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Geography department archives

Geography department archivesThe Research and Higher Education Committee of the RGS-IBG, with guidance from Charlie Withers and Ron Johnston, encourages geography departments to consider what records should be considered for long-term preservation. 

These records might include:

  • Departmental histories - founding, staff, changes in research areas and subject specialties
  • Enrolment data (number of students, degrees awarded, by subject)
  • Staff data (FTE, grade, specialities)
  • Departmental meeting minutes and policies
  • Endowments, grants, funding and research chairs
  • Research data that is unpublished and/or that cannot be deposited with a specialist repository

Useful resources

The following resources may help your Department in planning the archival process:

Examples of geography department histories and archives

Many geography departments have documented their histories in books and/or publish links to historical newsletters and events on their websites, such as those listed below.

  • The University of Glasgow Department of Geography celebrated its centenary in 2009, and the website contains reports from centenary activities as well as a history of the department and a list of archival sources for future research.  In addition, a special edition of the Scottish Geographical Journal was published (Vol 125 No 3-4)
  • The University of Sheffield Department of Geography celebrated its centenary in 2008, with a published history of the department, a lecture series, and an expedition
  • The University of Edinburgh Department of Geography celebrated its centenary in 2007.  You can read a short history of the department and find other centenary resources online. In addition, a special edition of the Scottish Geographical Journal was published to celebrate the department and its teaching (Volume 124, No 2-3)

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