The “Société Belge de Géographie” was founded on 27 August 1876, just a few days before King Léopold II opened the “Conférence géographique de Bruxelles”.
In 1882, the Society was allowed to add the term “Royale” to its name. There was then a great interest towards a better knowledge of the different parts of the world, under the influence of colonialism and trade. At the end of the century, the Society had more than a thousand members, scientists, but mainly businessmen, lawyers or civil servants.
From the beginning, the Society has published a journal, named “Bulletin de la Société (Royale) Belge de Géographie” and “Revue Belge de Géographie” from 1962. This last change of name renders deeper changes. At the end of the Fifties, the Society lost the financial support from colonial corporations: the Revue became more closely associated to academic research. As a fulfilment of this trend, the journal merged in 2000 with the “Bulletin de la Société Belge d’Etudes Géographiques” under the name “Belgeo”, publishing more and more papers in English, with strict requirements of paired review.
Another constant goal of the Society is popularization. This goal has for a long time only been achieved through the organisation of conferences. Since the Eighties, the Society has published atlases of Belgium and Europe and a collection of touristic guidebooks, under the title “Hommes et Paysages” (now 34 booklets have been published), proposing geographical fieldtrips in Belgium.
The Society is holding a library. The collection of books, journals, atlases and maps has gained evident historical value, due to the age of the Society.
The Society, which counts about 120 members now, mainly geographers, is located at the Geographical Institute of the “Université Libre de Bruxelles”.
Société Belge de Géographie
Geographical Institute of the Université Libre de Bruxelles
Campus Plaine, Boulevard du Triomphe
(Mail address: Av. F.D. Roosevelt, 50, CP. 246, 1050 Brussels)
Belgeo (Belgian Journal of Geography)
Belgeo intends to mirror the multicultural Belgian Society and its openness to the international scene. It also strives for high scientific quality. Besides general topics, the journal covers European and global issues and of course Belgian matters. Belgeo is published in four issues a year, two of which are centred on themes in human geography; one issue will address a physical geography topic. The fourth issue is devoted to papers with various subjects. For each thematic issue, a guest editor, specialised in the subject is appointed.
Homme & Paysages
A constant goal of the SRBG is popularization. This goal has for a long time been achieved through the organisation of conferences. Since 1986, the Society publishes a collection of tourist guides, under the title Hommes et Paysages. The general idea is to teach the non specialist how to understand a landscape. Most items are the result of collaborations between authors from different disciplines.