Reference numberLBO
TitleLetter Book of the Royal Society: 'original' copies
DescriptionContains copies of letters received by the Society on diverse areas of natural philosophy. These are copies of original documents, many of which can be found in the Early Letters collection, though not all items in the letter books have a corresponding original in the Royal Society collections. Originals were submitted to be read at meetings of the Society and published in its journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. They were copied into the letter book for security and to establish a record of priority.

The numbering of the volumes and their chronological range is slightly eccentric. Volumes numbered 1-18 are letters of 1662-1727;within this group, Volume 11 has been extended into two volumes. Volume 17 was created in order to leave a gap in the series for retrospective copying of original papers. The succeeding Volumes 19-26 overlap in time, giving correspondence for the years 1720-1740. There are also five supplementary volumes providing fair copies of letters omitted from the main run; these are labelled A-B, B-C, D-G, G-H and H-S, the letters being arranged in order of author.
LanguageEnglish, Latin, French, German and Italian
Extent31 volumes
Physical descriptionLeather bound volumes
ArrangementVolumes 1-18 cover 1661-1727; Volumes 19-26 cover 1720-1740; five supplementary volumes arranged alphabetically A-S
Finding aidsVolumes 1-19 (1661-1730) are indexed by name of author. Volumes 1661-1695 are indexed in Waller's general subject index to the Journal, Register and Letter Books, and its copy. The five supplementary volumes are indexed letter by letter in the Archive Card Catalogue, giving details of author, recipient, date and location.
Access statusOpen
Access conditionsOPEN. No photocopying. No microfilm available.
Related materialLetter Book Copy (a manuscript copy of the letter books made for security reasons). Corresponding original letters in 'Early Letters' collection.
Fellows associated with this archive
NA6739Waller; Richard (c1646 - 1715); natural philosopher and translatorc1646 - 1715
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    Browse the records of some of our collections, which cover all branches of science and date from the 12th century onwards. These include the published works of Fellows of the Royal Society, personal papers of eminent scientists, letters and manuscripts sent to the Society or presented at meetings, and administrative records documenting the Society's activities since our foundation in 1660.

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