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The Committee appointed by the Royal Society to direct the publication of the Philosophical Transactions, take this opportunity to acquaint the Public, that it fully appears, as well from the Council-books and Journals of the Society, as from repeated declarations which have been made in several former Transactions, that the printing of them was always, from time to time, the single act of the respective Secretaries till the Forty-seventh Volume: the Society, as a Body, never interesting themselves any further in their publication, than by occasionally recommending the revival of them to some of their Secretaries, when, from the particular circumstances of their affairs, the Transactions had happened for any length of time to be intermitted. And this seems principally to have been done with a view to satisfy the Public, that their usual meetings were then continued, for the improvement of knowledge, and benefit of mankind, the great ends of their first institution by the Royal Charters, and which they have ever since steadily pursued.
But the Society being of late years greatly enlarged, and their communications more numerous, it was thought advisable that a Committee of their members should be appointed, to reconsider the papers read before them, and select out of them such as they should judge most proper for publication in the future Transactions ; which was accordingly done upon the 26th of March 1752. And the grounds of their choice are, and will continue to be, the importance and singularity of the subjects, or the advantageous manner of treating them ; without pretending to answer for the certainty of the facts, or propriety of the reasonings, contained in the several papers so published, which must still rest on the credit or judgement of their respective authors.
It is likewise necessary on this occasion to remark, that it is an established rule of the Society, to which they will always adhere, never to give their opinion, as a Body, upon any subject, either of Nature or Art, that comes before them. And therefore the thanks, which are frequently proposed from the Chair, to be given to the authors of such papers as are read at their accustomed meetings, or to the persons through whose hands they received them, are to be considered in no other light than as a matter of civility, in return for the respect shown to the Society by those communications. The like also is to be said with regard to the several projects, inventions, and curiosities of various kinds, which are often exhibited to the Society; the author's whereof, or those who exhibit them, frequently take the liberty to report and even to certify in the public newspapers, that they have met with the highest applause and approbation. And therefore it is hoped that no regard will hereafter be paid to such reports and public notices ; which in some instances have been too lightly credited, to the dishonour of the Society.
A List of Public Institutions and Individuals, entitled to receive a copy of the
Philosophical Transactions of each year, on making application for the same directly or through their respective agents, within five years of the date of publication.
In the British Dominions.
The King's Library. The British Museum. Sion College Library. The Bodleian Library, Oxford. The Radcliffe Library, Oxford. The Cambridge University Library. The Edinburgh College Library. Advocates' Library, Edinburgh. The University of Glasgow. The University of Aberdeen. The University of St. Andrews. The University of Trinity College, Dublin. The Library of King's Inn, Dublin. The Royal Geographical Society. The United Service Museum. The Royal College of Physicians. The Society of Antiquaries. The Linnean Society. The Royal Institution of Great Britain. The Society for the Encouragement of Arts. The Geological Society. The Horticultural Society. The Royal Astronomical Society. The Royal Asiatic Society. The Medical and Chirurgical Society. The London Institution. The Cambridge University Philosophical Society. The Royal Society of Edinburgh. The Royal Irish Academy. The Royal Dublin Society. The Asiatic Society at Calcutta. The Royal Artillery Library at Woolwich. The Royal Observatory at Greenwich. The Observatory at Dublin. The Observatory at Armagh. The Observatory at the Cape of Good Hope. The Observatory at Madras. The Observatory at St. Helena. The Observatory at Paramatta.
The Royal Academy of Sciences at Paris.
Russia. The Imperial Academy of Sciences at St. Petersburgh.
Sweden and Norway. The Royal Academy of Sciences at Stockholm. The Royal Society of Sciences at Drontheim.
United States. The American Philosophical Society at Phila
delphia. The New York Philosophical Society. The American Academy of Sciences at Boscon. The Library of Harvard College. The fifty Foreign Members of the Royal Society.
Denmark. The Royal Society of Sciences at Copenhagen. The Royal Observatory at Altona.