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Strathclyde Librarian receives Honorary Fellowship from Princess Royal

Elaine Blaxter receives her Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society from The Princess Royal. Photo by Colin Woolf for RSGS – Colin Woolf Fine Art

The University of Strathclyde’s University Librarian has received a Royal Scottish Geographical Society (RSGS) Honorary Fellowship from HRH The Princess Royal.

Elaine Blaxter received the honour in recognition of a career in which she has worked at Strathclyde’s Andersonian Library for 30 years.

She is in charge of a collection which has around one million print volumes, along with access to more than 400,000 electronic books and more than 37,000 e-journals. It includes an RSGS collection comprising more than 15,000 books and around 120 serial titles.

The Princess Royal, who is a Vice-President of RSGS, conferred the Honorary Fellowship on Elaine at an event in Perth hosted by the Society and the Heart of Arabia Expedition, which retraced a 1,400km journey from east to west across Arabia originally undertaken by explorer Harry St John Philby in 1917. The Princess was also Patron of the Expedition.

Elaine said: “I am delighted to be awarded an Honorary Fellowship from the Royal Scottish Geographical Society in recognition of my work with the library collections of the Society in the Andersonian Library.

Just as the RSGS has a long history of supporting exploration and understanding of the environmental and social challenges for the planet we all share, the library collections also reflect and protect that diverse legacy for current and future generations to explore.

RSGS Chief Executive Mike Robinson said: “In RSGS’s 140th year, we are able to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal opening our collections at the University of Strathclyde.

“It therefore feels even more appropriate that we are able to thank Elaine Blaxter for her wonderful contribution – and I am delighted to be able to ask the Princess Royal to make the presentation.”

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