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Archives & Special Collections

Kircher 72

Detail from Athanasius Kircher’s ‘Jesu Mundus subterraneus, in XII libros digestus’, (1665)

One of the greatest strengths of the Geological Society’s Library collections is its outstanding historical material which is available for consultation by Fellows and visitors.

Topics covered include:

  • Development of geology and its related subjects from the 16th century to the present day.

  • Palaeontological discoveries including the earliest descriptions of dinosaurs and other extinct life.
  • Industrial Revolution, a subject closely entwined with the history of geology, as it was civil engineering activities undertaken during this period which exposed rocks and fossils, allowing detailed analysis and an increase of knowledge.
  • Exploration and mapping such as Sir Roderick Impey Murchison's (1792-1871) travels in Russia and around Europe. The Library also holds many of the earliest geological maps of the world including Australia, South Africa, Borneo and Siberia.
  • Plate tectonics and continental drift, notably the papers of Dan McKenzie (1942-), Ted Irving (1927-2014) and Alan Gilbert Smith (1937-2017).
     
Click on the images below to find out more.
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