Collection académique

Berryat, J. (ed.)
1 - 13
Dijon: Chez Francois Desventes
1754 - 1787

Leeuwenhoek's death brought an end to his publication of the letters in Dutch and Latin. Thirty years later, Jean Berryat published excerpts in French translation in the context of making the by then century-old early editions of Philosophical Transactions available to in the language that by then was rivaling Latin as educated Europe's lingua franca.

Berryat's plan produced two series, the French part in 16 volumes from 1754 to 1787 and the foreign part (Partie étrangère) in 13 volumes from 1755 to 1779. The title page of Volume II for 1755 (on right; click to enlarge) reads:

ACADEMIC COLLECTION composed of  Memoirs, Proceedings, or Journals of the most famous Academies and Foreign Literary Societies, Extracts of the best Periodicals Works, individual Treatises & the rarest Fugitives Pieces;

On Natural History and Botany, Experimental Physics and Chemistry, Medicine and Anatomy,

Translated into French, and put in order by a Societe de Gens de Lettres [note: not to be confused with the French writers' association of the same name founded by Balzac, Hugo, Dumas, and others in 1838]

Volume II. Containing the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, from the year 1665 until 1678.

They devoted this whole second volume to articles in Philosophical Transactions that, in retrospect, seemed the most interesting for their readers. Of the first 38 Leeuwenhoek letters in Philosophical Transactions or Hooke's Philosophical Collections up until April 1686, they published all or part of 27 of the Philosophical Transactions articles, themselves being extracts from the original. Those marked with an asterisk * on the table below were excerpts of these excerpts. The others were the translations of the complete text that was in Philosophical Transactions.

The first 249 pages of Volume VI for 1761 was billed as a Supplement to Philosophical Transactions. The editors went back through Philosophical Transactions beginning again in 1665 and translated letters that weren't in Volume II. In Leeuwenhoek's case, they published the rest of Letter 2 of August 15, 1673. These pages of Collection académique included none of the figures with any of the letters.

The second part of Volume VII for 1766 was devoted to the Philosophical Transactions from 1679, no. 142, though 1694, no. 207, that is, picking up where they left off in Volume II. During the latter half of the period, from 1686 until 1692, Philosophical Transactions editor Edmond Halley did not publish Leeuwenhoek. As a result, few of his letters were included. During that time, 13 articles in Philosophical Transactions excerpted Leeuwenhoek's letters. Collection académique published all of six of them and excerpts from two of them.

Overall, only a small fraction of the figures in Philosophical Transactions were re-produced for Collection académique but a quarter of them were Leeuwenhoek's. In that sense, Leeuwenhoek was well represented. In manuscript, these 27 letters had 132 figures. The editors published only 27 of the figures in Collection académique on plates made by French engravers who were looking at the Philosophical Transactions plates, not the original drawings. The Philosophical Transactions figures were the reverse of the orginals that Leeuwenhoek sent. Ironically then, the Collection académique figures, being the reverse of Philosophical Transactions, were configured in the same way as the original drawings.

These letters were written to Henry Oldenburg, William Brouncker, Nehemiah Grew, Robert Hooke, Christopher Wren, Francis Aston, and the final two to Members of the Royal Society.

Letter date AB/CL # AvL # Addressed to ... Collection académique  
1673-04-28 1 1 Oldenburg Vol. II pp. 381-382, 388-390 10 of 10
1673-08-15 2 2 Oldenburg Vol. II pp. 393-395 - first part
Vol. VI p. 103 - second part
1674-04-07 5 3 Oldenburg Vol. II pp. 393-395  
1674-06-01 8 4 Oldenburg Vol. II pp. 395-398 *  
1674-07-06 9 5 Oldenburg Vol. II pp. 399-401  
1674-09-07 11 6 Oldenburg Vol. II pp. 403-406  
1674-12-04 13 8 Oldenburg Vol. II pp. 416-417  
1675-08-14 18 12 Oldenburg Vol. II pp. 417-421  
1676-04-21 22 15 Oldenburg Vol. II pp. 434-437  
1676-10-09 26 18 Oldenburg Vol. II pp. 454-461  
1677-03-23 31 19 Oldenburg Vol. II pp. 462-464  
1677-05-14 32 20 Oldenburg Vol. II pp. 464-468  
1677-11-00 35 22 Brouncker Vol. II pp. 490-491  
1678-03-18 38 24 Grew Vol. II pp. 492-493 *  
1678-05-31 39 25 Grew Vol. II pp. 486, 493-494 2 of 8
1679-04-25 43 28 Grew Vol. II pp. 531-533  
1680-11-12 65 33 Hooke Vol. II pp. 540-545  
1682-03-03 67 35 Hooke Vol. II pp. 552-556  
1682-04-04 68 36 Hooke Vol. II pp. 557-559  
1683-01-22 70 37 Wren Vol. VII pp. 47-48 *  
1683-07-16 72 38 Wren Vol. VII pp. 57-58 *  
1683-09-17 76 39 Aston Vol. VII pp. 64-68 9 of 10
1683-12-28 79 40 Aston Vol. VII pp. 68-71 6 of 11
1684-04-14 80 41 Aston Vol. VII pp. 76-80  
1684-07-25 81 42 Aston Vol. VII pp. 83-85  
1685-10-12 88 47 Members Royal Society Vol. VII pp. 129-131  
1686-04-02 90 49 Members Royal Society Vol. VII pp. 125-128