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Greenough's World


At the beginning of 2020 we launched an appeal to digitise the map collection of one of the Society's founders, and first President, George Bellas Greenough (1778-1855) to mark the bicentenary of the publication of his ‘Geological Map of England and Wales’ (2020). Unfortunately the pandemic cut the fundraising campaign short although we raised enough to digitise a number of Greenough’s important maps of the British Isles.

About the collection

Greenough published only three geological maps in his lifetime: ‘Geological Map of England & Wales’ (1st edition, 1820, and 2nd edition, 1840) and ‘General sketch of the physical and geological features of British India’ (1854). However, his geological map collection, which was bequeathed to the Society on his death in 1855, shows that he in fact produced or was involved in far more, covering much of the then known world. The maps are especially important because they reveal the rapid evolution of the science of geology through one man's eyes: from its simplistic beginnings to the modern science we recognise today.

Sharpe Scotland
E & W 3rd ed
Three of the maps which were digitised thanks to donations (L-R):
Daniel Sharpe's [and George Bellas Greenough's] Geological map of Scotland, 1852 (LDGSL/702)

Greenough's 'Geological Map of England & Wales', 3rd edition, 1865. (LDGSL/979A/3)
[?Richard Griffith's] Geological map of Ireland, ?1813-1820 (LDGSL/947/6/F/4)

The Geological Society’s Library would like thank all of those, including the following, whose kind donations funded the digitisation of the Greenough maps.  

Neil Cooper
Richard Crockett
Conall MacNiocaill
Brian Marten
Peter Riches
Stuart Sutton
All of the maps which were digitised as part of this project are included in an online exhibition 'Making Maps - George Bellas Greenough’s mapping of the British Isles'


Fundraising regulator 

Scotland England Ireland