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THE

ROYAL GEOGRAPHICAL SOCIETY
OF LONDON,

15, WHITEHALL PLACE.

PATRON, THE QUEEN.

ORIGIN, OBJECTS, AND PROGRESS.

The Royal Geographical Society was founded in the year 1830, and shortly afterwards the African and Palestine Associations* were incorporated into it.

The objects of the Society were at an early period stated to be—

1. To collect, register, digest, and print, in a cheap and convenient form, such useful and interesting facts and discoveries as the Society might from time to time acquire.

2. To collect a Library of Geographical "Work?, ancient and modern; Voyages and Travels; Instruments; Maps and Charts; as well as such Documents and Materials as might convey the readiest information to persons intending to visit Foreign Countries, and who might again in their turn there deposit the results of their observations for the benefit of the Public.

3. To prepare brief instructions for such as are setting out on their travels, pointing out the parts most desirable to be visited; the best and most practical means of proceeding thither; the researches most essential to make; phenomena to be observed; the subjects of Natural History most desirable to be procured; and to obtain all such information as might tend to the extension of our Geographical Knowledge.

4. To Correspond with similar Societies in different parts of the world, with foreign individuals engaged in Geographical pursuits, and with intelligent British subjects in the various Settlements of the Empire.

5. To reward with a Medal, or otherwise, such individuals as in the opinion of the Council had of late contributed most towards the advance of Geographical Science and Discovery.

In order to show, at a glance, the various inquiries which it was proposed to encourage, the leading divisions of the science were thus arranged:—

* The former established in 1788; the latter in 1805.

Geography

{Of the mass and form of the globe.
Motions and intrinsic properties of the globe.
Of effects from celestial causes.

Natural divisions and geological features of the world.
Mountains, places, deserts, mines, and minerals.
Particulars of the animal and vegetable kingdoms.
Physical ■{Seas, lakes, rivers, and springs.

'Currents, tides, hydrographical data.
Climate, winds, weather, and seasons.
.Volcanoes, earthquakes, and other phenomena.

'Ancient and modern history of the earth.
The distribution of races and languages.
Names, derivations, and revolutions of states and cities.
Special \ Latitudes and longitudes, astronomical and geodesical.
The variation, dip, and other magnetic phenomena.
Determination of heights and distances.
Relative magnitudes of all countries and nations.

V Political

Population, division of the people, general statistics.

Artificial divisions of lands, agriculture, produce,
i Commerce, manufactures, fisheries.
'Government, manners, customs, laws, policy.
.Canals, roads, mills, bridges, markets.
(Religion, education, forces, arts.

A.—JOUKNAL.

In the pursuit of these objects, the Society has published an Annual Journal of Transactions, comprising a large number of interesting Memoirs, and prepared with great care. The Journal, now extending to twenty-four volumes (to the first twenty of which a "General Index" has been published), contains the most important original papers read before the Society, illustrated by numerous costly Maps and Diagrams, by our best practical geographers, such as Arrowsmith, Walker, Findlay, Hughes, &c.

These volumes comprise nearly 500 original papers, of which 15 are on Europe, 130 on Asia, 78 on Africa, 83 on America, 44 on Australia and the Islands, 26 on General Geography, besides 120 Analyses of Works and Miscellaneous Articles. The Illustrations consist of 185 Maps and Charts, besides 59 Views, Cuts, and Diagrams, which have greatly contributed to the improvement of the maps prepared for the public by geographers.

Among the names of the authors of the above papers may be mentioned those of—

Abich, Ainsworth, Allen, Back, Baer, Baines, Barker, Barrow, Barth, Beke, Bethune, Bollaert, Brierly, Brown, Brunner, Buist, Burnes, Burton, Butakoff, Carless, Carter, Chaix, Chesney,

Clarke, Colchester, Collinson, Colthurst, Cooley, Crawfurd,
Cruttenden, Davis, Dease, Dickson, Douglas, Duncan, Earl,
Erskine, Eyre, Findlay, Fitzgerald, FitzRoy, Forbes, Forch-
hammer, Franklin, Galton, Gassiot, Gordon, Graberg da
Hemsoe, Graves, Gregory, Grey, Grover, Gutzlaff, Haines,
Hamilton, Harvey, Helpman, Henderson, Higgin, Hilhouse,
Hoffmann, Hogg, Hooker, Inglefield, Jackson, Jervis, Jochmus,
Jones, Kennedy, Lander, Latham, Layard, Leake, Lefroy,
Leichhardt, Leigh, Leycester, Lindley, Livingston, Lloyd,
Logan, Long, Lysaght, McClure, McGillivray, McQueen,
Maiden, Mathison, Mitchell, Molyneux, Monteith, Moorcroft,
Miiller, Murchison, Newbold, Norris, Oersted, Oswell, Over-
weg, Parish, Parkes, Parkyns, Paynter, Prevost, Prudhoe, Rae,
Eawlinson, Renouard, Richardson, Rink, Robinson, Roe,
Saunders, Schomburgk, Selby, Seymour, Simpson, Skene, Smith,
Smyth, Snow, Spratt, Stokes, Strachey, Sturt, Sykes, Synge,
Temple, Tickell, Thomson, Thurburn, Vetch, Vidal, Vigne,
Vogel, Wallace, Wallin, Washington, Whitney, Wildenbruch,
Wilkinson, Wrangel, Yorke.

The Journal is presented, upon application, free to the Members of the Society, as well as to the principal Public Institutions of this and other countries, and is sold to the public at a very moderate price.

In addition to the Journal, the Society has also aided in the publication of various works of interest, which otherwise would not easily have been brought before the public, such as ' Voyage to Greenland,' by Captain Graah, of the Danish Navy; the 'Grammar of the Cree Language,' by Mr. Howse, &c.

B.—LIBRARY AND MAP-ROOMS.*

A large and valuable collection of Books, Pamphlets, Manuscripts, Atlases, Maps, Charts, Plans, Views, Models, and Instruments, has been formed, fresh accessions to which are being constantly received through the liberality of public and private contributors from all parts of the world, the names of whom are duly registered in the published Journals of the Society.

Among the Books will be found many works on Systematic Geography, as well as numerous Collections of Voyages and Travels, &c. The Library also contains a rich collection of the Transactions of other Learned Societies; together with the official

* The Library is one of circulation among the Members.

publications of different Governments relating to the various branches of Geographical Science.

Among the Maps are many of great value, not otherwise accessible to individuals seeking information in this country, such as the Topographical Maps of France and other countries, presented by the Depot de la Guerre; Maps of Sweden and Norway, Denmark, Russia, Austria, Bavaria, Saxony, Wurtemberg, Holland, Belgium, Spain, the Swiss Cantons, the Italian States, the Survey of India, and those of the United JStates, presented to the Society by the Governments of those countries. The Charts and Sailing Directions of the Admiralty, of the French Depot de la Marine, and of the Hydrographical Departments of the Russian, Danish, Dutch, Spanish, and United States' Governments, have also been contributed to the Society's collection, together with those of the principal private establishments of this and other countries.

Besides these may be mentioned the original MS. Maps sent to the Society, since its foundation, by travellers, voyagers, and explorers, forming a very interesting and most important part of the collection.

The Map-rooms of the Society having, by the direction of the Council, been thrown open to the public, this arrangement, as well as the general utility of the Institution,' has been liberally recognised by an annual grant of 500/. from Her Majesty's Government

The Government exhibits also its interest in the welfare of the Society by making it the medium of communicating to the public various Official Despatches of Geographical importance; and with the sanction of the Government, the British Consuls and Vice-Consuls abroad, have been invited to collect such geographical information as they may be able to do, for transmission to the Society.

C—INSTRUCTIONS TO TRAVELLERS; CORRESPONDENCE,

ETC.

In preparing instructions and in aiding such travellers as the Council may think proper persons to carry out its objects, the Society has not been idle. A condensed Notice, entitled "Hints for Travellers," drawn up at the request of the Council, is published in the twenty-fourth volume of the Journal, separate copies of which may he obtained hy travellers upon application to the Secretary.

In the Library various works, embodying more detailed advice to travellers, may be consulted; and at the Evening Meetings, as well as through the medium of the Secretary, opportunities are afforded for obtaining information from the most experienced Members of the Society.

Besides the liberal presentation of its publications to the principal Public Institutions* of this and of other countries, a copy of the Journal is also furnished to each of the Foreign Honorary and Corresponding Members on whom the Diploma of the Society has been conferred. These are, at present, Akrell, the Archduke John of Austria, Baer, Balbi, Beautemps-Beaupre, Berghaus, Carrasco, Cassalegno, Chaix, Coello, Daussy, D'Avezac, Duperrey, Ehrenberg, Erman, Everett, Falkenstein, Grinnell, HammerPurgstall, Hansteen, Helmersen, Hiigel, Humboldt, Jomard, Karacsay, Kupffer, Liitke, Macedo, Madoz, Martius, Meyendorf, Negri, Oberreit, Pelet, Rafn, Ranuzzi, Ritter, Riippell, the Grand Duke Constantine of Russia, Santarem, Schomburgk, Schoolcraft, Struve, Swart, the Crown Prince of Sweden and Norway, Tanner, Tchihatcheff, the Grand Duke of Tuscany, Urcullu, Vander Maelen, Woerl, Worcester, Wrangel, Zeune, Ziegler.

D.—EXPEDITIONS.

Every quarter of the globe bears testimony to the exertions of the Society in behalf of Geographical enterprise and discovery. Various important Expeditions, involving a cost of several thousand pounds, have been carried out entirely at the expense of the Society, while numerous others have been assisted with grants of money, loan of instruments, and useful instructions. In these the support of Government has likewise often been liberally given. Among the Expeditions may be mentioned, the Arctic Expeditions under Sir George Back and others, that of Sir James Alexander in Southern Africa, the Kurdistan Expedition of Ainsworth and Rassam,t that under Grey and Lushington to Western Australia,

* A list of which is annually printed in the Journal.

t In conjunction with the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.

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