Level 3 Mortlock Wing State Library of South Australia North Terrace Adelaide SA 5000

Our purpose

Public Awareness

Advance public awareness of, and interest in, geography and related disciplines, including environmental issues

Geographical Science

Encourage research and scholarship in geography

Recognition

Recognise and reward achievements in geography

Commemoration

Commemorate past achievements of significance to geography

The Society is custodian of an extensive library of antique, rare and current books and maps. Many are featured in our Treasures. Amongst its various activities the Society organises lectures on topical issues, publishes a scholarly journal, recognises contributions to geography through an active awards program, and convenes an active field activities program.

The RGSSA welcomes professional geographers, geography graduates, and all those with an enthusiasm for geography, travel and exploration to join.

Quick Links

Sharing our unique historical perspective to a digital age; through the pages of the RGSSA's rare collection of books, maps, photographs, artworks and historical relics

RGSSA Library


The RGSSA Library contains over 25,000 volumes and is one of the most significant collections of rare geographical books and manuscripts in Australia.

Awards & Research


The Society supports a number of awards and prizes to promote geographical education and research, and to recognise members’ efforts. 

Upcoming Lectures & Events

Todd

21 March 2024 | 5:30 pm

Monthly Lecture

Mr Todd's Marvel

How one man telegraphed Australia to the modern world.  Mr Todd’s Marvel tells how Charles Todd managed to pull off an engineering miracle. It explains how he mustered, cajoled and manoeuvred men, animals and materials to a degree never before seen in the Australian colonies.

Robert Dettman Wall map

28 March 2024 | 10:30 am

Rare Books Group

The RGSSA Treasures project progress report

The Treasures Project was initiated in early 2023 with the aim of showing the public - and members - some of the remarkable items in the RGSSA library collection.

Iceland

4 April 2024 | 12:00 pm

Lunchtime Meeting

Iceland - a diverse travel destination

Sandy will describe his travels which included a wide range of natural landscapes and specific landforms, museums and town walks, coastal bird watching, whale spotting, sailing among icebergs, walking on an icecap, visiting farms, swimming in warm lakes and visiting a range of historic sites.

Wr PXA Vol 6 p 140 Rev J Tenison Woods

18 April 2024 | 5:30 pm

Monthly Lecture

Tenison-Woods

Roderick O’Brien has spoken to the RGSSA in the past. He has a copy of the first Geography book written by Tenison-Woods. There is some interesting history attached to it which relates to places, people or events that will be included on the SE Tour.

Image by Unknown author - State Library of New South Wales PXA 362 Vol 6, Public Domain

Umpherston Sinkhole

29 April 2024 | 8:00 am

Trips & Tours

An Exploration of SE South Australia and SW Victoria

This tour led by the RGSSA newly appointed Head of Travel and longtime lecture presenter, Joc Schmiechen will take you on an exploratory journey into some of landscapes, cultural, settlement and pre-history of Southeastern Australia. 

Wallace line

16 May 2024 | 5:30 pm

Monthly Lecture

The Wallace Line

Wallace proposed a theory of evolution at the same time as Darwin, but his contribution to the science of evolution remains less celebrated. The Wallace line is a boundary proposed in 1859 by Wallace to separate the biogeographical realms of SE Asia and Australia. To the west of the Line are found organisms related to Asiatic species; to the east, a mixture of species of Asian and Australian origins exist.

Churchill Nieuhoff Voyages 03

23 May 2024 | 10:30 am

Rare Books Group

Churchill's 'Voyages and Travels'

In 1704, Awnsham and John Churchill published 4 volumes that were the first English translations of European explorations also including English works that “for their excellency and scarceness, deserved to be reprinted”.  These comprehensive volumes contained maps, engravings, and descriptions from voyages to much of the New World over the preceding two centuries.


Rymill

20 June 2024 | 5:30 pm

Monthly Lecture

John Rymill - Polar Explorer

Hear from his grandson how John Rymill left Australia bound for England, on a journey that would culminate in him becoming one of Australia’s foremost polar pioneers.