Ref NoGSL/ES
TitleExecutive Secretary
Date1952-present
LevelSeries
Extent618 files and 7 boxes + one rolled photograph
FormatDocument
DescriptionAdministrative files of the Executive Secretary of the Geological Society, 1950-present, on functions including:

Governance of the Society, 1980-2010; Membership of the Society, 1968-2015; Central Administration, 1970-2015; Society's publications, 1971-2012; Policy and consultations, 2009; Charitable Status, 1992-1999; Corporate sponsorship and external funding, 2005-2013; Wills, bequests & donations, 1980-1997; President of the Society,1979-1996; Computerisation of the Society, 1979-2013; Council and Standing Committees, 1970-present; Relations with other Societies/Organisations, 1973-2010; Hospitality, 1972-2000; Medals, Awards and Funds, 1952-2012; Relations with Parliament, 1981-2012; Alterations to the Burlington House apartments, 1961-2013; Occupation of the Burlington House apartments, 1981-2012; Representation on outside bodies, 1971-2011; Society sponsorship of external events, 1991-2012; International relations, 1979-2015; Finance, 1980-2009; Specialist Groups and Joint Associations, 1968-2009; Regional Groups, 1991-2002.
Administrative HistoryHistorically the Assistant Secretary, later Permanent Secretary, was the first point of contact with the Society (aside from the President and members of Council) and as the post holder also acted as editor of the Journal and occasionally the Librarian & Curator, the majority of the day to day correspondence and administration came through his office. By the late 1960s, the role had developed into what is now the Executive Secretary (essentially the Chief Executive of the Society), and although the postholder no longer has editorial duties, the office is still the central administrative department of the organisation. However it should be noted as some functions of the Society have developed, specific departments have been established to take over the running of some of these tasks, such as the Conference Office which now organises the scientific meetings. The Executive Secretary still ultimately oversees these subsidiary departments as well as sitting on most of the Society's major standing committees, therefore the Executive Secretary series still reflects most of the Society's functions.
ArrangementThe original arrangement only contained a small number of random files therefore not allowing additions to be easily made, especially in view of the large backlog of files from the 1960s-1990s which needed to be integrated. Since the 1950s, there have been three different filing arrangements in use but the most complete is one which was utilised between 1980-1997. It has been partially adopted for this series.

It should also be noted that the historical arrangement of the archives has been functional rather than by creating office, but until the 1990s, the majority of the Society's business was conducted by its Officers and through the Executive Secretary. Files which fit into this functional arrangement have been removed and slotted in where appropriate (ie Council and committee papers).

There are significant gaps in the record, for instance limited material exists for David Clayton (Executive Secretary, 1971-1980) and his predecessors as between mid 1980s-late 1990s the files were destroyed as part of the then archive retention policy. Additionally a number of boxes of administration from c.2000-2007 were housed in the boiler room which flooded in 2009. Some files were destroyed and other severly water damaged.

Most of the material relating to the organisation of conferences and special meetings has been moved to its own section for ease of use - GSL/CFN.
Access ConditionsSome material is restricted or closed. Please contact the Archivist in the first instance.
LanguageEnglish
Related MaterialThe incoming and outgoing letters, [1807]-1960, of the Assistant Secretary can be found within the letterbook series, see: GSL/L.
ArchNoteDescription by Caroline Lam
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