Explore the UK’s scientific legacy in the Royal Society’s new digital archive

The Royal Society, the UK’s national academy of sciences, is making over 330 years’ worth of high-quality, full colour images from its journals available online.

The content, which includes annotations, illustrations, and additional material between 1665 and 1996, has so far only been available to people visiting our library. Up until the 24 January 2018 the archive will be free to access.

Improved metadata means the collection is now easier to search, helping you to navigate through over 350 years of science in the making. Each article has been tagged individually by experienced indexers, capturing a wealth of information that was not previously searchable.

The Royal Society captured every single one of the 740,000 pages of our 1665-1996 physical journal collections held at Carlton Terrace House. The images have been processed to achieve a high level of consistency but we have retained the original page colour and general appearance, including notes in the margin, to give the reader the experience of browsing the archive itself.

Users can now digitally access some of the most important scientific texts in history, including Newton’s theory of light and colour, Franklin’s electrical experiments, Lonsdale’s crystallography, Turing’s paper on morphogenesis and many more. We have created a list of some influential papers published in Philosophical Transactions that are included in the archive.

An extended version of the archive is also available to purchase, which would give institutions perpetual access to content from 1665-1996 and its own copy to include in its repository, perfect for data mining, complete with:

  • An indexing database allowing for improved search
  • Extended metadata and math ml
  • No annual maintenance fee
  • Higher resolution images

Find out more about Royal Society journal collection, including more article collections and how to recommend it to your librarian.