Notes and Records of the Royal Society first appeared 75 years ago. Its main aim, as stated in the inaugural issue in April 1938, was essentially that of a newsletter: it was to keep Fellows “more fully informed of the activities of the Society”. But it was also anticipated that Notes and Records would publish “information of historical interest”. In opening its pages to such “information”, the journal was reflecting an acceleration of interest in the history of science in Britain. Annals of Science had begun publication in 1936, and Ambix, the journal of the recently formed Society for the History of Alchemy and Early Chemistry, had been launched in 1937.
After the Second World War, the profile of Notes and Records changed. In a process that has continued ever since, historical contributions became steadily more substantial, and the criteria appropriate to an international journal of historical scholarship came to be rigorously enforced.
Now, in its 75th year, Notes and Records publishes four issues a year and welcomes articles on all aspects and all periods of the history of science, technology and medicine. While much in science since the seventeenth century has involved the Royal Society, the coverage of the journal is by no means limited to the work of the Society and its Fellows. The anniversary issue will be online from the 6th February 2013. If you are interested in providing your institutional researchers with access to Notes and Records, you can register for free trial access here.