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Archives in London and the M25 area

Archived Papers

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0117 AP
Held at: Royal Society
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Full title: Archived Papers
Date(s): 1768-1984
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 1,603 papers in 79 bound volumes, and 9 boxes of single papers
Name of creator(s): Various
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

Scientific papers sent to the Society with a view to publishing, these were either not published or abstracted after being read at meetings of Fellows, and subsequently deposited in the archives.


Scope and content/abstract:

Scientific papers sent to the Royal Society which remained unpublished at their time of receipt, or which were abstracted in the Society's 'Proceedings' after being read at a meeting of Fellows. Early papers in this sequence are occasionally of interest in being preserved complete with associated correespondence (pre-dating Referees Reports); for example, the Charles Wildbore - Nevil Maskelyne letters 1787-1790 (AP.7.16-34). Mid nineteenth century papers of some significance may exist, in both original and abstracted form, such as HWF Talbot's 'Some account of the art of photogenic drawing' (AP.23.19) The Society's policy now is to return rejected scientific papers to authors, so any current additions to this collection usually take the form of unpublished supplementary data to published papers.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Generally in chronological order, and alphabetically by author within each set to 1920. Volumes 1-3, containing updated but post-1800 papers, are exceptional in being ordered by author only (volume 1 A-C, volume 2 D-K, Volume 3 L-W). Remaining volumes are not bound, amounting to nine boxes of single papers; volume 80 is ungathered material from 1851. Volumes 81-85 are items 1939 onwards and these boxes contain supplementary material to published papers such as tables, photographs, and addenda rather than complete texts of papers.

Conditions governing access:


Conditions governing reproduction:

No publication without written permission. Apply to Archivist in the first instance.

Finding aids:

Each volume contains a list of contents, except for volumes 61-64 for the period 1881-1887. The papers are listed in the Archive Card Catalogue, listing author, title, location, extent of manuscripts and illustrations, reference to 'Proceedings' publication, and to Referees Reports (if any).

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Copied from the Royal Society catalogue by Sarah Drewery.

Rules or conventions:
General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal Place and Corporate Names 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
Feb 2009

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