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Sponsor Our Collections

Griffith volume restoration
Left: Condition of the first edition copy of Richard Griffith’s ‘Outline of the geology of Ireland’ (1838). Right: volume after conservation, generously sponsored by the History of Geology Group.

Since its launch in 2009, our Sponsorship scheme has conserved some of the most important material from the Society's collections, but we still need your help.

The very first acquisition of the Society’s collections was a map and plan of St Anthony’s Colliery, Newcastle, which was given by Sir Joseph Banks (1743-1820) on 5 February 1808. Since that time the Society has actively collected material on the development of geology from the sixteenth century to the present day. Many of our rare books, maps and archives were acquired as a result of similar gifts from authors or from bequests from our Fellows such as George Bellas Greenough (1778-1855) and Roderick Murchison (1792-1871). Being exposed to two centuries of London pollution, open coal fires and also evacuated to Fellows’ attics and basements during the Second World War has taken its toll on the collection and many items are now in need of urgent conservation or rebinding to ensure their survival for the centuries to come.

Spectacle catalogue merge
  Top left: The wear and tear of age on Noël Antoine Pluche’s ‘Spectacle de la nature' (1740). 

Top right: More extensive damage to this volume containing rare copies of catalogues of private fossil collections auctioned in the early 19th century, such as Lt Col Thomas Birch's (c.1768-1829) who acquired many specimens from Mary Anning.

Bottom left & right: frontispiece to Basil Hall’s ‘Account of a voyage of discovery to the west coast of Corea…’ (1818). Whilst the inside of this book is in very good condition, it is covered in a typical Victorian quarter leather binding. Many of the volumes in our Rare Book collection are bound this way. When the leather dries out and weakens with age, the boards fall off.

Corea joined


You can help safeguard the Society’s important collections for future generations by sponsoring one of our books, archives or maps. You may wish to use your donation to mark a special event or to remember a friend or loved one. In return you will receive a certificate marking your donation.  For larger amounts, a special bookplate will be bound with the item as a permanent reminder of your gift.

Suggested amounts:


Preserve. This will pay for up to 25 custom made, archival enclosures to protect our fragile book and journal collections or contribute to our general fund for conservation. You will receive a certificate marking your donation.


  Rebind. This will pay for a new binding in cloth of an octavo book such as the volume of fossil collection sales catalogues. A special bookplate, with a dedication of your choice, will be bound with the item.


  Repair. This will pay to repair an original, historic binding such as the one encasing Basil Hall’s ‘Account of a voyage of discovery to the west coast of Corea…’ (1818) or Noël Antoine Pluche’s ‘Spectacle de la nature’ (1740). A special bookplate, with a dedication of your choice, will be bound with the item


  Conserve. This will pay for more extensive work, such as conserving the memoir and map of Richard Griffith’s ‘Outline of the geology of Ireland’ (1838). A special bookplate, with a dedication of your choice, will be bound with the item

You can sponsor one of the items listed above or choose an author, subject or geographical area which is of interest. A list of books and manuscripts which have been sponsored in the past may give you an idea of the kind of items available.

For more information on how to donate, please contact If you would like to discuss our collection and potential items in need of conservation, please contact the Library team at

Alternatively you can donate to our current fundraising campaign:

Letterbook header


Support our appeal to conserve twelve important volumes of correspondence of the Assistant Secretary’s office of the Geological Society, 1834-1880.


GSL Library Greenough World
Greenough’s World
Digitising maps of the British Isles belonging to George Bellas Greenough.
Digitised map William Smith's ‘A delineation of the Strata of England & Wales with part of Scotland…’ (1815)
Conserving the Society's early subscription copy of the first geological map of a country.
LDGSL/613/2/55 Sponsor A Fish!
Conserving and digitising the original artwork to Louis Agassiz's 'Recherches sur les Poissons Fossiles' (1833-1843/4).
Rare book 1
Previously sponsored titles
Books and archives which have been saved through sponsorship donations. 

Fundraising regulator