Reference numberRBO
TitleRegister Book Original of the Royal Society
DescriptionThe register books contain copies of scientific papers submitted to the Society - the original documents may be found in the Classified Papers. The papers were transcribed in the register books in order to establish their precedence for a particular discovery or idea. Therefore not all communications to the Society were registered in this manner, but only those judged to contain some significant material. Dates as listed are those on which the paper was communicated to the Royal Society; dates of writing, where given, are included in the description of each paper.

Many of the these papers were published in 'Philosophical Transactions'.

The register books are by nature copies of notable documents transcribed into a register, in turn the registers exist in original and copy form as the original register book was transcribed in the eighteenth century: see Register Book Copy, RBC.
Extent21 volumes and 2 index volumes
Physical descriptionLeather bound volumes
ArrangementBy date
Digital imagesView item on Science in the Making
Finding aidsVolumes 1-5 contain some subject indexing; volumes 7, 11-17 and 20 have indexes to authors
NotesAltRefNo field gives the page number of the item
Access statusOpen
Administrative historyThe Register Books exist in Original and Copy form. The Original set was copied in the eighteenth century, possibly for reasons of security as were the Journal Books and the Council Minutes. It is known that one volume of the Register was lost (Volume 2) and then recovered, but not before a replacement had been made, leaving three versions. A further copy of Volumes 1 and 2 of the Register was made (date unknown) and returned to the Society in 1814, being presented to Sir Joseph Banks (MS/776). Volume 10 of the series does not exist - this was left as a deliberate gap in the sequence, to be filled if original papers became available for copying. MS/245 may once have been considered as part of, or supplementary to, the Register Book. It contains copies of original documents in Classified Papers 23(i) and (ii) on the subject of inoculation, and is copied and bound in similar style.
Related materialRegister Book Copy, 19 volumes, 1661-1738; general subject index in two volume index to the Journal, Register and Letter Books, 1661-1689, continued to 1695, and the single volume Register Book Copy index; see Classified Papers (Reference: CLP) for original documents
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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
    the world's most eminent scientists and is the
    oldest scientific academy in continuous existence.
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