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James Geikie

Geology and history.

James Geikie (1839-1915) was the leading British authority on Pleistocene geology. He originated the current belief that human habitation continued in Europe throughout the glacial period. This substantial collection reflects his geological interests.

In 1861 Geikie took up a position with the Geological Survey, mapping glacial drift deposits in Central Scotland. Geikie made his reputation with the book 'The Great Ice Age and its Relation to the Antiquity of Man' (1874). In 1882 he succeeded his brother, Sir Archibald Geikie (1835-1924) as the second Murchison Professor of Geology and Mineralogy at the University of Edinburgh, which post he held until 1914. He was President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh when he died.

Edinburgh University Library purchased this material from his heirs shortly after his death. There are about 5,000 pamphlets in 200 volumes, mostly offprints on geology, many with manuscript notes and insertions.

Items whose authors' surnames lie between A and Foo are listed in the pre-1985 typescript catalogue and there are online records for some of these. The Centre for Research Collections maintains manual files listing the whole collection. All have shelfmarks starting “He.”

The manuscripts of James Geikie and his family are at Gen 876-879 and MS 2594-2597. The papers include correspondence, lecture notes, photographs, reprints and maps. There is a detailed online manuscripts catalogue.