In collaboration with Wiley, the Society has digitised substantial parts of its pre-1945 Collections. Digitised materials are available for research through the Wiley Digital Archives (WDA) platform.
Our Collections contain over two million documents, maps, photographs, paintings, periodicals, artefacts and books, and span 500 years of geography, travel and exploration.
The richness and potential of the Collections lies in our ability to make connections between materials in many different formats, drawing together items scattered across the different parts of the collections to build up a richer portrait of a given place, person or expedition. In addition to enabling access to hundreds of thousands of digitised items and materials, the WDA platform helps to facilitate making such connections through its suite of user features.
We are delighted to open applications for Wiley Digital Archives Research Fellowships for 2022-23. These Fellowships will provide successful researchers with access to the Wiley Digital Archives for six months, to pursue a focused research project on a part-time basis. Applicants are encouraged to use this opportunity to pilot new projects and/or to support and enable their existing research. Please note that there is no direct financial support provided through the scheme.
This year, to recognise the centenary of the first of the Society’s supported expeditions to climb Mountain Everest, we strongly encourage applications that focus on the Himalayan and high mountain materials in the archives. We are particularly interested in themes of the environment (and subsequent environmental change), technology, the expertise and contributions of local communities, and critical assessment of the legacies of these expeditions. Projects that involve a engagement with community groups and/or public outputs are particularly encouraged.
The Society is actively involved in a number of projects relating to this broad theme. Examples include: the AHRC Other Everests network, our current exhibition at the Society on Everest through the lens and presentations in our autumn programme linked to the exhibition.
The deadline for applications is 16 January 2023. A completed application form and signed terms and conditions should be returned to email@example.com. Up to 10 WDA Research Fellowships will be awarded. Applications will be reviewed by a panel including representatives from the Society, the Society’s Collections Advisory Group, and Wiley. We expect to notify applicants of the outcome in early February 2023.
We can provide preliminary access to the WDA to support the development of proposals. To request this, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, affiliation, and broad area of interest.
Terms and conditions
The projects supported cover a wide range of topic areas, advancing knowledge and providing new insights on a number of key themes, including providing new insights into the science and technology of exploration, making use of innovative new digital methodologies, highlighting hidden and forgotten histories, exploring under-researched parts of the Collections, and more. To read more about each of the projects, new materials that are found, and how the digital archive is enabling new kinds of scholarship please see the interviews and talks linked below.
Nokmedemla Lemtur (University of Göttingen, Germany): Labour in the lofty peaks: tracing lives of high altitude porters in the Mount Everest Expeditions (1921 – 1953) Read our interview with Nokmedemla
Maria Sebastian Sebastian (University of the Balearic Islands, Spain): Travelling women. Depictions of the Mediterranean area in the narratives of Emilia F. Noel and Margaret Hasluck Read our interview with Maria
Joy Slappnig (Royal Holloway, University of London, UK): Marshall Islands stick charts and the idea of the ‘Indigenous map’
Jonathan Westaway (University of Lancashire, UK): Encountering the Indigenous body in the Himalayan Borderlands: Gurkhas, Sherpas, and the embodied construction of 'Martial' and 'Mountain' Races in British India, 1890-1947 Read our interview with Jonathan
Alicia Colson (Independent): From ‘Banishment’ to ‘Cool’: a chairborne exploration of a ‘forgotten archipelago’ - Santa Catarina, Brazil Read our interview with Alicia
Sherezade Garcia Rangel (Falmouth University, UK): Unbound Beauty: Venezuela according to the Wiley Digital Archive Read our interview with Sherezade and watch her Be Inspired talk
Emily Hayes (Oxford Brookes University, UK): (Un)commonplace knowledge: geographical relativity in the fin de siècle Read our interview with Emily
Sandra Hayward (Independent): Hidden treasures: low-latitude historical aurorae and their relevance to future space flight Read our interview with Sandra
Rick Mitcham (Kindai University, Japan): Corresponding Geographies: A Critical Exploration of Walter Weston’s Contact with the Royal Geographical Society, 1892-1924 Read our interview with Rick
Fred Morton (University of Botswana, Botswana): Cattle People: The Tswana & Metsemegologolo: Multimodal Landscape of African Urbanisms Read our interview with Fred
*Joanne Norcup (University of Warwick, UK): The life and legacies of the 1998 British Council / Royal Geographical Society exhibition (1998) Photos and Phantasms: Sir Harry Hamilton Johnston’s photographs of the Caribbean (1908 – 1909)
Catherine Oliver (University of Cambridge, UK): Animals in the Royal Geographical Society’s archives Read our interview with Catherine and watch the 'Be inspired' talk
Karen Rann (Queen’s University Belfast, UK): Moving Mountains: early uses of isobaths and contour lines on maps Read our interview with Karen
Bradley Rink (University of the Western Cape, South Africa): Airmindedness redux: Growing tourism and worldliness through aeromobility in Africa Read our interview with Bradley and watch his Be Inspired talk
Shaun Seah (Columbia University, USA): ‘Watch on Deck – the Orientalist gaze of tourists, naval officers and colonial officialdom along the Straits of Singapore’ (1850-1950)
*awarded but not taken up.
If you are interested in learning more about how to use the Wiley Digital archive, please see our resource.
This month we caught up with Dr Alicia Colson and Dr Sherezade Garcia Rangel to find out more about their projects as part of the Wiley Digital Archive Research Fellowship.
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