Reference numberPT
TitleManuscripts of papers published in Philosophical Transactions
DescriptionThe manuscript versions of papers published by the Royal Society in the 'Philosophical Transactions'. The series has many points of interest, which include authors' corrections to manuscripts and the presence of original illustrations in various media (drawings, watercolours and photographs) bound in the volumes. Not all of the original material printed in the 'Philosophical Transactions' relating to Society business survives, but manuscript examples of meteorological observations, lists of presents and annual indexing may be found in volumes 8, 9 and 12.

Papers are usually bound into vellum-covered volumes by year of publication, although a few (volumes 4, 5, 8, 9, 12, 17, 73-75) are loose, boxed items. The papers are arranged within the volumes largely in the order in which they appeared within each volume of Philosophical Transactions. Several gaps appear in the collection, notably for the period 1825-1839 (volumes 18-22) and any year may lack one or more papers; these omissions are noted at the beginning of each part. Despite this, the series constitutes a large, relatively complete run.
Extent1,035 papers in 66 bound vols and 7 vols unbound in 11 boxes, and 7 boxes of separated illustrations representing three volumes (73-75)
Physical descriptionPaper bound into vellum-covered volumes
ArrangementBound into volumes by year of publication
Digital imagesView item on Science in the Making
Finding aidsEach paper is catalogued in the General Card Catalogue. Information given: author, title, location, extent of paper and illustrative matter (if any), reference to place of publication in the printed Philosophical Transactions and location of relevant Referee's Report (if any). The printed volumes 'A continuation to the alphabetical index of the matter contained in the Philosophical Transactions...1781-1820 and 1821 - 1830' (London 1821 and 1833) allow indirect subject access to the series 1807-1830.
Access statusOpen
Related records in the cataloguePP
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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

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