The Ray Society is a scientific text publication society founded in 1844. It was named after John Ray, the 17th-century naturalist, and is a publishing organization whose activities are devoted mainly to the British flora and fauna. As of 2011, the Society had published 173 volumes. For the most part, these have been academic works which are of particular interest to naturalists, zoologists, botanists and collectors.
The Ray Society's books are concerned with natural history, and have special but not exclusive reference to the British flora and fauna. The Society's works are original monographs on particular groups and topics, facsimiles of historically important volumes and translations of existing works. Manuscripts or proposals for books may be submitted to the Honorary Secretary of the Society. These should be complete treatments of a particular subject and should not form part of a series of books on a particular group or topic. Manuscripts which are being considered by the Society should not be under consideration elsewhere.
During Charles Darwin's lifetime, the Ray Society published not only Darwin's two volumes on living barnacles (1851 and 1854) but also the work of many of the foremost British naturalists: Thomas Henry Huxley, William Crawford Williamson, John Blackwall, Albert Günther, James Scott Bowerbank, etc.
- The official Ray Society website, where you can become a member of the Society and order volumes published by the Society at concessionary prices
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