Papers of James Geikie and his family

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The papers of James Geikie consist of:

  • original lecture notes
  • reprints of scientific papers
  • correspondence relating to the publication of scientific papers
  • personal correspondence and photographs
  • a copy of  The Great Ice Age and its Relation to the Antiquity of Man, (1877 ), 2nd ed with hand-written notes
  • lecture notes taken down by students
  • a collection of printed maps

Administrative / Biographical History

James Geikie (1839-1915 ) was the leading British authority on Pleistocene geology. He developed the theory, through observations in Scotland and Continental Europe, that during ice-ages mild inter-glacial periods interrupted the glacial period as a whole. He originated the current belief that human habitation continued in Europe throughout the glacial period.

Geikie undertook classes at the University of Edinburgh while working in a printer's office. In 1861  he took up a position, with the Geological Survey, mapping glacial drift deposits in Central Scotland. This was supervised by his brother Archibald Geikie (1835-1924 ). Geikie made his reputation with the book The Great Ice Age and its Relation to the Antiquity of Man, (1874 ), the 3rd edition of which was fully revised in 1894 . In 1882  he succeeded his brother, Sir Archibald Geikie as the second Murchison Professor of Geology and Mineralogy at the University of Edinburgh. While undertaking his duties two seminal textbooks were published: Outlines of Geology, (1886 ) and Structural and Field Geology, (1905 ).

In 1889  Geikie was awarded the Murchison medal by the Geological Society, London and the Brisbane Medal by the Royal Society of Edinburgh. He was a founder member of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society and the President from 1904-1910 . For a period he also edited the magazine. He was elected fellow of the Royal Society, London, in 1875  and was President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh when he died.

Arrangement

The arrangement of this material reflects the original order in which it was received.

Conditions Governing Access

This material is unrestricted.

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Other Finding Aids

Alphabetical Index to Manuscripts available in searchroom at Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections.

Alternative Form Available

No known copies.

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the Director of Collections. Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents.

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with the standard GB 237 procedures

Custodial History

Unknown

Accruals

No accruals expected

Bibliography

No known publications using this material

Additional Information

This material is original.

The creation of this description was assisted by funding from the Research Support Libraries Programme