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AGS Library Archival Collections

The American Geographical Society Library owns and cares for a number of important archives in the field of Geography. The more prominent archives are listed and described below. To discover other archival collections held at the AGSL, please utilize the Archival Resources in Wisconsin: Descriptive Finding Aids database.


logoaag-gif  The Association of American Geographers Archive 

The Association of American Geographers (AAG) Archive is located at the AGS Library at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. We are currently converting all of our old AAG Archive finding aids to the encoded archival description standard. In the meantime they are searchable by downloading the previous AAG finding aid.


American Geographical Society Library and Map Department Archive 


The American Geographical Society of New York Archive

The American Geographical Society 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. The archives are currently being processed through an Andrew Mellon Foundation grant awarded through the Council on Library and Information Resources. The archives were transferred under terms of a deposit agreement from New York City to Milwaukee in 2011.


William O. Field Archive

The William O. Field Archives include papers of the glaciologist and lecturer, mostly dating from the late 1920s and early 1930s. Field specialized in Russian geography and culture. The collection includes notes, postcards, travel journals, photographs and motion pictures of his journeys throughout the Soviet Union, especially Georgia and its upper Svanetia (Swanetia) regions (43N, 42E), from 1928 until the 1970s. Field’s partially indexed photographs and movie film contain images of Moscow from 1929-1931 and Georgia in 1933. Please contact AGS Library staff members for more information on the archives. Visit here to view finding aid.


C. Warren Thornthwaite Papers

Thornthwaite was an essential founder of geographical climatology. After professorships at Oklahoma University and Johns Hopkins, he established the Laboratory of Climatology, and eventually Thorhthwaite Associates, as independent research and consulting institutions. His position in the fields of Geography and Climatology was recognized in the presidency of the AAG, presidency of the Commission on Climatology of the World Meteorological Organization, the Cullen Medal of the American Geographical Society, and many other accolades.

The C. Warren Thornthwaite (1899-1963) archive is a large international collection of fugitive materials collected over the course of his career. These materials relate to his interest in climatology and related subjects and are accessible through a card catalog at the AGS Library.