Papers of Aberdeen Philosophical Society (1840 - 1939)

Scope and Content

Minute books of Aberdeen Philosophical Society, from its institution on 11 Jan 1840 until its demise on 13 Sept 1939. In addition to minutes of meetings, the minute books also contain members' lists, abstracts of accounts and printed papers. The printed papers, which become more numerous from c 1890, include lecture programmes, excursion programmes and newspaper cuttings relating to meetings, lectures and excursions.

Administrative / Biographical History

Aberdeen Philosophical Society (1840 - 1939) was formed on 11 Jan 1840, with the object of receiving and debating original scientific, literary and philosophical papers from its members. Like the eighteenth century Aberdeen Philosophical Society (1758 - 1773), its members had a strong association with Aberdeen's two universities, King's College and Marischal College. The decision was taken on 13 Sept 1939 to discontinue its meetings, chiefly in view of the difficulties posed by the war, although it does not appear to have been ever formally wound up.

Printed copies of several papers and reports read before the Society, and copies of its constitution and rules are deposited in the University pamphlet and local studies collections. Details are available from the library catalogue .



Conditions Governing Access

Open, subject to signature accepting conditions of use at reader registration sheet

Acquisition Information

Date and source not recorded

Other Finding Aids

Very brief collection level description available on Aberdeen University Library Catalogue, accessible online

Alternative Form Available

Printed copies of the minutes have been published by the society. See Publication Note for details

Conditions Governing Use

Subject to the condition of the original, copies may be supplied for private research use only on receipt of a signed undertaking to comply with current copyright legislation.

Permission to make any published use of material from the collection must be sought in advance from the Head of Special Libraries and Archives (e-mail: and, where appropriate, from the copyright owner. Where possible, assistance will be given in identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with normal procedures


No accruals expected

Related Material

Records of Aberdeen Philosophical Society (1758 - 1773) (GB 231 MS 0145 and GB 231 MS 0539). A separate collection level description is available on the Archives Hub


Aberdeen Philosophical Society, Transactions, 1840-1910, 1931-1938, 5 vols (Aberdeen, 1884-1910, 1938). Volume 5 contains a list of titles of papers read before the Society 1910-1930.

Additional Information

This material is original