The Royal Geographical Society was established in 1830 to promote scientific geography. They worked to create geography as a discipline in it’s own right and wanted to fill in the blanks on maps.
The Royal Geographical Society’s Library has over 2 million items including maps, atlases, books, images, objects and the archives of the society itself.
I really enjoyed the presentation by the librarian. He detailed voyages into African in search of the source of the Nile as well as voyages to the Antarctica to discover what was in the interior (nothing). he used images of the explorers to tell their tale as well as maps to describe where they journeyed, what they saw and what was thought of the geography at that time. Objects were also used to further the story such as scientific instruments and what they were used for as well as personal objects and what they can tell about the journey as a whole but also the individual who owned them. A pair of explorers’ shoes were well-worn and obviously self-repaired, which depicts a tough journy and a need to be inventive when supplies were not readily available.
A skill that librarians, especially those in archives or special collections, should try and cultivate is story-telling. Being able to tell a story from the objects that you have is a way to present them to the public in a way that they understand and is interesting.