From the Archive

Tales from the Ri’s historic collections. Explore the intriguing, sometimes unexpected stories of past Ri scientists, iconic objects, and documents.

I spy at the Ri

Posted by
Laurence Scales
Date posted
10.04.2017

Laurence Scales investigates the many spies that have been involved with Ri over the years.

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Science on paper

Posted by
Meagen Smith
Date posted
30.03.2017
Pencil sketch of a hand

Conservator Meagen Smith shares some of the gems she’s uncovered while conserving the Ri’s book and paper archive.

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A marriage of saltwater and electricity

Posted by
Laurence Scales
Date posted
22.12.2016

Laurence Scales delves into the archive to discover the shared heritage of the Royal Institution and Lloyd's Register.

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Resurrecting the Braggs

Posted by
Charlotte New
Date posted
24.10.2016

As the Ri launches the newly digitised Bragg film archive, Curator of Collections Charlotte New discusses the excitement and intrigue of delving into the unknown and unearthing these gems.

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Searching for the South Pole

Posted by
Laurence Scales
Date posted
30.06.2016

An unassuming painting in the Ri archive sets Laurence Scales on the trail of an 1841 voyage to the bottom of the world.

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80th anniversary of a television tradition

Posted by
Rupert Cole
Date posted
11.02.2016
G I Taylor presenting the 1936 CHRISTMAS LECTURES.

Ri historian Rupert Cole looks at the history of the CHRISTMAS LECTURES on television, 80 years after they were first broadcast.

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Reflections on a farm gate

Posted by
Laurence Scales
Date posted
18.09.2015
Gate model

Laurence Scales on the subtle intrigue, hidden beauty, and baffling complexity of a model of a farm gate: a personal favourite from the Ri collections.

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A WWI self-experimenter

Posted by
Laurence Scales
Date posted
26.06.2015

Laurence Scales looks at the life of Joseph Henry Barcroft: physiologist, Quaker, and reckless self-experimenter.

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Doctors - all over royalty like a rash

Posted by
Laurence Scales
Date posted
10.06.2015
Albert, Prince Consort, on his deathbed at Windsor Castle, Wellcome Images

Laurence Scales introduces seven doctors who cared for royalty, and were also members of Ri.

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Letters to Gwendoline

Posted by
Jane Harrison
Date posted
25.04.2015
Envelope addressed to Mrs Bragg

One story of Gallipoli told through letters home in memory of Anzac Day.

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