Paul Rudd Information Professional

expertise gained through experience

The Royal Society Library Visit



The Royal Society is a fellowship of eminent scientist from around the world and its main offices are located in the heart of the capital on Charlton House Terrace.

The library’s collections are specifically related to science and the collection includes printed works an image library and an archive. The printed works collection consists of over 70,000 titles and the image gallery consists of over 6,000 photographs, engravings and paintings[1]

The visit consisted of a fairly detailed and informative tour around the building. The main offices of the Royal Society and the Society’s long history provided the Royal Society’s librarian with plenty to talk about and the sheer amount of history involved with the both the society and the building made the tour extremely interesting.

Many highlights of the visit included seeing a selection of items from the collection, such as the Royal Society’s oldest item (a small sized manuscript) and also Newton’s Death mask. It was also good to be able to go behind the scenes as it were by going into the stacks and seeing how the collection was being stored. The Royal Society’s stacks were typical of stacks and store rooms found in non purpose built buildings, as they consisted of many small unusual sized rooms with mostly low ceilings. Although their dimensions are not very practical for their function and day-to-day use, as a visitor they added character to the experience and made you even more aware of the age of the building.


[1] “Lists and explains the collections of the Centre for History of Science | Royal Society”, n.d.,