Thursday, 10 January 2013

Collections Corner - Tales from the Collections Team

Collections Corner - Image by TALUDA at

Our collections are still emerging from endless cardboard cartons, large white elephant-like containers and from map chests, all previously hidden away in enforced off-site storage. This storage was imposed on us when we moved our Headquarters in 2008 from Glasgow to Perth and then during the time our new accommodation in the Fair Maid’s House was being made ready for us.

Each week some, if not all, of our enthusiastic 10-strong Collections Team gathers for the day and exciting things suddenly resurface.  Watch this space to see what emerges over the next weeks and months! 


In November a 1925 map of Arctic Lands, published in America by the National Geographic Society emerged from the depths of our ‘Arctic’ map drawer.  One of our keen-eyed Team was examining this and spotted in the right-hand corner a tiny line of print. This revealed that on that particular spot the world’s largest passenger ship - the Titanic - on its maiden voyage, sank on 15 April 1912.

One hundred years and 7 months later, our RSGS Team stopped work to look.  Here, shown lying to the south of the Newfoundland coast – at the small scale of map used by the cartographer it looked very close to the coast, though in fact was some 600km off - was where so many lost their lives.

One tiny line on a map, yet a poignant reminder of a geographical location where something happened which shocked the world, and continues to do so.

Arctic Map 1925 
A Section of the National Geographical Society's Arctic Map. 

Arctic Map 1925 Titanic
A close up of the marking  "Titanic Sank".
The Society has extensive book, journal, map, and photographic collections which are available to members. These collections are continually updated, and RSGS welcomes donations of relevant material.  Please send any enquiries about the collection to and we'll get back to you as soon as possible (please note that the Collections Team is voluntary and meets once a week).

For more information about the Collections, the Enquiry Service and Access see