“This is just a baby step towards bringing our archives to a wider public”

The Royal Society’s celebration of its 350th anniversary continues with the Guardian noting that more wondrous things have been made available online – stunning 3D facsimiles of maunscripts from their archive. The Guardian mentions Isaac Newton’s early biographer and friend – they met in 1718 – William Stukeley’s Memoirs of Newton’s Life, source of the apocryphal tale of the falling apple. Among the other manuscripts online is, another friend and correspondent of Newton’s, philosopher John Locke’s 1681 draft constitutional document for one of the American colonies, the Carolinas. Additionally, there’s an equally wondrous separate presentation [Shockwave file] of long-term antagonist of Newton, as noted here, the ingenious Mr Hooke’s recently discovered handwritten minutes of early meetings of the Society along with extracts from the Society’s Journal – they’ve even provided a searchable transcript of the Hooke Folio.

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  • Pete,

    If you have a great deal of time on your hands, BBC Radio 4’s ‘In Our Time’ podcast had a four-parter on the work of the Royal Society over the new year period. If you subscribe to the podcast you can usually set it to get previous programmes.

    It’s here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/history/inourtime/

    The archive of the four-parter is here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/history/inourtime/inourtime_royal_society.shtml

  • joeCanuck

    The “3D facsimiles..” link doesn’t work.
    Try: http://royalsociety.org/Turning-the-Pages/ .
    That gives the page where you can get to the images or 2D versions.
    Might need a microsoft program. Doesn’t work for me…yet.

  • Pete Baker

    Thanks for the tip, Paul.


    Your suggested link is already in the original post – “made available online”

    The Society appears to have changed the “3D facsimiles..” link

    Try this one.

    I’ll try to fix the link in the post.

  • joeCanuck

    Tried that 2nd one. My computer tried to download an app to display it but the download failed, twice. Wonder it has anything to do with using Firefox instead of IE.

  • Pete Baker


    Could be any number of things.

    There are alternative options at the ‘Turning the pages’ website.

  • joeCanuck

    Thanks Pete. Guess you can tidy this thread up by removing our exchanges.