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Young  Archibald Geikie
Young Archibald Geikie

Sir Archibald Geikie
Sir Archibald Geikie

Sir Archibald Geikie Computer Reproduction
Computer reproduction of the above photograph with artificial colours added.

Sir Archibald Geikie O.M. K.C.B.

Born – Edinburgh, Scotland on the 28th December 1835
Died – Haslemere, Surrey, England on the 10th November 1924 aged 88.

Download Geikie leaflet (PDF File 1.1Mb)

Victorian Artwork

Life History

Sir Archibald Geikie Collection
Geikie Collection
Items from the Sir Archibald Geikie Collection at Haslemere Educational Museum
Items from the Sir Archibald Geikie Collection at Haslemere Educational Museum

Sir Archibald Geikie was an eminent Victorian geologist. At the peak of his career, he was both President of the Royal Society and the Geological Society, the only geologist to have ever held that honour.

His research and lecture tours took him all over the world in an effort to promote geology to a wider audience. He published over 200 scientific papers, survey memoirs, books and articles. He received many academic honours and was awarded a knighthood in 1891.

He retired in 1901 and moved to Haslemere in 1913. Geikie later became chairman of Haslemere Museum in 1914 after the death of its founder, Sir Jonathan Hutchinson.

We have a significant collection related to this important local luminary, including letters, field notebooks, photographs, watercolours, personal ephemera, rocks, fossils and minerals.

Geikielite MgTiO3
Geikielite Mineral
Geikielite Mineral
Geikielite: named after Sir Archibald Geikie, specimen from Murum, Siberia, Russia.
A view from a microscope

In 1892, a new mineral from Sri Lanka (Ceylon) called "Geikielite" was named after Sir Archibald Geikie.

A Mr Joseph Baddelay, who was acting manager of a gem and mining company in Sri Lanka, collected the first samples. They were found in coarse gem–gravels in the Balangoda and Rakwana districts of the island. The specimens attracted his attention because they were quite heavy.

The samples were taken to the then Museum of Practical Geology, in Jeremyn Street, London for examination (now part of the Natural History Museum). They were given to Allen Dick for chemical analysis.

The tests revealed the mineral to be made of magnesium, (Mg), titanium, (Ti) and oxygen, (O), with a chemical formula: MgTiO3.

Mr Dick read a paper about this new mineral before the Mineralogical Society, and gave the name Geikielite, in honour of Sir Archibald Geikie, Director General of the Geological Survey, in whose laboratory the analysis had been made. The mineral is closely related the ilmenite and is classified among the oxides.

The mineral is quite variable, being black, bluish to brownish black, less commonly ruby–red in colour, and opaque or translucent in appearance. It occurs as irregular to rounded grains or small pebbles. Crystals are much rarer and do occur forming elongated prisms.

Geikielite occurs in metamorphosed impure magnesium–rich limestones, marbles, dolomites, skarns and in uncommon rocks like carbonatites and kimberlites. The mineral is known from gem–bearing placer deposits. It is associated with other minerals such as rutile, spinel, diopside, serpentines, forsterite, calcite and chlorites.

To date geikielite has been found at about 16 different locations worldwide, but it is still an uncommon mineral species. Specimens have been obtained from the USA, Canada, Greenland, Italy, Finland, Russia, South Africa, Zimbabwe and North Korea. More recently, it has been identified in the Ballachulish area, Highland, Scotland.