-built Foyle Reading Room, state-of-the-art Collections storage and the opening of a new glass Exhibition Pavilion on Exhibition Road, forming a welcoming main entrance to the Society and as a space for photographic exhibitions.

‘Then and Now’ takes the Society’s December exhibition, ‘Travels with the Director’ (until 24 January) as its inspiration.

This striking series of contemporary photographs by the Society’s Director, Dr. Rita Gardner, features 15 locations ranging from the Libyan Desert to the coastline of Antarctica.

The accompanying display, to be shown in the Foyle Reading Room, selects three key themes from the Society’s Collections which resonate with photographs in the exhibition to tell earlier stories of travellers and explorers in some of those locations. The items have been selected from across the Collections to represent each medium: rare early photographs, maps, bound volumes, archive material and objects – all chosen for their specific relevance and connection to the contemporary images.

  9 January – Galápagos Islands
16 January – Libya
23 January – Antarctica

The Collections displays will be available to view in the Society’s Foyle Reading Room during the exhibition opening hours of 10.00am-5.00pm daily. The exhibition and displays are free to access for all.

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