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Highlights from the Royal Society Collections

Principia mathematica

The manuscript of Sir Isaac Newton’s work, philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica (1687, mathematical principles of natural philosophy), is the Royal Society’s greatest treasure and a cornerstone of scientific thought.

This document is the fair copy which Edmond Halley FRS (1656-1742), who oversaw production of the Principia, would have known in 1687. It retains corrections and notes added by Newton and Halley with the marginal smudges and inky fingerprints of the anonymous compositors who made the first edition; perhaps even Edmond Halley’s too. This is one of the world’s most influential books and the crowning achievement of 17th century natural philosophy.

Principia Mathematica

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