Knowing our own history? Geography department archives in the UK

Ron Johnston*, Charles W J Withers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


The paper presents an analysis of the returns to a questionnaire survey on the state of department archives within UK departments of geography. The results of the survey are discussed in relation to recent work in geography which has examined the archive as a site for knowledge's making but seldom in its own terms as a resource for the history of geography, and studies within the archival sciences which have considered the archive as something more than a 'storehouse' for collective memory. The paper reveals that the archival record for the history of British geography is at best uneven, and in many departments non-existent, although information on departmental history is held, often as memory, by individual geographers. The paper considers the survey's implications for the future histories of British geography and addresses the nature of the UK geography department archive as resource and responsibility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-11
Number of pages9
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2008


  • Archives
  • Biography
  • History of British geography
  • Memory
  • UK departments of geography


Dive into the research topics of 'Knowing our own history? Geography department archives in the UK'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this