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The Royal Society Journals Archive

Royal Society archive image

Find out more about offering your researchers perpetual access to the Journals Archive.

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Launched in 2017, the Journals Archive contains full colour images of original peer reviewed scientific articles, from 1665 to 1996.  It provides a fascinating insight into the development of science, no other archive has material from a scientific journal published continuously for over 350 years.

Explore highlights from the Journals Archive with our digital brochure.

The archive is a major resource for History of Science courses and also covers major works in Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Engineering, Maths and the broad interdisciplinary studies for which the Royal Society journals are so well known. 

With articles by scientists who were prominent in different areas of public life, the archive is a valuable resource for all History students and researchers working on the post-enlightenment period, whatever their area of interest. Authors include Sir Christopher Wren, Benjamin Franklin, James Clerk Maxwell, Alan Turing, Kathleen Lonsdale, Stephen Hawking and Dorothy Hodgkins. 

Available as a one-time purchase with no ongoing fees the full archive contains 1,278 volumes with 45,883 articles totaling over 740,000 pages. It offers librarians the chance save over 50 metres of shelf space while preserving instant access to the content. 

Careful, curated digitisation led by our library team has resulted in a high-quality resource with added features including:

  • comprehensive metadata for indexing and discoverability
  • annotations, illustrations and additional material captured from our original collections
  • image plates, maps, and end matter material
  • additional content not previously available
  • MathML

Highlights from the archive include these articles:

Download a sample of the archive data

The chemical basis of morphogenesis (ZIP) provides a sample of the data for librarians to explore the structure of the file and how it will integrate with existing systems.  As it is a large file it is best downloaded to a desktop rather than mobile and may take two to three minutes. If you have any questions after reviewing the sample please email

If all the books in the world, except the Philosophical Transactions, were to be destroyed, it is safe to say that the foundations of physical science would remain unshaken, and that the vast intellectual progress of the last two centuries would be largely, though incompletely, recorded.

Thomas Henry Huxley FRS, 1870 


The archive is available as a one time, perpetual access purchase, we do not charge a year-on-year maintenance or administration fee. Contact your local sales rep to discuss prices. 

1997 Onwards

We have been publishing online since 1997, so original content from these years is good quality and fully searchable. Please contact us if you are interested in purchasing perpetual access to content from 1997 onwards.

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