AGSL Awarded Major Grant

Astronaut John Glenn signs the Fliers' and Explorers' Globe at the White House on February 26, 1962. At left are President John F. Kennedy, Vice-President Lyndon B. Johnson, and AGS Director Charles B. Hitchcock.

The Andrew Mellon Foundation has awarded the American Geographical Society Library (AGSL), through the Council on Library and Information Resources, a $259,900 grant to organize and process the American Geographical Society (AGS) Archives, which were transferred from New York City to Milwaukee earlier this year.

The AGS library and map collection moved to UWM in 1978 while the archival collection, dating from the founding of AGS in 1851, remained in Manhattan. Under terms of a deposit agreement, the collections were reunited February 1, 2011.

The AGS Archives consists of approximately 540 cubic feet (10,000 pounds) of materials, including documents, photographs, drawings, and artifacts relating to all of the great names in American exploration and the larger field of geography from the mid 19th century through most of the 20th.

Highlights include log books of early Arctic expeditions, the papers of Robert F. Peary (who served as President of the Society), the American flag carried by Robert F. Byrd on his 1929 flight to the South Pole, and correspondence with such individuals as Field Marshal Sir Edmund Allenby, George Kennan (the earlier), Franklin D. Roosevelt (a councilor) and William H. Seward.