A digitisation project enabling hundreds of thousands of items from our Collections to be digitised, allowing access to wider audiences in order to support teaching and learning.
The Society has recently partnered with Wiley on an extensive digitisation programme of substantial parts of its pre-1945 Collections. Digitised materials are now 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 really 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 new WDA platform helps to facilitate making such connections through its suite of user features.
We are delighted to announce our WDA Research Fellowship recipients for 2020-21.
The projects 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.
The projects supported are as follows.
Alicia Colson (Independent): From ‘Banishment’ to ‘Cool’: a chairborne exploration of a ‘forgotten archipelago’ - Santa Catarina, Brazil
Sherezade Garcia Rangel (Falmouth University, UK): Unbound Beauty: Venezuela according to the Wiley Digital Archive
Emily Hayes (Oxford Brookes University, UK): (Un)commonplace knowledge: geographical relativity in the fin de siècle
Sandra Hayward (Independent): Hidden treasures: low-latitude historical aurorae and their relevance to future space flight
Rick Mitcham (Kindai University, Japan): Corresponding Geographies: A Critical Exploration of Walter Weston’s Contact with the Royal Geographical Society, 1892-1924
Fred Morton (University of Botswana, Botswana): Cattle People: The Tswana & Metsemegologolo: Multimodal Landscape of African Urbanisms
*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
Karen Rann (Queen’s University Belfast, UK): Moving Mountains: early uses of isobaths and contour lines on maps
Bradley Rink (University of the Western Cape, South Africa): Airmindedness redux: Growing tourism and worldliness through aeromobility in Africa
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.
Over the year, we will be sharing more information about each of the projects, new materials that are found, and how the digital archive is enabling new kinds of scholarship.
We hope to be running this programme again for 2021-22.
Featured image: Rawpixel
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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