Celebrating 250 years of the Royal Dublin Society (RDS), Norris Davidson takes a look back at its history and the role it has played in agriculture, science, industry and art.

'The Dublin Society' was established in 1731 and became 'The Royal Dublin Society' in 1820. 

This excerpt from the documentary focuses on the workings of the RDS Library. Minutes dating from the first meeting of the Society, illustrations in industrial design and experiments in colour photography are all kept at the collections. 

The titles of the original volumes of the library written in Dutch, French, Latin and Portuguese show the attainments of the founders.

The original RDS library became the nucleus of the National Library when it was established in 1877. At this point the Society set up another library for its members, which is now housed in the Ballsbridge premises. Displays of objects reflect the importance of the society as a centre for scientific research. 

The encouragement of science was one of the objects of the founders.

'RDS The Royal Dublin Society 1731-1981' was written and directed by Norris Davidson. The programme was broadcast on 28 April 1981.