Maximilian GEORG, Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography, Germany
Between 1821 and 1914, a total of about 170 Geographical Societies were founded in all inhabited continents (starting with Paris in 1821). As associations for the promotion and dissemination of geographical knowledge, they used various means to transfer that knowledge from explorers and researchers to other geographers and a wider public: talks, publications, exhibitions, excursions, conferences, counselling, etc. At the Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography in Leipzig, Germany, we have been studying Geographical Societies from around the world during the "long" 19th century in a large-scale project since 2015. In the Congress session, I would like to outline those early Societies' knowledge transfer, in order to provide a historical background to what Geographical Societies do today. The most famous historical example may be the "Transcontinental Excursion" organized on behalf of New York's American Geographical Society in 1912: a tour for international geographers from New York to San Francisco and back. Yet even smaller Geographical Societies constantly reached out to the public within and beyond geography, mainly by publishing annual journals and organizing popular events. Compared to today, there are marked differences but also instructive similarities.
Mots clés : Geographical Societies|history of geography|long 19th century|knowledge transfer