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How to use our online catalogue
How to use our in-house catalogue

How to use our online catalogue

Guidance materials to assist with the use of our online catalogue and details of its contents.

Our online catalogue holds:

  • Library pre-1910 author entries
  • Biographies
  • Polar and Central Asia subject entries
  • Post-2000 monographs
  • Maps and atlases (except some European country mapping post-1940)
  • Directorate of Overseas Surveys material
  • Manuscript Special Collections (collection level entries only)
  • Picture Library items (contact staff for Antarctic expeditions/Everest images)
  • Artefacts


  • A 'Keyword’ search finds the given term in any searchable field on the records.  You can limit your search fields to ‘Author’, ‘Title’, etc by using the drop-down menus.
  • Use the ‘Item type’ tab to limit search to specific material, e.g. 'Maps', ‘Books’, etc. or leave all options unchecked to search for all types of material
  • Alternatively switch to the ‘Collection’ tab to limit your search to related groups of material e.g. ‘Picture’ will search all catalogue records relating to images regardless of specific type (photographs, paintings, drawings, etc.)
  • Search results display in a basic list
  • Click on the ‘Title’ line (in blue) of a list item to see the full catalogue record for that item.
  • Use the “Back to results” link in the top, right-hand corner of the record to return to your results list or the “Next” / ”Previous” links or to navigate through the list


On registration, you will be provided with a request form. If you wish to order items in advance of your visit please download the Request form (MSWord), complete it and email the document to enquiries@rgs.org.

Even if you are requesting remotely, we will still need the following fields:

  • Title (include periodical title/volume/issue/pages here when requesting an article)
  • Author
  • Control number
  • Publication date/edition
    • Call number (located in the centre of the “holdings” tab at bottom of record)
    • Items with a ‘xx’ number - check if it is a periodical article, a biography/Central Asia/Polar subject entry or published post-1910
    • Look up post-1910 authors and periodicals in our remaining card catalogues to find call number
    • For maps - if there is a geographical name given in the Call Number then this name is part of the number and MUST be included on the request form

Please ensure that you complete all fields for which information is available on the record.

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