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Biographies of Fellows

Lord Porter The Library maintains and develops various databases and lists containing biographical details about Fellows and Foreign Members from 1660 to the present day. This information is complemented by the official biographical memoirs and obituaries that are produced as well as the picture library's collection of portraits.

History of the production of official biographies

The Royal Society first published obituaries of its Fellows in 1830, in Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Initially obituaries were read at the Anniversary meeting, often by the President himself, and were printed within the record of that meeting. From 1859, the tenth volume of Proceedings, they appeared in a separate section at the back. Articles were anonymous until the 1880s, when the authors initials were appended. In 1905, Proceedings split into two series, Series A, (papers on the mathematical and physical sciences) and Series B, (biological sciences). Occasionally a Fellow has an obituary in both series.

Kathleen Lonsdale From 1932 obituaries of nearly every deceased Fellow and Foreign Member have appeared in Obituary Notices of Fellows of the Royal Society (1932 to 1954) and Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society (1955 onwards). Biographical Memoirs have been published annually since 1955. Each memoir is carefully researched, resulting in a unique biographical collection of lives and achievements. All of the memoirs are newly available on JSTOR (with a five year moving wall).

Individual copies of Obituary Notices or Biographical Memoirs cost £5.00 each plus £2.00 handling charge within the UK (£3.00 overseas).  Cheques should be made payable to 'The Royal Society'. We can also accept payment by Mastercard or Visa.Pre-payment is required.  Send your request to:

Memoir Orders
Library and Information Services
The Royal Society
6-9 Carlton House Terrace

or contact the Library

Annual volumes of Biographical Memoirs can be ordered from the Society's Publications shop. You can find out who has been featured in the 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004 editions. There are several Memoirs in progress at the moment.

To search for a Fellow's memoir or obituary published by the Society, click on the appropriate letter below and scroll down the list to find the correct reference.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M
N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z


Sackler Archive Resource

Section of certificate for Mark Catesby

Online biographies of past Fellows of the Royal Society from 1660 onwards.





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