The Royal Society has been publishing scientific articles for over 350 years. All of our published material is available to read within our journal websites.
During 2015 we celebrated the 350th anniversary of Philosophical Transactions, the world's first science journal. Information about the activities and resources associated with this celebration can be found below. Philosophical Transactions pioneered the concepts of scientific priority and peer review which, together with archiving and dissemination, provide the model for almost 30,000 scientific journals today. Read more about the history of this journal.
Since this landmark occasion, we have re-digitised original copies of all our journals from 1665 to 1996 to create The Royal Society Journals Archive.
The Science in the Making project is an ambitious digitisation programme that aims to make over 35,000 items of archival material related to the publication of the Society’s scientific journals available online. This website presents the complex material that lies behind the published articles, such as peer review reports, correspondence, photographs, illustrations and early drafts. The varied content includes reviews by Darwin, correspondence by Newton, and an extensive collection of photography from the British Antarctic expedition.
Our history of science journal, Notes and Records, has been publishing since 1938. In addition to publishing peer-reviewed research articles in all areas of the history of science, technology and medicine, Notes and Records welcomes other forms of contribution including: research notes elucidating recent archival discoveries (in The Royal Society Collections and elsewhere).
Biographical Memoirs is a series of extended obituaries celebrating the lives and achievement of Fellows of the Royal Society and has been publishing since 1932. All Biographical Memoirs content is freely available to access online.
In February 2023 we launched a new online seminar series that will feature a selection of talks and seminars covering the history of science based on articles published in Royal Society Publishing journals Notes and Records and Biographical Memoirs. Each talk is associated with a recent paper or theme issue, selected by the journal’s editors as being particularly innovative or having had significant recent impact.
Our library holds one of the most important history of science collections in the world with thousands of rare and unique items. These include published works, handwritten drafts, correspondence, illustrations, and original data on everything from rainfall to astronomical observations. We hold records of the work of the Society since 1660 and our collections can be explored online. Search the library catalogue, visit the reading room, or browse our digital resources that include Turning the Pages and the Picture Library.