The Society of Woman Geographers was established in 1925 at a time when women were excluded from membership in most professional organizations, such as the Explorers Club, who would not admit women until 1981.
Organized by four friends Gertrude Emerson Sen, Marguerite Harrison, Blair Niles and Gertrude Mathews Shelby, to bring together women interested in geography, world exploration, anthropology and related fields. Membership was restricted to women who had "done distinctive work whereby they have added to the world's store of knowledge concerning the countries on which they have specialized, and have published in magazines or in book form a record of their work."
Among its founders were Harriet Chalmers Adams, the society's first president in December 1925, a post which she held until 1933.  In 1930, the society presented its first medal to Amelia Earhart. Famous members included: historian Mary Ritter Beard, photographer Margaret Bourke-White, novelist Fannie Hurst, mountain climber Annie Smith Peck, anthropologist Margaret Mead, Eleanor Roosevelt, and author Grace Gallatin Seton Thompson. Margaret Mead was presented with the society's Gold Medal in 1942.
- Ware. 1988
- Anema. 2004
- Anema, Durlynn (2004). Harriet Chalmers Adams: Adventurer and Explorer. Aurora, Colorado: National Writers Press. ISBN 0-88100-131-7.
- Olds, Elizabeth (1985). Women of the Four Winds. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 0-395-36199-0.
- Ware, Susan (1988). Letter to the World: Seven Women who Shaped the American Century. New York: W.W. Norton. ISBN 0-393-04652-4.
- iswg.org Society of Woman Geographers