Page 27
Previous/Next Page
Science and the making of VictoriaRoyal Society of Victoria
Table of Contents

Royal Society of Victoria 1854-1959


Victorian Institute for the Advancement of Science

Philosophical Society of Victoria

Philosophical Institute of Victoria

Royal Society of Victoria



Contact us
Royal Society of Victoria (continued)

The lack of sufficient funds within the Society at about this period, due largely to the sudden withdrawal of State aid, brought about a serious delay in the publication of the Transactions, so much so that the whole of the proceedings for 1861–1864 were brought out in one volume (Vol. VI). This event caused the Society much concern as, apart from any other consideration, the failure to publish was affecting the reputation of the Society as well as the exchange of periodicals from abroad. A number of papers which should have been published in full were lost, and abstracts only were published, and the whole situation was far from satisfactory. It was obvious that, at this period in its existence, the Society was losing something of the earlier enthusiasm. This is particularly shown by the fact that, in 1864, only 39 members paid their subscriptions, and the Society was facing a financial crisis of such a magnitude that it was forced to appeal to the government for help. To assist with subscriptions, the council appointed a paid collector of outstanding subscriptions working on a 10% commission basis and by this arrangement, which carried on for many years, a great deal of arrears was collected. The printing position was somewhat relieved by an offer of the proprietors of one of Melbourne's daily newspapers to publish the Transactions for the mere cost of printing and paper.

In 1864, a change was made with regard to the dues necessary for life membership, in order to overcome arrears of publishing. The existing rule was amended as follows:

Members may compound for all Annual Subscriptions of the current and future years by paying ten guineas. But for the purpose of establishing a Permanent Publishing Fund of the Society, all Life Subscriptions shall be devoted exclusively to a Publishing Fund, such subscriptions to be invested solely in State debentures, and the annual interest arising therefrom to be devoted to the issue of publications alone.

However, the decision of the government at this time to defray the cost of publishing the Society's arrears of Transactions relieved the immediate burden of the position, and enabled the Society to catch up with this important phase of its activities.

Honorary membership of the Society was also recognized at this time by the granting of illuminated diplomas, based on designs of overseas diplomas.

Previous Page Royal Society of Victoria Next Page

Pescott, R. T. M. 1961 'The Royal Society of Victoria from then, 1854 to now, 1959', Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria, vol. 73, no. 7, pp. 1-40.

© Copyright of Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre and The Royal Society of Victoria 2001
Published by Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher