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Letters and Papers of a scientific nature submitted for publication by the Royal Society

Reference number: L&P

Date: 1741-1806


Scientific papers sent to the Royal Society, many of which were published in the 'Philosophical Transactions'. As the name implies, the series is a combination and continuation of Early Letters and Classified Papers into the 19th century. Later, the sequence divided into the Philosophical Transactions series for those papers that were published and Archived Papers for those that were not published at the time. From the time that the Letters and Papers (or New Guard Books as they were originally known) were created, none of these original papers were copied into Letter or Register Books. Scientists represented include William Herschel (66 papers) William Watson (36 papers) Henry Baker (32 papers) Everard Home (31 papers), William Stukeley (30 papers), and John Smeaton (23 papers). As the series progresses, the character of the documents alters - the earlier decades contain larger numbers of short letters, but by the 19th century most of the manuscripts are in the form of long monographs. The texts are supported by a large quantity of original illustrations throughout the series. This collection provides a virtually unbroken run of presentations by leading 18th century scientists; the few gaps include 1746-1749, when no papers were collected. Occasionally such missing items may be located in the archives of other institutions.

Reference number
Earliest possible date
Physical description
119 bound volumes in quarter vellum with cloth sides, with leather labels, and 2 boxes
Page extent
3,668 items in 119 volumes and 2 boxes

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Letters and Papers of a scientific nature submitted for publication by the Royal Society, 1741-1806, L&P, The Royal Society Archives, London,, accessed on 30 November 2023

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  • Letters and Papers

    Dates: 1741-1806

    'Letters and Papers' contains the scientific correspondence sent to the Royal Society through the 18th century, many of which were published in its journal.

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