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Sir Archibald Geikie KCB, OM, FRS (1835–1924) was one of the most eminent geologists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Geikie was instrumental in the development of the science of geology during this period and the eminence he attained was acknowledged by the bestowal of many prestigious honours.

During his distinguished career Geikie held numerous appointments, including Director-General of the Geological Survey of Great Britain, President of the Geological Society, President of the British Association, Trustee of the British Museum and President of the Royal Society (the only geologist to have ever held the latter honour). He was also an accomplished writer and during his career he published over 200 scientific papers, survey memoirs, books, articles and an autobiography. In addition, he was a masterful lecturer to any level of audience and a talented artist. As the most distinguished and influential geologist of the period, he received many notable honours, including a Knighthood in 1891, Knight Commander of the Bath in 1907 and the Order of Merit in 1913. In retirement Geikie continued to work vigorously as demonstrated by his contribution to the famous Geological Survey Memoir of the North West Highland of Scotland published in 1907 which he edited, his numerous obituaries of fellow geologists, geological contributions to Encyclopaedia Britannica and other publications, as well as work on his geological collections and Royal Society history.

Sir Archibald Geikie KCB, OM, FRS (1835–1924) was one of the most eminent geologists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Geikie was instrumental in the development of the science of geology during this period and the eminence he attained was acknowledged by the bestowal of many prestigious honours.

During his distinguished career Geikie held numerous appointments, including Director-General of the Geological Survey of Great Britain, President of the Geological Society, President of the British Association, Trustee of the British Museum and President of the Royal Society (the only geologist to have ever held the latter honour). He was also an accomplished writer and during his career he published over 200 scientific papers, survey memoirs, books, articles and an autobiography. In addition, he was a masterful lecturer to any level of audience and a talented artist. As the most distinguished and influential geologist of the period, he received many notable honours, including a Knighthood in 1891, Knight Commander of the Bath in 1907 and the Order of Merit in 1913. In retirement Geikie continued to work vigorously as demonstrated by his contribution to the famous Geological Survey Memoir of the North West Highland of Scotland published in 1907 which he edited, his numerous obituaries of fellow geologists, geological contributions to Encyclopaedia Britannica and other publications, as well as work on his geological collections and Royal Society history.

Despite this high profile, Sir Archibald Geikie is the most significant Victorian geologist without a general recent study. Most existing information on this Victorian scientist is derived from his 1924 autobiography. This Special Publication, based on collaboration between the Geological Society of London and Haslemere Educational Museum, aims to fill this lacuna in the Earth sciences literature and to showcase the life and achievements of this prolific geologist for the first time in the modern era.

The Geikie Archive at Haslemere Educational Museum

Geikie’s association with Haslemere Educational Museum began after his retirement in 1901, when as a patient of Sir Jonathan Hutchinson, the Museum’s founder, he moved to Haslemere. When Hutchinson died in 1913 the Museum’s future looked in jeopardy, but Geikie along with other interested parties created a trust which was instrumental in saving the Museum for perpetuity. In 1913 he was invited to become the first Chairman of Haslemere Educational Museum, a post he held until his death in 1924. That the Museum was saved during the difficult war years was also largely due to Geikie’s leadership. He died at his home, Shepherd’s Down, Hill Road, Haslemere, on 10 November 1924, aged 88. He is buried at St Bartholomew’s Church, Derby Road Cemetery, Church Hill, Haslemere.

Many of the papers in this volume make extensive use of material in the Geikie Archive at the Museum. The Archive was in part donated by members of the family, including his daughters Gabrielle Geikie Behrens and Lucy Webb, his uncle Harold Geikie and his grandson Derick Behrens. This unique collection records the life and career Sir Archibald Geikie and his significant contribution to British science. The contents can be summarized as follows: copy letter books consisting of outbound letters, incoming letters, field notebooks, watercolours, drawings, photographs, maps, geological specimens, books, offprints, newspaper clippings, manuscripts and personal memorabilia. Geikie’s significant contribution to geology, and also as a leading Victorian scientist, remains preserved within the contents of the Geikie Archive at Haslemere Educational Museum. As such, this Archive is of worldwide importance to the history of science.

This Special Publication is partly the result of many years of research and development of the Geikie Archive, starting during the curatorship of Diana Hawkes from 1988 to 1999. As a geologist who realized the true historic value of the Archive, Diana Hawkes reorganized and catalogued the collection with a mind to its access and promotion. In 1994, she produced a document entitled ‘The Geikie Archive Development Project’, outlining the nature of the Archive and seeking sponsorship for cataloguing, research, display and improved storage of the collection. A second report was produced in 1998 by Dr Paul G. Davis who was commissioned by the Museum to develop the document, named ‘The Sir Archibald Geikie Archive – Management Report and Development Plan’, detailing the contents of the Archive, future requirements, core development areas and fundraising plans. Since 2000, the Museum has developed a number of Geikie Archive reports to raise its profile, resulting in some successful funding in support of this unique collection.

A great deal of work has been undertaken to curate, research and raise the profile of the collection. Haslemere Educational Museum’s geologist/mineralogist John Betterton has worked on the Archive since 2004. He has worked tirelessly to catalogue, research and digitize the Archive, and his outstanding contribution to the understanding and preservation of the Archive is reflected in his three seminal contributions and his two compilations of Geikie’s work for this volume. Robert Neller, Collections Officer at Haslemere Museum, has also assisted with the research, development and collections management of the Geikie Archive since 1995. Museum volunteers have worked on the Archive over time, including Margaret Borrelli, Rhys Davies, Rosemary Lloyd-Williams, Philip Palmer and Lucia Woodward. Numerous researchers have consulted material in the Archive over the years including, in particular, David Oldroyd and Peter Worsley. Shell UK Ltd has provided two grants towards research, storage and documentation. Grants have also been received from the Curry Fund of the Geologists’ Association for upgrading the storage of the collection and improvements to the Museum’s gallery display devoted to Geikie. In 2012 the Museum received funding from Statoil (UK), now Equinor UK, Ltd to digitize and transcribe part of the Geikie Archive.

A meeting entitled ‘In the Footsteps of Sir Archibald Geikie’ was jointly organized between the Geological Society’s History of Geology Group (HOGG) and Haslemere Educational Museum, with key assistance from John Diggens and Richard Moody. With momentum from the meeting, the Museum was keen to forge ahead with a modern publication relating to Geikie. With the support of Jonathan Craig (Honorary Professor, UCL, Royal Holloway and University of Durham), geoscientist and editor, the Museum entered discussions with the Geological Society of London regarding the development of such a publication. Several people provided advice in deciding the nature and scope of the publication during the initial considerations, and we are very grateful for their expertise, namely Rob Butler, John Henry, Richard Law and John Mendum. Sadly, John Mendum has not lived to see the final publication of the book but it stands as a lasting legacy to his memory.

Organization of the volume

With such a broad theme as ‘Aspects of the Life and Works of Archibald Geikie’, we have divided this volume into seven sections that cover the main areas of his life and accomplishments.

The first section deals with Geikie’s family life; with a contribution from Betterton (2018a) describing the immediate family and descendants, together with much previously unpublished documentary archival material held at Haslemere Educational Museum. Cribb (2018) concentrates on Geikie’s early life in Edinburgh from the period 1835–55 and his nascent development. Taylor (2018a) traces the family’s history, including a number of family scandals and Geikie’s religious beliefs.

The second section covers some of Geikie’s most important friendships and relationships during his lifetime. Taylor (2018b) discusses his relationship with Hugh Miller, his mentor, and how this friendship led to Geikie’s recommendation to the Geological Survey. Burek (2018) explores Geikie’s early support for female geologists and their various roles as researchers, lecturers, assistants and students. Several case studies are examined within this chapter. While in Johnston (2018), the lifelong friendship of Scotland’s most eminent mineralogist Matthew Forster Heddle and Geikie is scrutinized, and traces their lives from birth, education, the first fruits of employment and their first meeting; followed by their different and complementary career paths. Sorkhabi (2018) examines Geikie’s connections with American geologists made during his two visits to the United States of America in 1879 and 1897. Here, he made long-lasting professional relationships with many pioneering American geologists, conducted several field trips to various states and studied fluvial erosion, including his famous lecture series at Johns Hopkins University. Sanders (2018) examines the professional and personal relationship between Geikie and his publisher Alexander Macmillan, and with Macmillan & Co. Through this relationship Geikie met his future wife, Anna Maria Alice Gabrielle Pignatal.

The third section covers Geikie as a field geologist. Butler et al. (2018) examine three pieces of Scottish geological research conducted by Geikie. They describe the field locations and place modern interpretations in an historical context, and follow the various methods and biases introduced during the building of interpretations and debates. Dewey (2018) describes a rather different Geikie: a formidable, authoritarian character that rose to Director-General of the Geological Survey of Great Britain. Geikie developed a commanding impact over Victorian and Edwardian geology, propagated via his many geological publications. Summerhayes (2018) follows the Ice Age controversy between Lyell and the proponents of the ice sheet deposition theory by Agassiz and Geikie; further demonstrated by Geikie’s brother James worldwide. Worsley (2018) charts the Geikie brothers’ field expedition in 1865 to Arctic Norway to study glacial processes in order to support the newly developed terrestrial glaciation hypothesis and their correct interpretation of the genesis of ‘Drift’. Morgan (2018) considers the study of rock weathering processes as applied to gravestones. Geikie developed a keen interest in using gravestones to monitor weathering in stone buildings.

The fourth section uncovers archival and unpublished material from Haslemere Educational Museum. Betterton (2018b) describes in detail the extensive archive of papers, illustrations, letters, albums and geological specimens accumulated by Sir Archibald Geikie. The history is accompanied by numerous images from this rich depository in Surrey. Betterton (2018c) also publishes here for the first time 14 unpublished manuscripts by Archibald Geikie in approximate date order. Some date from when Geikie was only 12 years old, while later manuscripts date from the 1850s and are important in understanding his intellectual development during this decade. Finally, here, Betterton (2018d) gives us a brief coverage of the various archives in the UK that hold important Geikie material with content summaries.

The fifth section investigates the strong family artistic abilities, with Morrison (2018) describing the extensive collection of landscape artwork by Geikie housed at Haslemere Educational Museum; the various links between geology and fine art are explored. Scott (2018) devotes her study to the life and art of Walter Geikie, uncle to Archibald Geikie. Walter Geikie was one of the most remarkable artists of the early 1800s in Edinburgh, and his work focused on the portrayal of the poor and working classes of that city.

The sixth section covers a selection of geological collections related to Archibald Geikie. Benton (2018) visits the famous Elgin reptiles and traces their named history, including the dicynodont Geikia. Betterton (2018e) describes the uncommon mineral geikielite, named after Geikie from co-type specimens presented to the Natural History Museum, London. Their history is documented together with notes on its occurrence. Mendum & Howe (2019) trace the evolution of petrography in Scotland from the 1850s to the 1890s based on the petrological collections assembled by Geikie and his associates at the British Geological Survey.

The final seventh section is devoted to the Scottish oil shale industry with a contribution from Underhill & Craig (2019), and traces its foundation by James ‘Paraffin’ Young and its subsequent development in the Midland Valley of Central Scotland. Geikie played a fundamental role in the establishment of the Scottish oil shale industry by providing James ‘Paraffin’ Young with the critical information about the location of organic-rich shales in the Midland Valley of Scotland during their field visit together in 1858.

A great deal of professional research has been undertaken by our contributors, with reference to various sources relating to Geikie’s life and career, and this has contributed to the depth and breadth of the publication. This contemporary research has enabled a deeper understanding of Sir Archibald Geikie’s life, career and contribution to the development of Geology as a scientific discipline. We hope that this Special Publication will inform and engage the reader, as well as inspire further research on Sir Archibald Geikie and his geological legacy. For Haslemere Educational Museum, it has been important that the information stored within the Geikie Archive is promoted and made accessible to the academic and public realm so that its scientific and historical potential can be realized. Finally, we are extremely thankful to all our contributors without whom this publication on Sir Archibald Geikie would not have been possible.

Acknowledgements

A great many people and organizations assisted the editors in the development and production of this volume. In particular, we would like to thank the Geological Society’s History of Geology Group (HOGG) for their support, John Henry, past Chair of HOGG, for his valuable suggestions on early drafts of several of the papers, John Diggens who was instrumental in developing and promoting the original concept of the volume, Luca Bertelli and Maurizio Orlando of Eni Milan for their efforts (albeit unsuccessful) to locate the ‘Pignatel Family Home’ in Leghorn (Livorno) from a painting dated 1848 on temporary loan to the Geikie Archive, and Tove Kilhaven (formerly with Eni Norge) for identifying the precise locations of some of Geikie’s Norwegian paintings. Robert Neller, Collections Officer and Museum Photographer at Haslemere Educational Museum, digitized and researched the material and images from the Geikie Archive for this publication, including photographing and processing the front cover illustration of Glen Sannox by Archibald Geikie. Andrew Behrens, the great grandson of Sir Archibald Geikie, has also supported this project, visited the Archive and loaned family material to the Museum for the purposes of new research. We also thank Katherine Cowell, Geikie’s great granddaughter, for her interest and support of the project.

John Betterton’s mother, Soraya Betterton (1926–2018), contributed in the initial and final selections of Sir Archibald Geikie’s artwork for this volume. It is of considerable sadness to John personally, and to his fellow editors, that she will not be able to see her selections published as she passed away in early March 2018. Soraya was also involved in the Geikie image selections and in John’s lecture preparation for the joint HOGG/Haslemere Museum meeting on Archibald Geikie in April 2012.

The following individuals generously devoted their time and their expertise to reviewing papers and suggesting improvements: Richard Bevins, William Brice, Robert Butler, Chris Clark, Stephen Cribb, John Dewey, John Diemer, Anthony Doré, Julian Dowdeswell, David Evans, Diarmid Finnegan, David Green, Robbie Gries, John Henry, Betty Higgs, Elizabeth James, Richard Law, Brian Maidment, Alison Monaghan, Andrew Nash, Tim Needham, Ralph O’Connor, Julian Pooley, Helen Smailes, Ray Sorenson, Margaret Stewart, Roy Starkey, Michael Taylor and Rachel Walcott.

The editors are very grateful to Angharad Hills, (until recently) Commissioning Editor at the Geological Society of London, who has been central to the realization of this project and supported the editors and Haslemere Museum through the initial publishing process. Our thanks also to Dr Bethan Phillips, GSL Commissioning Assistant, Dr Jessica Pollitt, Production Editor, GSL and Jo Armstrong, Production Editor, GSL. Jonathan Craig thanks the management of Eni Upstream & Technical Services for permission to contribute to this volume and to be involved in its production.

Funding

This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

Sir Archibald Geikie Archive

Table A1.

Chronological order of recorded material donated to Haslemere Museum

Jan 1925Lucy Isabella Webb (née Geikie). Daughter. Recorded as objects presented during 1925. Reported 23 January 1926 in Haslemere Museum Notes of the Haslemere Herald newspaper.Donation of large geological map of Haslemere district and many geological specimens from the late Sir Archibald Geikie’s collection, including threads of volcanic glass from Hawaii. Also, eight books on geology by Sir Archibald Geikie. These are the earliest known records of Geikie material donated to the Museum.
March 1926Lucy Isabella Webb (née Geikie). Daughter. Recorded as presentations to the Museum in 1926. Reported 19 March 1927 in Haslemere Museum Notes of the Haslemere Herald newspaper.Donation of a painting in watercolour by Sir Archibald Geikie of Glen Sannox, in the Isle of Arran, Buteshire. (Exhibited in the Geology Gallery, Haslemere Museum in the 1920s.)
January 1953Museum Daybook Entry: Mrs Behrens (Gabrielle Jeanne Geikie, daughter) of Fernhust, Surrey.Collection of Sir Archibald Geikie’s ‘sketch books’ (field notebooks).
17 June 1953Museum Daybook Entry: MDE:53077. Harold Stewart Geikie (uncle to Sir Archibald Geikie).‘Collection of 19th century school books etc Copybooks etc’ – relating to Archibald Geikie. The copybooks are the 36 outbound Copy Letter Books (1869–1917).
1959Haslemere Museum Annual Report for 1959. Under the Gifts & Acquisitions section. Harold Jacob Behrens (brother–in-law).Collection of decorations and medals awarded to the late Sir Archibald Geikie.
20 May 1994Museum Daybook Entry: 1994DB12 and HEM Annual Report for 1994. Derick Behrens (grandson).Collection of geological books associated with Sir Archibald Geikie, numbering some 55 volumes. A silhouette portrait of Harold Geikie. Dated 28 November 1898.
April 2011Museum Daybook Entry: 2011DB13. Maureen Begg donation.Donation of three photographic albums relating to the Geikie family from a house attic in Seaford, Sussex. They cover the period 1897–1912 and record various places across England and Scotland.
Jan 1925Lucy Isabella Webb (née Geikie). Daughter. Recorded as objects presented during 1925. Reported 23 January 1926 in Haslemere Museum Notes of the Haslemere Herald newspaper.Donation of large geological map of Haslemere district and many geological specimens from the late Sir Archibald Geikie’s collection, including threads of volcanic glass from Hawaii. Also, eight books on geology by Sir Archibald Geikie. These are the earliest known records of Geikie material donated to the Museum.
March 1926Lucy Isabella Webb (née Geikie). Daughter. Recorded as presentations to the Museum in 1926. Reported 19 March 1927 in Haslemere Museum Notes of the Haslemere Herald newspaper.Donation of a painting in watercolour by Sir Archibald Geikie of Glen Sannox, in the Isle of Arran, Buteshire. (Exhibited in the Geology Gallery, Haslemere Museum in the 1920s.)
January 1953Museum Daybook Entry: Mrs Behrens (Gabrielle Jeanne Geikie, daughter) of Fernhust, Surrey.Collection of Sir Archibald Geikie’s ‘sketch books’ (field notebooks).
17 June 1953Museum Daybook Entry: MDE:53077. Harold Stewart Geikie (uncle to Sir Archibald Geikie).‘Collection of 19th century school books etc Copybooks etc’ – relating to Archibald Geikie. The copybooks are the 36 outbound Copy Letter Books (1869–1917).
1959Haslemere Museum Annual Report for 1959. Under the Gifts & Acquisitions section. Harold Jacob Behrens (brother–in-law).Collection of decorations and medals awarded to the late Sir Archibald Geikie.
20 May 1994Museum Daybook Entry: 1994DB12 and HEM Annual Report for 1994. Derick Behrens (grandson).Collection of geological books associated with Sir Archibald Geikie, numbering some 55 volumes. A silhouette portrait of Harold Geikie. Dated 28 November 1898.
April 2011Museum Daybook Entry: 2011DB13. Maureen Begg donation.Donation of three photographic albums relating to the Geikie family from a house attic in Seaford, Sussex. They cover the period 1897–1912 and record various places across England and Scotland.

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Underhill
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Archibald Geikie’s role in the establishment of the Scottish oil shale industry
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Betterton
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J.
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Mendum
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J.R.
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(eds) 2019.
Aspects of the Life and Works of Archibald Geikie
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Geological Society, London, Special Publications
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480
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Worsley
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2018
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Archibald Geikie as a glacial geologist
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Craig
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Mendum
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Aspects of the Life and Works of Archibald Geikie
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Geological Society, London, Special Publications
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Figures & Tables

Table A1.

Chronological order of recorded material donated to Haslemere Museum

Jan 1925Lucy Isabella Webb (née Geikie). Daughter. Recorded as objects presented during 1925. Reported 23 January 1926 in Haslemere Museum Notes of the Haslemere Herald newspaper.Donation of large geological map of Haslemere district and many geological specimens from the late Sir Archibald Geikie’s collection, including threads of volcanic glass from Hawaii. Also, eight books on geology by Sir Archibald Geikie. These are the earliest known records of Geikie material donated to the Museum.
March 1926Lucy Isabella Webb (née Geikie). Daughter. Recorded as presentations to the Museum in 1926. Reported 19 March 1927 in Haslemere Museum Notes of the Haslemere Herald newspaper.Donation of a painting in watercolour by Sir Archibald Geikie of Glen Sannox, in the Isle of Arran, Buteshire. (Exhibited in the Geology Gallery, Haslemere Museum in the 1920s.)
January 1953Museum Daybook Entry: Mrs Behrens (Gabrielle Jeanne Geikie, daughter) of Fernhust, Surrey.Collection of Sir Archibald Geikie’s ‘sketch books’ (field notebooks).
17 June 1953Museum Daybook Entry: MDE:53077. Harold Stewart Geikie (uncle to Sir Archibald Geikie).‘Collection of 19th century school books etc Copybooks etc’ – relating to Archibald Geikie. The copybooks are the 36 outbound Copy Letter Books (1869–1917).
1959Haslemere Museum Annual Report for 1959. Under the Gifts & Acquisitions section. Harold Jacob Behrens (brother–in-law).Collection of decorations and medals awarded to the late Sir Archibald Geikie.
20 May 1994Museum Daybook Entry: 1994DB12 and HEM Annual Report for 1994. Derick Behrens (grandson).Collection of geological books associated with Sir Archibald Geikie, numbering some 55 volumes. A silhouette portrait of Harold Geikie. Dated 28 November 1898.
April 2011Museum Daybook Entry: 2011DB13. Maureen Begg donation.Donation of three photographic albums relating to the Geikie family from a house attic in Seaford, Sussex. They cover the period 1897–1912 and record various places across England and Scotland.
Jan 1925Lucy Isabella Webb (née Geikie). Daughter. Recorded as objects presented during 1925. Reported 23 January 1926 in Haslemere Museum Notes of the Haslemere Herald newspaper.Donation of large geological map of Haslemere district and many geological specimens from the late Sir Archibald Geikie’s collection, including threads of volcanic glass from Hawaii. Also, eight books on geology by Sir Archibald Geikie. These are the earliest known records of Geikie material donated to the Museum.
March 1926Lucy Isabella Webb (née Geikie). Daughter. Recorded as presentations to the Museum in 1926. Reported 19 March 1927 in Haslemere Museum Notes of the Haslemere Herald newspaper.Donation of a painting in watercolour by Sir Archibald Geikie of Glen Sannox, in the Isle of Arran, Buteshire. (Exhibited in the Geology Gallery, Haslemere Museum in the 1920s.)
January 1953Museum Daybook Entry: Mrs Behrens (Gabrielle Jeanne Geikie, daughter) of Fernhust, Surrey.Collection of Sir Archibald Geikie’s ‘sketch books’ (field notebooks).
17 June 1953Museum Daybook Entry: MDE:53077. Harold Stewart Geikie (uncle to Sir Archibald Geikie).‘Collection of 19th century school books etc Copybooks etc’ – relating to Archibald Geikie. The copybooks are the 36 outbound Copy Letter Books (1869–1917).
1959Haslemere Museum Annual Report for 1959. Under the Gifts & Acquisitions section. Harold Jacob Behrens (brother–in-law).Collection of decorations and medals awarded to the late Sir Archibald Geikie.
20 May 1994Museum Daybook Entry: 1994DB12 and HEM Annual Report for 1994. Derick Behrens (grandson).Collection of geological books associated with Sir Archibald Geikie, numbering some 55 volumes. A silhouette portrait of Harold Geikie. Dated 28 November 1898.
April 2011Museum Daybook Entry: 2011DB13. Maureen Begg donation.Donation of three photographic albums relating to the Geikie family from a house attic in Seaford, Sussex. They cover the period 1897–1912 and record various places across England and Scotland.

Contents

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