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Classified papers of the Royal Society

Reference number: CLP

Date: 1660-1741


Scientific and other papers sent to the Royal Society, presented at meetings of Fellows, or commissioned by the Society.

Organised according to a simplified version of the classification by subject area devised by John Lowthorp for his abridgment of the 'Philosophical Transactions'. This arrangement was completed in 1741 by Thomas Birch.

Some of the papers pre-date the grant of the First Charter to the Society on 15 July 1662. The Committee of Trades seems to have been associated with the earlier meetings of those philosophers who subsequently became Fellows, and produced a number of practical papers, some of which were written in 1639 and which are mostly found in Volume 3(i). There are still earlier documents, mostly in Volume 25, which may have been included in the gift, in 1667, of the Arundel Library.

The majority of the papers in these volumes are manuscript, but a few printed documents occur throughout the series.

Custodial history

Either sent to the Royal Society, presented at meetings of Fellows, or commissioned by the Society. Final papers concerning trade in Cl.P/25 and those on the same subject in Cl.P/3(i) date from the first half of the 17th century, pre-dating the foundation of the Royal Society and were acquired from a different source. The present 25 numbered volumes (bound as 31 volumes) may have originally been bound as 39.

Reference number
Earliest possible date
Physical description
Bound volumes
Page extent
31 volumes containing 2,507 papers

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Classified papers of the Royal Society, 1660-1741, CLP, The Royal Society Archives, London,, accessed on 26 February 2024

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  • Classified Papers

    Dates: 1592-1741

    The 'Classified Papers' of the Royal Society are papers from British and international natural philosophers and scholars categorised according to subject areas.

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