Hiding in the Archives Paper
The archives of the American Geographical
Society contain material dating back to 1851, the year of the society's
founding. While the archives, which are held on the society's premises,
are primarily a comprehensive institutional record, with documents
related to the wide range of the society's activities, they hold other
treasures as well.
These include, among other things, a stunning array of diaries and
notebooks from noteworthy explorers. Included in this company are
Hudson Stuck's journal of his Mt. Denali ascent; Gerald McKiernan's
diary of five years of travel in southern Africa, 1874-1879; the Fanning
Collection, which comprises the notebooks and correspondence having
to do with Edmund Fanning's exploration in the South Seas, 1799-1840;
and John F. Steward's diary of the second Powell Colorado River Expedition.
Not surprisingly, the society's archives contain a wealth of polar
exploration materials. A small sampling includes notebooks, diaries,
and original manuscripts of Sir Hubert Wilkins; the log of Lincoln
Ellsworth's Graf Zepplin flight to the Arctic in 1931, and many other
items from his Arctic travels; Arctic memorabilia of Robert E. Peary;
diaries of the Arctic explorer Vilhjalmar Stefanson; and correspondence
regarding the scientific results of the challenger Expedition of 1872-1876.
In addition, the archive houses a fine selection of artifacts such
as the Explorer & Fliers Globe; a flag carried by Richard E. Byrd on his November, 1929 flight to the South
Pole; and correspondence from the likes of David Livingstone, John
Wesley Powell, Lawrence of Arabia, and the Roosevelts.
The society maintains these archives for the use of scholars. They
are welcome to work in the archives by appointment.
Archive Use Fees
The Ags Archives are a treasure that scholars are dipping into increasingly. The AGS is happly to have its archives serve the purposes of scholarship. However, the cost of maintaining the archives continues to rise, like everything else! Therefore, every few years the AGS needs to raise the fees it charges for archival access. It has been four years since fees were last adjusted, so it's time to adjust them again.
The fees are modest and, of course, provide preferential rates to AGS Fellows. For more detailed information, call or write the AGS office, or send an email message directly to the AGS Archivist, Peter Lewis, at PGLewis@amergeog.org or at firstname.lastname@example.org. When planning to visit the AGS archives, please be sure to make arrangements in advance so that the archivist is prepared to make your visit as productive as possible.
Charges are as follows:
day free, then $10/day
to mail or telephone request
hour free, then $8 an hour
photocopying is 35
cents per page.
[rates as of 9/1/04]