The Royal Geographical Society (with The Institute of British Geographers) holds maps, books, photographs, artwork, databases and documents, which together form one of the most important geographical collections in the world. The holdings reflect the development of the study of geography across the world from the medieval period to the present day. The Royal Geographical Society Picture Library provides an unrivalled source of over half a million images of peoples and landscapes from around the globe. Photographs and artwork date from the 1830s onwards, covering a wide variety of subjects, including climbing, the Colonial Empire, desserts, exploration, indigenous peoples, landscapes, remote destinations and travel. From remarkable early 20th century black and white portraits by Frank Kingdon-Ward, to colour transparencies of late 20th century polar travel by Sir Ranulph Fiennes, the focus of the Collection is not the generic stock shot, but the portrayal of man’s resilience and adaptability.

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