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Cambridge Philosophical Society: General Meeting minutes, 1819 - 2014

Reference Code: GBR/0279/CPS 3/1

Scope and Contents

Volumes 1, 5-8 and 10 are paginated (volume 1 is paginated to p. 51 only). Additional items are often tipped or pasted in to the volumes. The minutes are written by hand from 1819 to 1935 (Volume 1 to part way through Volume 7). From 28 October 1935 the minutes are on typescript sheets tipped or pasted into the volumes.
Early minutes record the following: reading and confirmation of minutes of the previous meeting; motions brought / notices and letters etc read out to the meeting; proposal and election of members and honorary members; ‘communications’ made [papers read] to the meeting; receipt of gifts of books, transactions, artefacts etc from other societies and individuals. By the mid-1860s the business recorded usually consists only of confirmation of the minutes of the previous meeting; proposal and election of new fellows; and a note of papers read.
A record of visits to places of interest begins in volume 7: these appear to tail off from the late 1960s.
‘Anniversary’ meetings (annual general meetings) record election of new officers and the auditing of the treasurer’s accounts. They are called annual general meetings from 1857. They were originally held in May; from volume 4 they take place in October. From volume 5 papers for AGMs are pasted in, including statements of accounts and balloting lists for the election of officers.
From 1827 papers given are recorded more concisely; from volume 5 so many papers are listed to be read that a number are ‘taken as read’.
From volume 4, early 1880s, papers by women begin to be presented to meetings, though they are often presented by male colleagues.
From 1881, printed flyers announcing meetings and speakers are pasted in.
From the late 1890s, meetings begin to be held in a variety of places, chiefly University laboratories and lecture rooms.
From volume 6, lists of those elected to associate membership are included.
From 1939, the minutes become shorter and more basic: sometimes they record only the date of the meeting, the name of the lecturer and the title of the lecture or the name of the institution visited.


  • Creation: 1819 - 2014


13 volume(s) : paper

Language of Materials



Cambridge Philosophical Society

Finding aid date

2015-05-08 11:24:59+00:00

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge Philosophical Society Repository

CPS Archivist, Joan Bullock-Anderson
c/o Sedgwick Museum Archives, A G Brighton Building
Madingley Rise
Cambridge CB3 0UD