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Greenough's World

Greenough world edit

Support our appeal to help preserve the map collection of one of the Society's founders, and first President, George Bellas Greenough (1778-1855).

GSL Library Greenough World

Example of one of Greenough's maps which is in poor condition. The cloth backing is very brittle and fragile, resulting in the map splitting apart.

One of the most important collections in the Society's archive is the geological map collection of George Bellas Greenough. After nearly 200 years, many are in very poor condition, and are too fragile to be handled. This means they are currently closed to public view. To enable future researchers to access these rare and important maps, we are seeking donations to fund their digital preservation.

To launch the project, we are concentrating on the maps of the British Isles. The total required to digitally preserve these maps is £2000. Donations of all amounts are welcome to help us reach our target.

About the collection

Greenough published only three geological maps in his lifetime: ‘Geological Map of England & Wales’ (1st edition, 1820, and 2nd edition, 1840) and ‘General sketch of the physical and geological features of British India’ (1854). However, his geological map collection, which was bequeathed to the Society on his death in 1855, shows that he in fact produced several hundred, covering most of the then known world. The maps are especially important because they reveal the rapid evolution of the science of geology through one man's eyes: from its simplistic beginnings to the modern science we recognise today.

What we plan to do

When we have digitised each map they will appear on a special exhibition page which will build up a picture of Greenough's vision of the geology of the world in the first half of the 19th century. Help us colour in Greenough's World by sponsoring the digitisation of a particular country!

To launch the project, we are concentrating on the maps of Scotland, England & Wales and Ireland. Click on a country below to see a list of the maps to be digitised.

GB final


Fundraising regulator 

Scotland England Ireland