Yorkshire Philosophical Society

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The Yorkshire Museum


The history of the Society

The YPS was formed in 1822 to pursue the study of natural sciences, and to combine the private collections of individual members. In 1828 the Society was given a Royal Grant of some of the grounds which we now know as "The Museum Gardens" on which to build a museum to house the collections and create a botanic garden. The Society built the Yorkshire Museum in 1829 and continued rapidly to increase the collections, enhance and expand the Gardens, and to advance scholarship on scientific matters.

The British Association for the Advancement of Science was founded with the help of the Society and had its inaugural meeting at the Yorkshire Museum in 1831. This was quickly followed by the building of an astronomical Observatory in the Gardens, so continuing York's association with astronomical science. The Tempest Anderson Hall was added to the Museum in 1912 as a bequest of the vulcanologist, Dr Tempest Anderson, to provide adequate facilities for scientific lectures. The many and interesting activities of the Society and its members during these early years are the subject of the publication Philosophers and Provincials, which can be bought from the YPS office in the Lodge.

In 1960 the Society handed the Museum and Gardens to the City of York in trust, but still continued to take an interest in them, as well as pursuing its objective of keeping members and the general public aware of scientific matters. The YPS now looks forward to supporting the York Museums Trust.

The Society was delighted to extend its long history of archaeological work by joining with the Council for British Archaeology in 1971 in initiatives which led to the formation of the now world famous York Archaeological Trust.

The Society continues to support scientific subjects through lectures, grants, publications, bursaries and awards, and aims to continue to foster scientific education into the future.

The Society's archives

In 2006 the Society's archive was moved for safekeeping to the Borthwick Institute of the University of York, Heslington, York, YO10 5DD, where it may be consulted by appointment; telephone 01904 321166; www.york.ac.uk/inst/bihr/Visitingus

Summary index of the YPS archive (compiled in 2003) (Word file)

Bundles of loose papers:

Bundle 1 - Bequests and legacies 1843 - 1947 (Word file)
Bundle 2 - Manor Shore Estate 1836 - 1932: Correspondence and Deeds (Word file)
Bundle 3 - Agreements, leases, etc for YPS property 1863-1948 (Word file)
Bundle 4 - Swimming Baths 1844 - 1931: Correspondence, plan, tenancy agreements, etc (Word file)
Bundle 5 - Public Library, 1926 - 1933: Correspondence, plans, etc (Word file)
Bundle 6 - Printed circulars, etc 1824 - 1922 (Word file)
Bundle 7 - Miscellaneous correspondence 1823 - 1850 (Word file)
Bundle 7b - Correspondence 185[-] - 1939 (Word file)
Bundle 7d - Correspondence 1897 - 1929 re Museum Gardens, 1903 proposal for a new university, School for the Blind, miscellaneous (Word file)
Bundle 8 - Deeds and correspondence 1749 - 1924: Marygate, Little Shambles, St Saviourgate, Hungate and Lendal (Word file)
Bundle 9 - Saving of Queen Margaret's Arch from proposed demolition, in 1908 and again in early 1960s (Word file)
Bundle 10 - St Mary's Abbey and Hospitium 1901 - 1936
Bundle 11 - Correspondence: Royal Patrons 1901 - 1931 (Word file)
Bundle 12 - Bound 'Addresses' of YPS Centenary, Passport of F W Newton dated 9/8/1909, 3 filmstrips
Bundle 13 - Miscellaneous documents 1827 & 1828 and undated (Word file)

Contacting the Society

Yorkshire Philosophical Society
The Lodge, Museum Gardens, York YO1 7DR
Tel/Fax: 01904 656713
Email: info@yorksphilsoc.org.uk

The Lodge is open for personal callers on Mondays, 10am to 1.30pm, Wednesdays, 10am to 1.30pm and 2.30pm to 4pm, and Fridays, 10am to 1.30pm.