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Record details

Ref NoGSM/DR/Ge
TitleArchibald Geikie
DescriptionGeikie was born in 1835. He joined the Survey in 1855 and became Director for Scotland in 1867. He was also the first Professor of Geology at the University of Edinburgh. His primary responsibility upon appointment as Director was to complete the mapping of the British Isles and wind up the Survey. He was keen to complete the mapping of Scotland and transferred staff from the England and Wales districts to Scotland for this purpose. Although H.H.Howell was appointed Director for Scotland, he worked mainly in the North of England and Geikie continued to supervise all survey work in Scotland. When Howell retired in 1899, Geikie did not appoint a successor.
Geikie began a series of stratigraphical memoirs, intended to be a comprehensive investigation of the rocks of a specific formation such as the Jurassic or Cretaceous. This differed from the usual regional memoirs which described the geology of an area and marked a significant departure in Survey publications. The first of these memoirs was 'The Pliocene Deposits of Britain' by C.Reid, in 1890. Geikie also contributed to the science of petrography and microscopic petrology within the Survey and set up a basic chemical laboratory in Edinburgh to undertake rock slicing and analysis. He appointed petrologists to the staff including J.J.H.Teall, F.H.Hatch, W.W.Watts and J.S.Hyland. Geikie also encouraged photography within the Survey and collected a large series of photographs of Scotland which were drawn on for memoirs and his own book 'The Ancient Volcanoes of Great Britain' published in 1897.
During the last six months of his directorship, a Committee was established to enquire into the organisation and staff of the Geological Survey & Museum and report on its progress. It was chaired by J L Wharton and among other things it reorganised the staffing structure of the Survey to provide improved promotional opportunities to geologists.
Date1865-1923
Related MaterialSee: HAS for material relating to Geikie at Haslemere Musuem
Obituary File
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Persons
CodePersonNameDates
DS/UK/1Geikie; Sir; Archibald (1835-1924)1835-1924