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Manuscripts General

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0117 MS
Held at: Royal Society
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Full title: Manuscripts General
Date(s): 13th century to present
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 171 feet of shelving
Name of creator(s): Various
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers by, about or belonging to the Fellows of the Royal Society, and acquired by donation or purchase from outside sources. Large diverse series of papers intended to encompass all collections of documents which were not generated by the organization, but which were donated, purchased or otherwise acquired from outside sources. The series therefore contains all manner of papers by, about, or belonging to Fellows of the Royal Society. The subject matter is as diverse as the interests of the Fellows, and covers all branches of the sciences, including some non-scientific material. Generally, the Manuscripts are Western in origin. Also includes some records generated by the Society itself but added to the collection when considered unsuitable for existing categories.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:
English, Latin, French, German and Italian

System of arrangement:

By date of accession. Some records removed at a later date to create a new series (such as the early Committee Minute Books, previously occupying the numbers MS 428-98, 503-4) The numbers were not reassigned, so although the numbers are consecutive, there are gaps, and the total is not a true reflection of the number of Manuscripts within the collection.

Conditions governing access:

Conditions governing reproduction:

Finding aids:

Complete handlist by RK Bluhm and updated by subsequent Archivists. All components noted in General Card Catalogue, but with varying detail.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Allied Materials

Related material:

Oriental Papers passed into the care of the India Office Library in 1878. The Arundel Manuscripts which originally formed part of this collection (around 570 of these) transferred to the British Museum in 1829.

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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