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Special Collections & Archives: Liverpool Literary and Philosophical Societyaccredited archive service logo

SC&A includes manuscripts and archives, medieval to modern; early and finely printed books, and science fiction collections.

Liverpool Literary and Philosophical Society

The Literary and Philosophical Society was founded in 1812 and William Roscoe was President from 1817 until his death in 1831

Front cover of 1846 Laws of the SocietyThe Library of the Lit and Phil, one of the city's oldest learned societies, exchanged publications with other learned societies, and contained many 19th century scientific works presented by their authors, for example Sir William Hamilton's Lectures on Quaternions (1853).

Papers read to the Society include Thomas Baines's account of disease in the potato crop in 1845 and Joseph Dickinson's Flora of Liverpool of 1851.

The Society's Library, not now housed together, was transferred to University College Liverpool in 1899. Printed material relating to the Society includes:

  • Laws (1815, 1848 and 1883)
  • List of communications (1812-1821)
  • Proceedings (1845-1935, with centenary Index of 1912)
  • Papers (1814-1962). LUL MS 53 consists of 30 unpublished papers read before the Literary and Philosophical Society, 1812-1827.


Finding and using

  • Relevant titles may be located using the Library Catalogue
  • John Sampson, A hand list of the books of the Literary & Philosophical Society of Liverpool (Liverpool, 1899)
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