You may be interested to know that all Royal Society journal content will be free to access until November 30th. In addition to our History of Science title Notes and Records, this also includes the entire run of the Society’s first journal, Philosphical Transactions.
Phil Trans is slightly younger then the Society itself, having been in existence for a mere 345 years, but is nevertheless currently the longest-running scientific journal in continuous publication, and pioneered the concept of peer review. Founded by the Society’s then Secretary Henry Oldenburg, the journal encompassed the whole range of the early Fellows’ interests, and we need look no further than the contents page of the first issue to see what a range that was.
If you’re looking for an easier way in than scanning contents pages, last year the journal archive was harvested to create the Trailblazing project – an interactive timeline of scientific achievement which showcases key articles from the Society’s journals alongside commentary from current scientists and a range of additional material. As someone fairly new to the history of science I particularly like this as it provides a great overview of it all, with some fabulous pictures too.
With such an amazing treasure trove of material to choose from I can’t even begin to decide which my favourite article might be, but I hope you enjoy them too!