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Collections events

Foyle Reading Room showcaseLed by our Collections team, we offer a number of opportunities to learn more about and see highlights of the Society’s unique Collections.

Coming up:

Workshops and showcases

Collections on view events

Lecture-related Collections displays

Be inspired



Workshops and showcases

"Thrilled to experience the most professional and in-depth presentation."

"Lovely to handle the original documents. Opens up a whole new dimension... a chance to interact and learn from documents and primary sources."

When: All events begin at 2.30pm, unless otherwise stated. Meet at the Exhibition Road reception. Booking essential, as places are limited. Book early to avoid disappointment. Refreshments provided.

Tickets: Free to members and educational users, non-members £5 payable in advance. 

To book a place:
telephone  Telephone +44 (0)20 7591 3044 or email  email


How to use the Foyle Reading Room workshop

  • Monday 23 September 2013
  • Monday 30 September 2013

An excellent introduction showing users how to get the best out of the Society’s Collections.


Mapping Everest

  • Monday 7 October 2013
  • Monday 21 October 2013

A brief history of the reconnaissance, surveying and mapping related to the attempts to climb Everest, illustrated with iconic materials and artefacts from the Society’s Collections.


 By camel and car – desert exploration

  • Monday 16 December 2013
  • Monday 23 December 2013

Exploration of three of the world’s great deserts – the Taklamakan Desert of Central Asia, the Arabian Desert and the Western or Libyan Desert of North Africa – between 1870 and 1950.


Lecture-related Collections displays in the Foyle Reading Room

Pre/post-Monday night lecture why not visit the Foyle Reading Room to see lecture-themed Collections displays on the following dates, pre-lecture from 5.30pm to 6.30pm and post-lecture from 7.30pm to 8.30pm.

  • Everest’s daughters: their stories of Captain John Noel and Griffith Pugh A display focusing on the Society’s Everest-related holdings - 16 December 2013


Be Inspired

A series of afternoon talks based on the Society’s Collections, from 2.30pm to approximately 4.00pm.

This series of Collections-specific, regular afternoon talks is given by speakers who have used the Collections to inspire their writing, travel or personal researches.  It is intended to inspire members and non-members alike to use our rich resources for their own projects.

Tickets: free to RGS-IBG members and educational users. Non-members: £5, payable in advance.

Venue: Education Centre, Lowther Lodge. Pre-booking required.

To book a place:

telephone +44 (0)20 7591 3044 or email showcase@rgs.org


Early British traders in Latin America

David J. Hogg FRGS

  • Monday 28 October 2013, 2.30pm-4.00pm

Author David Hogg tells the remarkable story of how Antony Gibbs and Sons developed their trade in Latin America from 1808 to 1918 and of the firm's association with Brunel’s SS Great Britain.


Walking to the sun Stephen Graham (travel writers and their times)

Alexander Maitland FRGS

  • Monday 25 November 2013, 2.30pm-4.00pm

Author and broadcaster Alexander Maitland explores the life and times of Stephen Graham (1884-1975), traveller, explorer, walker, journalist, novelist and broadcaster. This re-assessment of Graham’s life is interspersed with readings from his works including A Vagabond in the Caucasus, Undiscovered Russia and A Tramp’s Sketches.


Light Car Patrols 1916-19: war and exploration in Egypt and Libya with the Model T Ford

Russell McGuirk FRGS

  • Monday 2 December 2013, 2.30pm-4.00pm

Geographical historian and author Russell McGuirk, FRGS, explores the life of Light Car Patrol commander Captain Claud Williams (through Williams’ previously unpublished memoir, lodged at the Society) and provides the historical background to the patrols and their activities, including desert exploration and survey work.


Collections On View events

Linked to selected exhibitions at the Society, these browsing displays (2.30pm to 4.00pm) include rare books, maps, photographs, images, artefacts and archival material relating to the subject of an exhibition. Located in the Society's Foyle Reading Room, many items on display are unique to the Society's Collections.

Tickets: free, booking required. 

To book: telephone +44 (0)20 7591 3044 or email showcase@rgs.org


On view – the Society’s Caribbean collections

  • Friday 29 November 2013, 2.00pm-4.00pm

An open afternoon complementing the exhibition Making Freedom and highlighting the breadth and depth of the Society’s Caribbean collections. All welcome. Followed by tea and coffee in the Exhibition Pavilion from 4.00pm-5.00pm.


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