Newsletter n° 4
Home of Geography - Maison de la Géographie
Via della Navicella, 12
00184 Roma – Italy
Tel/Fax: +39 06 77591183
In January, 2002, Geoffrey Martin, archivist of the Association of American Geographers and Professor of Geography, designed and entered the IGU archival collection into register.
The International Geographical Union was founded in Brussels in 1922. Its roots, however, may be traced to an international geographical congress held in Antwerp in 1871. This was the first in a series of international congresses which was interrupted by the First World War, pursuant to which geographical authorities came together to found the Union.
THE ARCHIVAL COLLECTION OF THE INTERNATIONAL GEOGRAPHICAL UNION
Archival materials, the product of these meetings and their organisation, have by now been scattered and perhaps lost (though holdings are lodged in collections more especially in Europe and North America). However, during January and February 2002, an archival accumulation, (previously housed in London and Bonn), extending to approximately fifty-five linear feet has been entered into register in the Home of Geography at Villa Celimontana, Via della Navicella 12, 00184 Rome, Italy (Tel./Fax.: +39 06 77 59 11 83 / email: a.montanarihomeofgeography.org).
The collection spans the period c. 1956-2000. Much of the correspondence, therefore, derives from the offices of Secretaries-General: Hans Boesch, 1956-1968; Chauncy D. Harris, 1968-1976; Walther Manshard, 1976-1984; Leszek A. Kosinski, 1984-1992; and Eckart Ehlers, 1992-2000. However, as indicated below, the archival materials are drawn from a variety of sources. It is hoped that documentation of relevant archival pieces will enhance the holding.
The series of the register include:
- The meaning of the IGU/UGI.
- Member countries of the IGU and correspondence relating thereto.
- Congresses of the IGU.
- Regional Conferences of the IGU.
- IGU Commissions.
- IGU Study Groups.
- IGU Working Groups.
- IGU Executive.
- IGU Newsletter, Bulletin and other Publications.
- Affiliation with other organisations.
- Financial income and expenditure of the Union.
Geoffrey Martin, archivist of the Association of American Geographers and Professor of Geography, designed and entered the archival collection into register, upon request of the Executive Committee of the Home of Geography, chaired by Anne Buttimer.
The series of international congresses initiated in Antwerp, 1871, has not only provided a forum for the exchange of geographical ideas between congressists, it has also facilitated and encouraged correspondence between kindred spirits in inter-congress years. Distances between nationals living far apart were collapsed as were distances between high-ranking military, governmental or landed gentry and the amateur geo-enthusiast. Here issues were initiated and discussed that included the Millionth Map of the World, the Central American Isthmian Canal, location of the prime meridian and a host of other matters. This ongoing enthusiasm to parse the little known was later to become institutionalised in Commissions, Working Groups, Study Groups et al.
It is with concern for the reconstruction of such matters that an IGU archive has been established in Villa Celimontana. Initially, the deposit (extending to approximately 55 shelf feet) relates to the period 1956 to 2000. It is anticipated that further archival material will be added to the collection facilitating a more comprehensive understanding of our history.
From left to right: Professor Armando Montanari, Director of the Home of Geography, Tania Lines, Executive Secretary and Professor Geoffrey Martin, after completing the archival of the IGU material previously held in London and Bonn.
Secretaries-General of the International Geographical Union
1922 - present day
Charles Close, UK
Filippo de Filippi, Italy
Emmanuel de Martonne, France
Marguerite Lefèvre, Belgium
George H.T. Kimble, USA
Hans Boesch, Switzerland
Chauncy D. Harris, USA
Walther Manshard, FRG
Leszek A. Kosiński, Canada
Eckart Ehlers, Germany
Ronald F. Abler, USA
International Geographical Congresses
Rio de Janeiro 1956
New Delhi 1968
The Hague 1996
Presidents of the International Geographical Congresses
Burgermaster of Antwerp, Van Put
Vice Admiral de la Roncière Le Noury, France
Prince di Teano, Italy
Ferdinand de Lesseps, France
Dr. A. Gobat, Switzerland
Clements Markham, UK
Ferdinand Von Richthofen, Germany
Admiral Robert E. Peary, USA
A. de Claparède, Switzerland
Marquis Capelli, Italy
Presidents of the International Geographical Union
Prince Roland Bonaparte, France
General Nicola Vacchelli, Italy
General Robert Bourgeois, France
Isaiah Bowman, USA
Sir Charles Close, UK
Emmanuel de Martonne, France
George B. Cressey, USA
L. Dudley Stamp, UK
Hans W:son Ahlmann, Sweden
Carl Troll, FRG
Shiba P. Chatterjee, India
Stanislaw Leszczycki, Poland
Jean Dresch, France
Michael J. Wise, UK
Akin L. Mabogunje, Nigeria
Peter Scott, Australia
Roland J. Fuchs, USA
Herman Th. Verstappen, Netherlands
Bruno Messerli, Switzerland
Anne Buttimer, Ireland