The Society owns a number of museum objects, medals, prints, portraits and busts.


One of the Society’s original roles was as a repository for artefacts and the Society retains a core collection of objects including scientific instruments. Many were displayed in the ‘350 years of science’ exhibition in 2010. The bulk of the Society’s object collection is on loan to the National Museum for Science and Industry.

The Society has an important collection of over 250 portraits of scientists. These include the works of leading artists ranging from Peter Lely, William Hogarth and Thomas Lawrence to Bryan Organ and Salvador Dali.

There are more than 50 sculpture busts of Fellows and other scientists displayed around the Society’s headquarters building.

Approximately 8,000 photographs, engravings and lithographs of past Fellows or history of science images are deposited in the archives and managed by the Picture Library.

Search the collections

Advanced search

About the archives

We have a policy on new acquisitions (PDF). See a list of our latest acquisitions of archive items (PDF).

These finding aids may assist you in your research.