||Records of Royal Society of Victoria
||1854 - 1988
||The Royal Society of Victoria (1859 - )
||La Trobe Australian Manuscripts Collection, State Library of Victoria
||The Royal Society of Victoria was founded in 1854 and is Victoria’s oldest learned society. Its aim is to contribute to the advancement of science and, through science, to the good of the Victorian community.
The records of The Royal Society of Victoria (selected holdings from 1854 to 1982, MS 11663) were transferred to the La Trobe Australian Manuscripts Collection, State Library of Victoria between 1981 and 1988. A guide to these holdings was produced. Conversion of this guide into an online publication was made possible through the project, Science and the Making of Victoria, supported by the Victorian Government through the Centenary of Federation and the Community Support Fund, and was undertaken in April 2001. Dimensions of the holdings were not given in the original guide, and have not been obtained as part of the conversion project.
Scope and Content
The Royal Society of Victoria had its origin in two independent societies, the Victorian Institute for the Advancement of Science and the Philosophical Society of Victoria, which were founded in 1854 and united in the following year as the Philosophical Institute of Victoria. The name was changed to The Royal Society of Victoria in 1859. Its aim is to contribute to the advancement of science and, through science, to the good of the Victorian community.
The Society has played an important part in:
This group of records - MS 11663 - includes: minute books; correspondence files (general, secretarial, financial); correspondence relating to publication of the Transactions and Proceedings; correspondence and accounts relating to the land and hall of the Society, and to memorial funds and government grants; original drafts of scientific papers (1857-1860, 1912); records relating to symposia held (1956-1974); library records; membership records, including 'deaths and resignations' files containing papers relating to wider matters; financial records; reports, notices and other printed matter (incomplete); manuscript papers of Royal Society of Victoria Government Prize essays, 1860; miscellaneous files relating to the history of the society and activitities of members; and, photographic material.
A scrapbook compiled by F. A. Cudmore, the Society's librarian, around 1945, includes news clippings relating to Society matters, copies of letters, annual reports, and invitations to conversaziones, 1859-1953.
The Microscopical Society of Victoria amalgamated with the Royal Society of Victoria in July 1887. Minutes of meetings from 31 July 1873 to 28 July 1887 are held with the Royal Society's records (MS 11663) covered in this guide.
Futher records were transferred in 1989 - MS 12421 - but these are not listed in this guide to records. Records relating to the Burke and Wills Expedition - MS 13071 - are also held by the La Trobe Australian Manuscripts Collection, State Library of Victoria. For more information, see Burke and Wills - Terra Incognita.
- forming government policy on science;
- surveying the natural resources of Victoria;
- organising symposia dealing with the regions of Victoria;
- establishing the Museum and National Parks;
- convening the first Australian Antarctic Exploration Committee in 1885;
- organising the Burke and Wills expedition;
- establishing the Victorian Institute of Marine Sciences.