Scientific Administration in the Early Eighteenth Century: Reinterpreting the Royal Society's Repository

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The poor state of the Royal Society’s Repository in the eighteenth century has been seen as a symbol of the institution’s decline. This article contributes to recent reinterpretation by putting this collection within its historical contexts of use and understanding, exploring the ambiguous relationship between private and ‘public’ resources by examining the collections alongside other spaces of discursive inquiry and institutional improvement. It argues that specific approaches towards scientific administration during this period helped change the perception and purpose of the Repository, from ‘a physical storehouse of knowledge’ to the icon and tool of a successful and faciliatory scientific society.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-204
JournalHistorical Research
Issue number255
Early online date17 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019