Scholarly Societies Project

Royal Society of London

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Royal Society of London
Founding of the Society
Year
Authority / Notes
1660
This date is supported by the Royal Society website.

Ornstein, in a chapter (pp.91-138) on the Royal Society, indicates that it grew out of informal weekly meetings in London that first began in 1645. At these meetings, people interested in the new experimental science gathered for discussions. Some members moved to Oxford around 1648-1649, and established separate meetings there. But by 1658 many had moved back to London. Gresham College in London became the focus of the meetings that led to the founding in 1660 of the Society. And in 1662, King Charles II granted the Society a Royal Charter, making it the Royal Society of London.

On p.150 of The Timetables of Science (1988) we read that the Society was founded in 1660 as the Invisible College for the promoting of Physico-Mathematical Experimental Learning, and became the Royal Society for the Improvement of Natural Knowledge in 1663 when King Charles II sealed its charter.

In section entitled History at the Royal Society website, we read [quotation copied 2000, October 27]:

At first apparently nameless, the name The Royal Society first appears in print in 1661 and in the second Royal Charter of 1663, the Society is referred to as ‘The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge’.
Seat of the Society
City
Authority / Notes
London
England
This location is supported by the Royal Society website.
Name of the Society
Dates
Name
Authority
1662 - Royal Society of London Its publications.
1667? - Royal Society The title page of the 1st edition (1667) of Thomas Sprat's The History of the Royal-Society of London, for the Improving of Natural Knowledge (as reproduced between pp.92 & 93 of Ornstein) gives the imprint statement as: London, Printed by T.R. for J. Martyn at the Bell without Temple-bar, and J. Allestry at the Rose and Crown in Duck-lane, Printers to the Royal Society. MDCLXVII. The designation Royal Society is still found today in its publications.
Royal Society of London Webpage = http://www.royalsoc.ac.uk/
Journals of the Society
Years
Full Journal Title
Abbrev.
Indexed
1665/1666 -
1775
(v.1 - v.65)
 
A
Philosophical Transactions: giving some accompt of the present undertakings, studies, and labours of the ingenious in many considerable parts of the world
[Full-text of 1665-1666 (Vol. 1) to 1886 (Vol. 177) is available at Gallica: la bibliothèque numerique.]
Harvard Univ. cat also has a record with the modern spelling account in place of accompt.
Suspended between v. 12 and v. 13. During this suspension (1679 - 1682), Robert Hooke published Aa (according to Scudder #434f).
Vols. 1-46, 1665-1750, issued as no. 1-497.
There were numerous editions in English (see, for example, Scudder #434h), and abridgements in English (see, for example, Scudder #434d, e, & i) of portions of this first run of volumes in the Philosophical Transactions.
Continued by B.
[Harvard Univ. cat.; Scudder #434g]
Iournal d'Angleterre
[Journal des Sçavans, Lundy XI. Ianvier M. DC. LXVI. (i.e. 1666), p.27 cites an article by Monsieur Hensham [sic] (Thomas Henshaw) on may-dew; the article appears in the Philosophical Transactions, Vol. 1, Numb. 3, Munday, May 8. 1665. pp.33-36.]
Iovrnal d'Angleterre
[Journal des Sçavans, Lundy XVIII. Ianvier M. DC. LXVI. (i.e. 1666), p.40 cites an article by Monsieur Boïle [sic] (Robert Boyle) on a monstrous calf; the article appears in the Philosophical Transactions, Vol. 1, Numb. 1, Munday, March 6. 1665. p.10.]
Ph. Tr.
[Phil. Trans., Vol. 16 (1686 - 1692), p.376 cites n. 28.]
Ph. Trans.
[Phil. Trans., Vol. 62 (1772), p. 464 cites Vol. LVII.]
Ph. Transactions
[Phil. Trans., Vol. 4 (1669), p. 1044 cites Numb. 18.]
Phil. Tr.
[Phil. Trans., Vol. 48 (1753), p.U5 (in the Index following p.882) cites No 496.]
Phil. Tr.
[Pogg, v.1, col.70 cites 1684 & 1698.]
Phil. Trans.
[Phil. Trans., Vol. 6 (1671), p. 2279 cites p.2172 (same volume).]
Phil. Transact.
[Phil. Trans., Vol. 1 (1665), p.181 cites Num.9, p.159.]
Phil. Transact.
[Pogg, v.1, col.31 cites 1745; v.1, col.32 cites 1756.]
Phil. Transactions
[Phil. Trans., Vol. 3 (1668), p. 792.]
Philos. Tr.
[Phil. Trans., Vol. 26 (1708), p.423 cites No.50.]
Philos. Trans.
[Phil. Trans., Vol. 16 (1686), p.376 cites Numb.112.]
Philos. Transact.
[Phil. Trans., Vol. 16 (1686), p. 237 cites Numb.183.]
Philos. Transact.
[Reuss, v.4, p.1 cites Y. 1713.]
Philos. Transact.
[Pogg., v.1, col.268 cites 1665.]
Philos. Transactions
[Phil. Trans., Vol. 4 (1669), p. 911.]
Philosoph. Trans.
[Phil. Trans., Vol. 13 (1683), p.284 cites Num. 147.]
Philosoph. Transact.
[Phil. Trans., Vol. 13 (1683), p.U5 for pp. 281-284.]
Philosoph. Transactions
[Phil. Trans., Vol. 23 (1702), p.1416 (the 1st sequence containing p.1416) cites No 255.]
Philosophical Trans.
[Phil. Trans., Vol. 24 (1704), p.1702.]
Philosophical Transact.
[Phil. Trans., Vol. 13 (1683), p. 120 cites No. 142.]
Pogg
Reuss
1679 - 1682
(no.1 - no.7,
in 1 vol.)
 
Aa
Philosophical Collections / The Royal Society of London
This volume was published by Robert Hooke in place of A during the suspension of the latter title (according to Scudder #434f).
[Harvard Univ. cat.; Scudder #434f]
 
 
1665 -1671, Feb.
(6 vols.?)
(published
1672 - 1681)
 
A1
Acta Philosophica Societatis Regiae in Anglia, anni [1665, etc.]. Auctore Henrico Oldenburgio, Soc. reg. secr. Anglice conscripta et in Latinum versa interprete C. S.
Imprint statement reads: Amstelodami, Apud Henricum & Theodorum Boom.
This is a Latin translation of vols. for 1665 - Feb. 1671 of the Philosophical Transactions.
The designation C. S. evidently stands for Christoph Sand, the translator.
[Bibliot. Nat. France cat.; Scudder #766a]
 
 
1665 - 1669
(a Latin transl.
published 1675)
 
A2
Acta Philosophica Societatis Regiae in Anglia, anni MDCLXV, LXVI, LXVII, LXVIII, LXIX, auctore Henrico Oldenburgio, Societatis Reg. Secr anglice conscripta, et in Latinum versa interprete C. S. ; nunc iterum, adjecto indice accurato, edita
The imprint statement reads: Lipsiae : sumpt. J. Fritzschii, 1675. indicating that it was published in Leipzig.
According to Scudder #3017a this is the 2nd edition of the Latin translation of the Philosophical Transactions covering the years 1665 - 1669. The Bibliot. Nat. France cat. indicates that the translator (C.S.) was Christoph Sand.
[Biobliot. Nat. France cat.; Scudder #3017a]
 
 
1665 - 1785
(an abridged
French transl.
published
1787 - 1791)
 
A3
Abrégé des Transactions Philosophiques de la Société Royale de Londres...
An abridged French translation of the first 75 vols. of the Philosophical Transactions edited (and translated in part) by Jacques Gibelin. This publication seems to have appeared in slightly different forms (different publication dates, and differing numbers of volumes). A catalogue record in the Bibliot. Nat. France cat. indicates the following contents for a set published 1789 - 1791 : Part 1 (Histoire naturelle), and Parts 2-3 (Botanique) were evidently translated by Jacques Gibelin. Part 4 (Physique expérimentale) was translated by a M. Reynier. Part 5 (Chimie), Part 6 (Anatomie et physique animale), and Part 7 (Médecine et chirurgie were translated by a M. Pinel. Part 8 (Matière médicale et pharmacie were translated by MM. Wilmet, Bosquillon and Pinel. Part 10 (Mélanges observations voyages, and Part 11 & Part 12 (Antiquités et beaux arts, inventions et machines) were translated by A. L. Millin de Grandmaison. It is unclear whether Part 9 was ever published.
[Bibliot. Nat. France cat.; Scudder #1597a & b]
 
 
1665 - 1785
(an abridged
Italian transl.
published 1793 - 1798
in 20 vols.)
 
A4
Compendio delle Transazioni Filosofiche della Società Reale di Londra. Opera compilata, divisa per materie, ed illustrata dal Signor Gibelin e recata in Italiano da una società di dotte persone con nuove illustrazioni e tavole in rame.
Univ. Chicago cat. indicates that this 20-volume set was published in Venice as follows: v.1 - v.4 by Presso A.F. Stella, v.5 - v.16 by Tipografia pepoliana; v.17 - v.20 by Tipografia A. Curti. This was an Italian translation of Jacques Gibelin's French abridgment and translation, A3.
[Univ. Chicago cat.]
 
 
1669
(published 1671)
 
A5
Acta Philosophica Regia, Anni 1669... in Latinum Versa a Johanne Sterpino
Imprint statment reads: Amstelodami 1671
This is a Latin translation by Johannes Sterpinius (published in Amsterdam) of the 1669 vol. of the Philosophical Transactions.
The Bibliot. Nat. France cat. also lists a 1672 edition at Rouen (Rothomagi), as well as a 1671 edition at Frankfurt (Francofurti) with the title Philosophical Transactions, hoc est : Acta Philosophica Anni... ab H. Oldenburgio... conscripta et in Latinum Versa a Johanne Sterpinio.
[Bibliot. Nat. France cat.]
 
 
published
1729 - 1734
 
A6
Saggio delle Transazioni Filosofiche [della Società Regia ?], compendiate, tradotte dall' Inglese nell' idioma Toscano
Published 1729 - 1734.
This is evidently an Italian translation of some portion of the Philosophical Transactions.
[Scudder #1960a]
 
 
1731 - 1736
(published 1738 - 1741);
1737 - 1744 (or 1746)
(published 1759 - 1760)
 
A7
Transactions Philosophiques de la Société Royale de Londres
This comprises a French translation of vols. of the Philosophical Transactions for the years 1731 - 1736 [published 1738 - 1741] by François de Brémond; and a French translation of vols. of the Philosophical Transactions for the years 1737 - 1744 (or 1746, according to some records) [published 1759 - 1760] by Pierre Demours.
[Bibliot. Nat. France cat.; Scudder #1597e & f]
 
 
published
1735
(v.1 -v.2)
 
A8
Natuurkundige Aanmerkingen, Waarneemingen en Ondervindingen van de Koningklyke Sociëteit van London; getrokken uit de Philosophical Transactions, en uit het Engelsch vertaalt door P. le Clercq
This is evidently a Dutch translation of some portion of the Philosophical Transactions. Published in Amsterdam.
The record in the Univ. Utrecht cat. gives the second word of the title as anmerkingen.
[Univ. Utrecht cat.; Scudder #767a]
 
 
published
1753 - 1756
(Th.1 - Th.3)
 
A9
Neue Anmerkungen über alle Theile der Naturlehre, aus den Englischen Transactionen zusammengezogen
This is evidently a German translation of some portion of the Philosophical Transactions. Published in Copenhagen, Denmark.
[Scudder #636]
 
 
1756 - 1757
(v.1 - v.4)
 
A10
The History of the Royal Society of London for Improving of Natural knowledge, from its first rise. In which the most considerable of those papers communicated to the society, which have hitherto not been published, are inserted in their proper order, as a supplement to the Philosophical Transactions. By Thomas Birch ...
This volume was evidently intended as a supplement to A.
[Harvard Univ. cat.; Scudder #434c]
History of the R. Society
[Phil. Trans., Vol. 3 (1668), p.792.]
 
1699/1720 - 1758/65
[i.e. pub. 1774 - 1778]
(1. - 5.)
 
A11
Auserlesene Abhandlungen, praktischen und chirurgischen Inhalts, aus den philosophischen Transaktionen und Sammlungen
[Full-text of 1.1774 - 3.1776 is available at Göttinger DigitalisierungsZentrum GDZ.]
This is a German translation of portions of the Philosophical Transactions. Published in Lübeck and Leipzig.
[GBV German Union caat.]
 
 
????
(St.1 - St.4)
 
A12
Verhandelingen der Natuur-, Genees-, Heel-, en Ontleed- kundige berigten en Waarnemingen getrokken uit de Philosophical Transactions
This is evidently a Dutch translation of some portion of the Philosophical Transactions. Published in Amsterdam.
[Scudder #785]
 
 
1776 - 1791
(v.66 - v.81);
1792 - 1852
(61 vols.);
1853 - 1886
(v.143 - v.177)
 
B
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London
[Full-text of 1665-1666 (Vol. 1) to 1886 (Vol. 177) is available at Gallica: la bibliothèque numerique.]
Issues for 1792-1852 have no vol. designations but constitute v.82 - v.142.
Continues A.
Split into F and G.
[Harvard Univ. cat.; Scudder #434g]
Phil. Tr.
[Pogg, v.1, col.20 cites 1831, 1839, 1840, 1844.]
Phil. Trans.
[RSLC, v.1, p.lxii]
Philos. Transact.
[Reuss, v.4, p.250 cites Y. 1800.]
Philosop. Trans.
[Phil. Trans., Vol. 109. (1819), p.182 cites Vol. 66.]
Philosoph. Tr.
[Pogg, v.1, col.32 cites 1807, 1808, 1809, 1829.]
Philosoph. Transact.
[Pogg, v.1, col.81 cites 1815 & 1816, 1817, 1819, 1825, 1826.]
Pogg
Reuss
RSLC
published
1795 -1798
(Bd.1 - Bd.3)
 
B1
Auszüge aus den Transaktionen der Societät; aus dem englischen übersetzt von Geissler
This is evidently a German translation of some English abridgement of the Philosophical Transactions.
[Scudder #2499]
 
 
1800/1814 - 1837/1843
(v.1 - v.4)
 
C
Abstracts of the Papers printed in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London
[Full-text of 1800-1814 (Vol. 1) to 1837-1843 (Vol. 4) is available at Gallica: la bibliothèque numerique.]
Continued by D.
[Harvard Univ. cat.; Scudder #434a]
Roy. Soc. Proc.
[RSLC, v.1, p.lxvi]
RSLC
1843/1850 - 1850/1854
(v.5 - v.6)
 
D
Abstracts of the Papers communicated to the Royal Society of London
[Full-text of 1843-1850 (Vol. 5) to 1850-1854 (Vol. 6) is available at Gallica: la bibliothèque numerique.]
Continues C. Continued by E.
[Harvard Univ. cat.; Scudder #434a]
Roy. Soc. Proc.
[RSLC, v.1, p.lxvi]
RSLC
1854/1855 - 1904/1905
(v.7 - v.75)
 
E
Proceedings of the Royal Society of London
[Full-text of 1854, Febr. 23-1855, Dec. 20 (Vol. 7) to 1905 (Vol. 75) is available at Gallica: la bibliothèque numerique.]
Continues D. Split into J and K.
[Harvard Univ. cat.; Scudder #434j]
Proceed. of the Roy. Soc.
[Pogg., v.1, col.408 cites vol. VII, 1856.]
Roy. Soc. Proc.
[RSLC, v.1, p.lxvi]
Pogg.
RSLC
1887 - 1895
(v.178 - v.186, pt.2)
 
F
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. A
[dealing with mathematics, physical sciences and engineering.]
[Full-text of 1887 (Vol. 178) to 1932 (Vol. 230) is available at Gallica: la bibliothèque numerique.]
Continues in part B. Continued by H.
[Harvard Univ. cat.; Univ. Waterloo microfilm copy]
Phil. Trans. A
[RSLC, v.13, p.lxxiii]
RSLC
1887 - 1895
(v.178 - v.186)
 
G
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. B
[dealing with biological sciences.]
[Full-text of 1887 (Vol. 178) to 1932 (Vol. 221) is available at Gallica: la bibliothèque numerique.]
Continues in part B. Continued by I.
[Harvard Univ. cat.; Univ. Waterloo microfilm copy]
Phil. Trans. B
[RSLC, v.13, p.lxxiii]
RSLC
1896 - 1934
(v.187 - v.233)
 
H
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series A, Containing Papers of a Mathematical or Physical Character.
[Full-text of 1887 (Vol. 178) to 1932 (Vol. 230) is available at Gallica: la bibliothèque numerique.]
Continues F. Continued by O.
[Harvard Univ. cat.; Univ. Waterloo microfilm copy]
Phil. Trans. A
[RSLC, v.13, p.lxxiii]
RSLC
1896 - 1934
(v.187 - v.223)
 
I
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Containing Papers of a Biological Character
[Full-text of 1887 (Vol. 178) to 1932 (Vol. 221) is available at Gallica: la bibliothèque numerique.]
Continues G. Continued by N.
[Harvard Univ. cat.; Univ. Waterloo microfilm copy]
Phil. Trans. B
[RSLC, v.13, p.lxxiii]
Phil. Trans. R. Soc.
[Phil. Trans., B Vol. 198 (1906), p.403 cites a biological article in vol. 195 (1903).]
RSLC
1905 - 1934, Oct.
(v.76, no.507 - v.146, no.859)
 
J
Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series A, Containing Papers of a Mathematical and Physical Character
[Full-text of 1905 (Vol. 76) to 1932 (Vol. 134) is available at Gallica: la bibliothèque numerique.]
Continues in part E. Continued by L.
[Harvard Univ. cat.; Univ. Waterloo microfilm copy]
   
1905 - 1934, Aug.
(v.76, no.B507 - v.115, no.B795)
 
K
Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Containing Papers of a Biological Character
Continues in part E. Continued by M.
[Univ. Chicago cat.; Harvard Univ. cat.; Univ. Waterloo microfilm copy]
   
1934, Nov. - 1990
(v.147, no.860 - v.429, no.1877)
 
L
Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series A, Mathematical and Physical Sciences
Continues J. Continued by R.
[Harvard Univ. cat.; Univ. Waterloo microfilm copy]
   
1934, Sept. - 1990
(v.116, no.B796 - v.240, no.1299)
 
M
Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences
Continues K. Continued by S.
[Univ. Chicago cat.; Harvard Univ. cat.; Univ. Waterloo microfilm copy]
   
1934/1935 - 1990
(v.224 - v.328, no.1251)
 
N
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences
Continues I. Continued by Q.
[Univ. Waterloo cat.; Harvard Univ. cat.]
   
1935 - 1990
(v.234 - v.331, no.1622)
 
O
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series A, Mathematical and Physical Sciences.
Continues H. Continued by P.
[Harvard Univ. cat.]
   
1990 - 1995
(v.332, no.1623 - v.353, no.1703)
 
P
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series A, Physical Sciences and Engineering
Also called: Philosophical Transactions, Physical Sciences and Engineering.
Continues O. Continued by T.
[Harvard Univ. cat.]
   
1990 -
(v.329, no.1252 - )
 
Q
Philosophical Transactions. Biological Sciences / Royal Society
Continues N.
[Univ. Waterloo cat.]
   
1990 - 1995
(v.430, no.1878 - v.451, no.1943)
 
R
Proceedings. Mathematical and Physical Sciences / The Royal Society
Continues L. Continued by U
[Harvard Univ. cat.]
   
1990 -
(Vol. 241, no. 1300 - )
 
S
Proceedings. Biological Sciences / The Royal Society
Continues M.
[Harvard Univ. cat.]
   
1996 -
(v.354, n.1704 - )
 
T
Philosophical Transactions. Mathematical, Physical, and Engineering Sciences
Continues P.
[Harvard Univ. cat.]
   
1996 -
(v.452, no.1944 - )
 
U
Proceedings. Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences / The Royal Society
Continues R.
[Harvard Univ. cat.]
   

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