Thousands of important scientific documents now available online for free

For almost 350 years the Royal Society, which was founded in Britain in 1665, has been the archive of scientific papers starting with the very first one – Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. Up until now though, all this incredible scientific information has been locked away on dusty shelves.

However in a historical announcement the Royal Society has decided to open up its historical archive of all those science journals to the public, and free of charge to boot.

At this point some 60,000 scientific papers are fully searchable online with the only real catch being that the complimentary access is limited to all the articles that were published prior to 1941.

To give you an idea of what is now available for you to search through online consider being able to read Benjamin Franklin’s paper on his electric kite experiment, or how about the geological experiments carried out by Charles Darwin in 1752. Oh and if Isaac Newton is your thing you can read his very first scientific paper ever written.

As Robert Gonzalez at io9 said – this is awesome stuff.