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Although taught as part of other subjects since the earliest days of the University of Edinburgh, the history of Geography as a discipline in its own right begins in 1908 with the creation of a Lectureship. The Royal Scottish Geographical Society played a key role in establishing this post, and the first appointee was its secretary George Goudie Chisholm (1850-1930). The Society was again prominent in the creation of a Chair of Geography in 1931, the first appointee being Goudie's successor Alan Grant Ogilvie (1887-1954).

Professors of Geography

The Chair of Geography was initially situated in the Faculty of Arts. In 1963, it was transferred to the newly created Faculty of Social Sciences, where a second Geography chair was instituted in 1965 and named in honour of Alan Grant Ogilvie.

Ogilvie Professors of Geography

In 1998 both Geography Chairs were transferred to the Faculty of Science. Since major restructuring of Edinburgh University in 2002, they have both been part of the School of GeoSciences in the College of Science and Engineering.


  • Alexander Falconer Giles, 'The Faculty of Arts', in A. Logan Turner (ed.), History of the University of Edinburgh 1883-1933 (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1933), pp. 164-238.
  • University Calendar