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Royal Society to open its Library to more than book lovers

Royal Society Library

World’s oldest scientific academy to convert library into its 13th meeting space

The Royal Society - the UK’s national academy of science - has today announced that it is moving its library to a new location at its central London venue and is opening a new meeting space to cope with growing demand for events. At the same time it is refurbishing its kitchen and enhancing a new library space at a combined cost of more the £2 million. All three will be operational this September.

Once refurbished the new Library Room - which overlooks The Mall - will accommodate between 50-100 guests and join the 12 existing rooms at The Society that can host parties numbering between 10 and 300. It is at one of the most prestigious addresses in London - the Grade I listed 6-9 Carlton Terrace.

The Royal Society is a Fellowship of many of the world’s most distinguished scientists – dating from founding Fellow Sir Christopher Wren in 1660 to Sir Tim Berners Lee today. Its collection is almost as old as the Society itself - it appointed its first 'Library Keeper' in 1678 - and it still houses priceless books, archives, paintings, images and artefacts which are treasured by scholars worldwide. For example, it is home to a handwritten manuscript of Sir Isaac Newton’s Principia Mathematica, and Sir Robert Boyle’s 24 wishes, which 350 years’ ago foresaw the arrival of the coffee house, the dawn of air travel and the production of Kevlar body armour. This archive and reading room will relocate to a new space at Carlton Terrace Gardens and remain open to Fellows, visitors, guests and scholars.

Nicholas da Costa, Head of Conference Services at the Royal Society, said: “The Royal Society has hosted some of the most important events in the scientific world, so it is vital to make our venue as widely accessible as possible. The opening of The Library will expand and enhance our ability to meet these needs. We are more popular than ever before and as a consequence supply is struggling to keep up with demand – which is a marvellous problem. The Library will ease this problem and at the same time our archive remains accessible to all who appreciate and use it.”

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