This may be a little off-topic, but I thought that this was definitely worth a blog post. The Royal Society has announced that its historical journal archive is now freely accessible on-line. The society has made round 60,000 historical scientific papers accessible via a fully searchable online archive, with papers published more than 70 years ago now becoming freely available. The Society’s Philosophical Transactions was the world’s first scientific journal, with the first edition hitting the streets in 1665.
The Society’s announcement gives a sampling of what awaits the intrepid explorer. “Treasures in the archive include Isaac Newton’s first published scientific paper, geological work by a young Charles Darwin, and Benjamin Franklin’s celebrated account of his electrical kite experiment. And nestling amongst these illustrious papers, readers willing to delve a little deeper into the archive may find some undiscovered gems from the dawn of the scientific revolution – including accounts of monstrous calves, grisly tales of students being struck by lightning, and early experiments on to how to cool drinks “without the Help of Snow, Ice, Haile, Wind or Niter, and That at Any Time of the Year.”