|Title||'Early letters': letters from correspondents in natural philosophy sent to the Royal Society and its Fellows|
|Creator||The Royal Society|
|Description||Incoming letters to the Royal Society via its secretaries, officers and Fellows, on natural philosophy topics. |
Generally from the period 1660-1740, but with smaller collections of earlier material; one letter from Galileo dated 1613, two letters dated in the 1630s, one dated 1642, ten items dated to the 1650s (correspondence between Robert Boyle, Henry Oldenberg and John Beale). Some material is not dated.
These papers form the raw material from which the Royal Society's Letter Books and Register Books were compiled and many were published in the 'Philosophical Transactions' of the Royal Society.
The series also contains English translations of foreign language letters, for example from the Dutch of Antoni van Leeuwenhoek.
Other document formats, including printed material, have been preserved within this sequence.
|Extent||38 volumes containing 4,390 items|
|Physical description||Bound volumes in slip cases|
|Arrangement||Volumes are arranged alphabetically by author, and chronologically within author letter groups, with a single supplementary volume of letters essentially to Robert Boyle from Henry Oldenburg and John Beale. This order was published in 1840 by Shuckard, who numbered each letter sequentially in his catalogue. The numbering system used here is the item number assigned to individual letters within each volume and not Shuckard's system. A few letters were added after 1840.|
|Finding aids||Alphabetical list of correspondents published in W E Shuckard, 'Catalogues of the miscellaneous manuscripts and of the manuscript letters in the possession of the Royal Society' (London: Royal Society, 1840), with dates. |
|Access conditions||No photocopying|
|Copyright||The Royal Society|
|Related material||Royal Society Letter Books, Register Books and Classified Papers|
|Copies||Letters have been microfilmed by University Publications of America (UPA)|
|URL description||Also available on Early Modern Letters Online|