200 Years. 200 Stories. Story 174: “The Philosophical Transactions ”

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the first volume of Philosophical Transactions
Volume 1 (1665) of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London.Academy Library & Archives, QH1.R861.

The Philosophical Transactions

The Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London has the distinction of being the first journal in the world strictly devoted to science—and the Academy Library has worked hard to collect all of the issues of this publication. The first volume was published in 1665, and though there were no issues published between 1678 and 1683 (because of lack of funds), the journal has been published continually otherwise.

During World War I and World War II, when many other publications throughout the world temporarily ceased publication, the Royal Society continued to publish The Philosophical Transactions. Although the title has changed slightly, becoming longer or shorter over the years, “Philosophical Transactions” has remained the primary identifier. Papers and reports from well-known scientists, such as Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin, have been published in this journal. Most amazingly, the Academy Library holds every single issue ever published, which is a claim that most institutions cannot make for any journal title!

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