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Royal Society opens its library to more than book lovers

The Royal Society Old Library
The Royal Society - the UK’s national academy of science - has today opened for hire its Old Library as an extensive refurbishment.
It overlooks The Mall and accommodates between 50-100 guests for formal theatre-style presentations, informal receptions, and a smaller number for formal dining. It joins the 12 existing rooms at The Royal Society that can host parties numbering between 10 and 300 at one of the most prestigious addresses in London - the Grade I listed 6-9 Carlton Terrace in the heart of St James.

At the same time the Royal Society has refurbished its kitchen and the new library space at a combined cost of more than £2 million. The kitchen joins the elite fine dining establishments in London that can serve up to 1,000 people at a time. The library housing its priceless archive has moved within the building and remains open to Fellows, visitors, guests and scholars.

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 houses a handwritten manuscript of Sir Isaac Newton’s Principia Mathematica, and a scientific “wish-list” penned by Sir Robert Boyle.

Nicholas da Costa, Head of Conference Services at the Royal Society, said: “The Old Library is open for business. The Royal Society has hosted some of the most important events in the scientific world, so we are delighted to make our venue as widely accessible as possible. The new room lets us keep pace with demand and contains brand new IT and AV equipment.”

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