Search through our collection of 30,000 manuscripts and 2,800 Fellows.
Read more about this project and the Royal Society scientific archives.
Discover the historical context of our collections in our in focus section.
Science in the making
In 1665, the first issue of the Royal Society trailblazing scientific journal, the Philosophical Transactions appears. Publishing research across the sciences as reported by and to the Fellows of the Royal Society, the Philosophical Transactions has showcased the work of preeminent scientific minds of the past 370 years.
Today, Science in the making takes the Philosophical Transactions as its starting point and dives back into the archives to go beyond the printed page and allows users to discover how science was made, discussed, and shared since the very beginnings of its history.
Explore the collections
The archival collection known as 'Early Letters' is composed of original manuscript letters sent to, or collected by, the Royal Society from English and foreign correspondents.View collection
The 'Classified Papers' of the Royal Society are papers from British and international natural philosophers and scholars categorised according to subject areas.View collection
The 'Register Books Originals' contain copies of scientific papers submitted to the Society and considered for publication. The papers were transcribed to establish their precedence for a particular discovery or idea.View collection
Letters and Papers
'Letters and Papers' contains the scientific correspondence sent to the Royal Society through the 18th century, many of which were published in its journal.View collection
The 'Archived Papers' collection consists of 85 volumes containing 1,608 individual papers and letters, spanning the years 1768-1989 and is comprised of original manuscript scientific papers and letters submitted to the Royal Society which remained unpublished or were abstracted in the Proceedings of the Royal Society.View collection
The 'Philosophical Transactions' collection comprises manuscript versions of papers published in The Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, the world’s first and longest continuously running journal dedicated to science.View collection
This collection contains reports on scientific papers submitted for publication to the Royal Society. Started in 1832 when the system was formalised, it is a record of the origins of peer review publishing in practice.View collection
Dates: 1551 - 1951
Science in the Making presents selected items from the 'Manuscripts General' series, notably astronomical observations, investigations of discrete topics, and indices and Registers of papers read before the Royal Society.View collection
Dates: 1882 - 1894
The archival collection known as 'Proceedings Papers' is comprised of manuscripts and occasional proofs of scientific papers sent to the Royal Society which were read before meetings of Fellows and printed in full in the Proceedings of the Royal Society.View collection