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National Council for Geographic Education. Collection, 1915-Ongoing

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSU Archives Collection 301

Scope and Contents

The collection is divided up into four series.

SERIES 1: Organizational Records. This material includes minutes, board and financial reports, annual meeting information, "Finding A Way" related documents, and information about members. The organization's financial records for accounts payable, receivable, and yearly statements are included in microfiche format along with a few other pieces of information concerning the organization's finances.

SERIES 2: Publications. This includes the Journal of Geography, the organizational newsletter Perspective, and books and pamphlets NCGE has published relating to geographic education. Also, this series contains the NCGE/GPN Slide Collection and donation agreements fi-om the original creators of the slides.

SERIES 3: Videotapes. Most of these videos are part of a series called Geographers on Film (GOF). These particular videos contain interviews of members of NCGE. The interviews include sections on biography, geographical background, and NCGE experience.

NOTE: GOF is not published by the NCGE and the Archives does not retain copyright of these items. For more information about the GOF look at thenwebsite at http :// 2019-04-03

SERIES 4: Educational Resources. This series contains teaching packets from the Instructional Activities Series that help primary through secondary school teachers educate students about geography and geographical concepts. These lesson plans are arranged by grade level. Also, the Connecticut vocational technical college geography curriculum is contained.


  • 1915-Ongoing


Conditions Governing Use

There are no restrictions on use of this collection for research purposes. The researcher assumes full responsibility for observing all copyright, property and libel laws as they apply. The Geographers on Film video series is for in house use only, no duplication is allowed. The Archives and the NCGE do not hold copyright on these videos.

Biographical / Historical

The National Council for Geographic Education (NCGE) was started in 1914 by George J Miller, of the State Normal School in Mankato, Minnesota, and Raymond H. Whitbeck, of the University of Wisconsin, to fill a gap in the field of geographic education. The idea gained support nationally and the first meeting of the organization was held on 31 December 1915.

Originally called the National Council for Geography Teachers (NCGT), their purpose was to "increase the effectiveness of geography teaching in America; (a) by promotion of national education movements; (b) by cooperating in the organization and development of state associations; and (c) in such other ways as the officers may from time to time determine.'" While today the NCGE is no longer organized as it was originally, its basic purpose has not changed. The current mission statement of the NCGE states that the organization will "work to enhance the status and quality of geography teaching and learning." In 1956, the NCGT changed their name to the National Council for Geographic Education to reflect the idea that not all education concerns occur in the classroom.

Through their history, the NCGE's membership has varied in composition and numbers. Unlike many other professional organizations of the time, women were welcome (and active) as members from early on. The men and women who have been involved in the NCGE have come from many different areas in the discipline. They include college and university professors, primary and secondary educators, administrators, and others interested in geographic education. Membership numbers for the NCGE have varied from a low of 1000 members in the 1930s to a high of almost 7000 members in 1969. In 1998 the number of members was around 3900.

In an effort to encourage geographic education, the NCGE supports a variety of activities, including sponsoring annual meetings and summer workshops, and working with other organizations to promote geographic education. From the beginning of the NCGT, publishing has also been important in transferring information to those interested in geography education. The Journal of Geography became the official journal of the Council in 1915. By the 1930s, the Council was publishing professional papers and booklets to aid geography educators. In 1969, the organization began publishing a newsletter for its members entitled. Perspective. Today the NCGE continues to publish books, maps, and guides in support of geographic education. In 1973 the Council also began supporting a slide library in collaboration with the Great Plains National Institutional Library in Lincoln, NE. This program was designed to allow geography teachers to acquire slides of particular cities/locations and geographic subjects at little to no cost.

The NCGE is a strong and influential force in the field of geography education. The organizational headquarters are at Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Alabama.


25.00 Cubic Feet (10 archives boxes, 9 1/2 Hollinger Boxes, 69 Journals, 26 Videocassettes, 2 Microfiche boxes, and 30 Microfilm reels. )

Language of Materials



Since its establishment in 1915, the National Council for Geographic Education (NCGE) has been an important resource for geography educators. Founded in the Midwest, the NCGE is an active group with nationwide concerns and interests. The organization has long been a leader in developing standards and publications for geography educators at all levels. The NCGE Collection is ongoing with additions made annually. The majority of the information in the collection covers the 1970s forward. The collection contains annual board reports, secretary's reports, financial records, and NCGE publications. The publications include the organizational periodical. The Journal of Geography and the NCGE Slide Show collection. There are also videotaped interviews of some members.

NOTE: In 1922, there was a fire on the State Normal School Campus in Mankato (now MSU) destroying many of the original NCGE records. Most records pre-1922 were recreated based on memory.

National Council for Geographic Education. Collection, 1915-Ongoing
Daardi Sizemore and Jason Fisher
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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Revision Statements

  • 2001-2002: Jeff A. Jenson processed additions to the collection
  • 2011-06: Heather Harren processed additions to the collection

Repository Details

Part of the Minnesota State University, Mankato University Archives Repository

Minnesota State University, Mankato
Memorial Library
PO Box 8419
Mankato MN 56002-8419 US