Archive of the Manchester Geographical Society. The archive is comprehensive and documents the Society's activities from the late Victorian period to the present day.
MGS/1 are the minutes for the Society's bodies including Council, the executive committee, finance/general purposes and education committees, as well as the ordinary meetings. Many of the earlier minute books include copies of printed lecture programmes and syllabi, reports, correspondence and cuttings as well as the minutes. MGS/2 are the annual reports for the Society and run from 1928-2010 (earlier reports will normally be included with the minutes). These records are a good overview of the Society's goings on which also include financial accounts.
MGS/3 comprises the collective financial records which include ledger books, debits books, cash books, wages and petty cash books, and account books. MGS/4 are the membership records which include subscription books and register of members. These are of particular interest to the researcher as the information they contain, such as occupation, address, and date of membership are useful for tracking the nature of the Society's recruitment and membership. MGS/5 are a run of news cuttings books which, along with newspaper cuttings, contain Society invitations, lecture programmes and details, blank membership forms, Society social functions, printed notices, excursions to name a few. MGS/6 are several photograph, post cards, and scrapbook albums (the Society's large collection of glass slide photographs is not part of the archive).
MGS/7 are the records of the Manchester Geographical Society Building Company Ltd. which was set up to fund the building of the new premises in the 1900s. The series contain all records relating to the Company including minutes and agenda books, annual accounts, financial records, and share certificates. MGS/8 are records created by the voluntary organising group called the Victorians. The records consist of minute books, account books, lecture arrangements, and excursion announcements. MGS/9 consists of one minute book of the Society of Commercial Geography, correspondence, and draft rules. MGS/10 consists of agenda books for the Council, Executive Committee, Annual and Ordinary meetings of the Society. MGS/11 are administrative files, mostly correspondence of the Treasurer and Secretary, and the Honorary Secretary's working papers from the early 1980s to 2009. MGS/12 comprise syllabi for the lecture programme, mainly dating from the 1970s to the 2000s (earlier copies may be included with the minute books and cuttings books). MGS/13 is an incomplete set of Society newsletters from the 1970s and 1980s. MGS/14 is miscellaneous material including lecture notebooks of Society members, some of Nigel Brown's research materials for his history of the Society; some interesting letters concerning conflict in the Lower Congo received from a Society correspondent, and a letter confirming the safety of the explorer H M Stanley at the conclusion of the Emin Pasha relief expedition.
This archive is important for researchers interested in the development of geography as a discipline, and in understanding popular interest in geography since the late Victorian period. The archive contains important material on non-metropolitan receptions of colonial exploration and development in Britain, and the understandings of the relationships between geography and empire. It also contains information on how local and regional geography developed as an area of study, including the relationships with local history, archaeology, planning, economics and sociology. The Society's work on promoting geography at all levels of the formal education system is also well documented. The archive is of particular interest, as there appear to be few surviving archives for similar geographical societies in the UK.