Reference numberMOB
TitleMuseum objects
DescriptionInstruments, artefacts, specimens and furniture connected to the practice of science at the Royal Society over the past 360 years. Certain objects relate to specific Fellows, or to specific Society sponsored projects; others are of significance to the history of science more generally.
Extent93 items
ArrangementArranged chronologically
Finding aidsA few of these historical artefacts are described in the 'Record of the Royal Society', 1940. A list of objects acquired by the Society, are listed in 'The Record of the Royal Society: Supplement 1940-1989' (London 1992). A list compiled for insurance purposes offers brief descriptions of a wider range of items. Details of the instruments and artefacts currently held by the Science Museum, London, are held by the Librarian; access to these lists is at the discretion of the Librarian.
Access statusOpen
Administrative historyAn important activity of the early Royal Society was the collecting of Scientific Instruments and natural history specimens. This resulted in the creation of a museum or repository, first described by Nehemiah Grew in 1681. Poor storage conditions led to the deterioration of the collection during the 18th century, and the Society's move to Somerset House prompted the donation of most of the surviving objects to the British Museum in 1781. Those items retained by the Society are listed here alongside recent acquisitions.
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    Collection highlights

    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.

    The Royal Society

    The Royal Society is a Fellowship of many of
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    oldest scientific academy in continuous existence.
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