With a history dating back to 1884, it is no surprise that the RSGS now owns assorted collections of tens of thousands of historical and contemporary maps, atlases, books, journals, papers, photographs, drawings, paintings, scientific instruments and personal artefacts. These relate to the whole world, and especially to Scotland and the many areas of the world penetrated and settled by Scots. Items in the collections form a valuable part of Scotland’s heritage, often providing the sole records of people, places and events, including unique items such as photographic records of early polar exploration, photographs by and of eminent explorers and mountaineers, expedition reports and diaries, and the RSGS’s own archive.

Access to the Collections

RSGS collections are publicly accessible. Many items have been catalogued onto databases which you can search online, and most items can be seen in either Perth or Glasgow, although you may need to give advanced notice.

Stories from the Collections

The RSGS is a repository of some of the greatest geographical stories of the past 150 years.  Many of these stories - of people, places and events - are built around items in our collection.

Browse Stories from the Collections