Skip to content

Please be aware that some material may contain words, descriptions or illustrations which will not reflect current scientific understanding and may be considered in today's context inaccurate, unethical, offensive or distressing.


Ten volumes of scientific letters and papers from various authors containing accounts, observations and theories covering a wide variety of subjects and disciplines. Sent to the Royal Society for discussion and possible publishing. Some items feature original artwork, figures and tables. The coverage of the volumes that make up decade 9 is as follows:

Volume 81: item numbers 1-22, read 22 June 1786 - 21 December 1786
Volume 82: item numbers 23-49, read 18 January 1787 - 17 May 1787
Volume 83: item numbers 50-72, read 17 May 1787 - 10 January 1788
Volume 84: item numbers 73-101, read 17 January 1788 - 12 June 1788
Volume 85: item numbers 102-120, read 6 November 1788 - 12 March 1789
Volume 86: item numbers 121-144, read 26 March 1789 - 2 July 1789
Volume 87: item numbers 145-167, read 12 November 1789 - 15 April 1790
Volume 88: item numbers 168-180, read 22 April 1790 - 24 June 1790
Volume 89: item numbers 181-201, read 11 November 1790 - 19 May 1791
Volume 90: item numbers 202-221, read 19 May 1791 - 26 January 1792

The dates given correspond to the date that the papers were written/sent by the author. The read date in the description indicates when papers were read at a Royal Society meeting.

Each volume contains a list of contents which provides: a document reference number, author, title, extent, date of reading to the Society and place of publication in the 'Philosophical Transactions' as far as could be determined for each item.

Nos 131, 138 and 139 relate to the dispute over the achromatic lenses patent between Chester Moore Hall (1703-1771) and John Dollond (1706-1761) who registered the patent in 1758. Jesse Ramsden, son in law to John Dollond, gave his version of events in No 138, and was supported by Addison Smith's account of the original lens given him by Hall in No 139

Reference number
Earliest possible date
Physical description
10 bound volumes in quarter vellum with cloth sides, with leather labels
Page extent
Ten volumes containing 221 items

Use this record


Decade 9 of scientific letters and papers submitted for publication by the Royal Society, 1786-1792, L&P/9, The Royal Society Archives, London,, accessed on 21 July 2024

Link to this record

Embed this record

<iframe src="" title="Decade 9 of scientific letters and papers submitted for publication by the Royal Society" allow="fullscreen" frameborder="0" width="100%" height="500px"></iframe>

Explore the collection

  • 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.

    View collection