Jan 13, 1888 CE: National Geographic Society Founded

Jan 13, 1888 CE: National Geographic Society Founded

On January 13, 1888, the National Geographic Society was founded.


6 - 12



NGS Resource Carousel Loading Logo
Loading ...

On January 13, 1888, the National Geographic Society was founded. A group of scholars, explorers, and scientists met to discuss the organization of a society for the increase and diffusion of geographic knowledge. Two weeks later, on the afternoon of Friday, January 27, a certificate of incorporation was formally signed.

The National Geographic Society has made many contributions to exploration, science, and conservation. These contributions include assisting in the establishment of the National Park Service, exploring and mapping vast areas of the world, discovering sunken and buried treasures, and restoring archaeological sites. Perhaps most importantly, National Geographic writers, photographers, and producers have brought the world to millions of people—fulfilling the founders’ vision of increasing the diffusion of geographic knowledge.

For more information on the history of the National Geographic Society, click here.

Media Credits

The audio, illustrations, photos, and videos are credited beneath the media asset, except for promotional images, which generally link to another page that contains the media credit. The Rights Holder for media is the person or group credited.

National Geographic Society
Mary Crooks, National Geographic Society
Last Updated

April 23, 2024

For information on user permissions, please read our Terms of Service. If you have questions about how to cite anything on our website in your project or classroom presentation, please contact your teacher. They will best know the preferred format. When you reach out to them, you will need the page title, URL, and the date you accessed the resource.


If a media asset is downloadable, a download button appears in the corner of the media viewer. If no button appears, you cannot download or save the media.


Text on this page is printable and can be used according to our Terms of Service.


Any interactives on this page can only be played while you are visiting our website. You cannot download interactives.

Related Resources