After stations in London and Rome, the IGU Archives has a home at the Leibniz Institute for Regional
Geography in Leipzig.

The historic IGU collection is an important source for the history of international geography in the 20 th and
21 st centuries. The collection spans the period 1956 up to the present; the possible location for the pre-1956-
material is still unknown at this stage. Unfortunately, even the existing records have some obvious gaps.

Many of the documents derive from the offices of Secretaries-General and the IGU Presidents. The material
has a focus on the Executive Committee, the member countries, on congresses and commissions. IGU
Archives is a collection of an international science organization, without a permanent secretariat. The
documents represent this vivid history from the 1950s up to now.

Besides the written sources, IGU Archives contains a collection of video documents, in particular the video
tapes from the ‘Dialogue project’. Most of the videos are already online on YouTube and the University
College Dublin website:

It was Geoffrey Martin who organized and catalogued the archives in 2002, and who worked out the basics
for the actual new cataloguing. He archived 214 boxes and developed a useful structure of the collection with
twelve series:

  1. The meaning of the IGU
  2. Member countries of the IGU and correspondence relating thereto
  3. Congresses of the IGU
  4. Regional Conferences of the IGU
  5. IGU Commissions
  6. IGU Study Groups
  7. IGU Working Group.
  8. IGU Executive
  9. IGU Newsletter, Bulletin and other publications
  10. Affiliation with other organizations
  11. Financial income and expenditure of the Union
  12. Miscellaneous correspondence

The preliminary finding aid is here.

The IGU Archives are accessible to everybody. Use of the original documents is possible at our institute in
Leipzig and requests concerning IGU history are welcome at any time. Access is partly limited by data
protection rules or by unfinished archival description.

We are always interested in receiving new relevant and “official” IGU documents (paper, digital and audio-
visual), especially publications, minutes, newsletters and reports of commissions and other IGU bodies, and
documents related to congresses and IGU projects.

Contact: Dr Bruno Schelhaas, Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography,

Dr Bruno Schelhaas
Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography
Archive for Geography
Schongauerstrasse 9
04328 Leipzig, Germany
Tel.: +49 341 600 55-151
Fax: +49 341 600 55-198