Nature archive

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The heritage of scientific research

Since its launch in November 1869, Nature has published many of the most significant and influential papers in modern science. From research scientists to journalists, the Nature archive provides users with an authoritative narrative through scientific history.

New Content ItemFor 150 years Nature has published the most important research in science. The research is mostly used for background information, methods and protocols, writing grant applications, essays and research papers as well as teaching tools for all academic levels, a reference resource for history of science and science in society courses.

The papers that made all the difference

For over 150 years Nature has published the most important research in science. Get every Nature article ever published with the added benefit of today’s technology – search easily through decades of ground-breaking original research, and find key terms and link topics in seconds. Nature archives can be bought by year set as a one-time purchase, in individual years or a combination of these.


  • Nov. 1869 – Dec. 1949

    Volumes 1-164: 4183 issues

    First collection, a rich variety of material

    The first collection of the Nature archive offers a rich variety of material; from original research to book reviews, scientific news, and reports of scientific society meetings. During this period the pages of Nature were home to many of the most significant scientific advances, such as the invention of the typewriter and telegraphs, the science behind and debate around nuclear weapons, the discovery of the neutron, and, in what may have been Nature’s very first special issue, a lively discussion on Einstein’s theory of relativity. 

    Use of fingerprints as a way to identify criminals

  • Jan. 1950 – Dec. 1986

    Volumes 165-324: 1915 issues

    Rapid increase in scientific discovery in biological sciences

    The post-war years saw a rapid increase in scientific discovery, particularly in the biological sciences. The structure of DNA was revealed to the world, and by the end of 1986 the first description of using fluorescence technology to automate DNA sequencing was published, eventually resulting in the human genome sequence. Startling confirmations in the physical sciences, including evidence of continental drift and the detection of a hole in the ozone layer, now fuel much of today’s climate change research - and key papers published in this collection continue to shape economic and political policies. 

    DNAWatson and Crick decipher the structure of DNA

  • Jan. 1987 – Dec. 1996

    Volumes 325-384: 512 issues

    The period includes established scientific findings

    The period covered by the third archive collection includes established scientific findings, such as remarkable advances in drug development and the search for other earth-like planets. In 1995 Mayor and Queloz of the Geneva Observatory, Switzerland, found ‘51 Pegasi b’, a large, Jupiter-sized planet orbiting a Sun-like star. Nearly two hundred extrasolar planets have since been found using the same technique. 

    PlanetFirst discovery of a planet outside our solar system

  • Jan. 1997 – Dec. 2006

    Volumes 385-445: 512 issues

    Groundbreaking research and discoveries

    This Nature archive collection is home to some of the most groundbreaking research and discoveries of the previous decade, including the first instance of successful cloning of a mammal, and the development of electrophoretic ink, used today in ebook readers. Huge steps forward in genetics were also made; the Human Genome Project mapped every part of the human DNA and a large portion of the results were published in Nature. The data from this project will allow researchers to continue to develop new and life saving technologies. 

    Dolly the sheepCloning and birth of Dolly the sheep revealed

  • Jan. 2007 - 2016

    Volumes 446 - 540: 512 issues

    The most important discoveries of modern science

    Following Nature’s 150 year anniversary, a new 10-year archive set is available to institutions wishing to fill their content gaps and secure their access to the most recent breakthroughs in contemporary research. Along with more diversified content types, and an increased share of papers from China, are key discoveries and breakthroughs in Biochemistry and Cell Biology but also increased output in Climate science and Astrophysics. 

    EpigenomeMapping human epigenomes

Research breakthrough videos