You can now access thousands of scientific articles (written by some of history's greatest minds) for free

When it comes to old academic societies, there isn't an organization on Earth that can hold a candle to Britain's Royal Society. Founded all the way back in 1660, The Royal Society has been pumping out peer-reviewed scientific literature since 1665, when the first edition of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society made its debut.

And today, almost 350 years later, The Royal Society has opened up his historical archive of journals to the public, free of charge.

All told, the fully searchable online archive comprises around 60,000 scientific papers. And while complimentary access is limited to those articles published before 1941, don't let that distract you from the incredible collection of publications included in the archive.

Ben Franklin's original paper on his electric kite experiment? It's in there, dating back to 1752. Geological experiments conducted by a young Charles Darwin? Here you go. Isaac Newton's first scientific paper ever? That's there, too.

BBC has a handful of gems that they've already found in the archives, but don't forget, the collection is searchable, so be sure to check it out and see what other historic experiments you can dig up.

[The Royal Society via BBC News]