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Royal Geographical Society (with IBG): the heart of geography
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
  • New monographs
  • Maps to 1940
  • Directorate of Overseas Surveys material
  • Manuscript Archives (collection level entries only)
  • Picture Library items (contact staff for Antarctic expeditions/Everest images)
  • Artefacts


  • 'Word or phrase' searches all searchable fields.  You can change this to ‘author’, ‘title’, etc.
  • Click ‘Switch to Power Search’ for detailed searches
  • Use the ‘Format’ tab to limit search to specific material types, for example 'Archives'
  • Search results display in a basic list
  • Click the ‘Full details’ button to see an individual record
  • Click the 'Catalog record' tab to see main record
  • To display all fields in an individual record, click ‘Change display’ , then choose ‘All’
  • ‘Browse’ (via ‘Switch to Power Search’) creates a headings list giving the number of located records per heading
  • All fields in blue are searchable


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:

  • Control number
  • Class number
    • 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 class number
    • For maps, state the country, the map type, then number, for example; 'Map type G, number U.S.A. G.45.'
  • Author
  • Title (include periodical title/volume/issue/pages here when requesting an article)
  • Publication date/edition

Ensure that you complete all requested fields.

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