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The Herschel Archive:– John Herschel (Part 1 of 2)



1. Sweeps and other observations at Slough, 1816–33 (including some at the Cape, 1834–37).

1/1. Journal No. 1. From Oct. 12. 1816 page 1 To [1825]. (This includes a record of the earliest sweeps.)
1/2.1. 20 feet Reflector. Sweeps Vol. I. Sweeps 7 to 74 inclusive 1825 Sep. 4 to 1827 April 29.
1/2.2. Sweeps 75–177. (2 July 1827 – 15 Sept. 1828).
1/2.3. Sweeps 178–281. (16 Sept. 1828 – 16 Aug. 1830).
1/2.4. Sweeps 282–399. (19 Aug. 1830 – 3 Feb. 1832).
1/2.5. Sweeps 400–476. (In fact 401–476, 7 Feb. 1832 – 31 July 1834.) (Sweeps 429, 5 March 1834, onwards were made at the Cape. After sweep 476 the volume becomes a journal, 1834–36, devoted mainly to observations of Halley’s Comet, 1835–36.)
1/3. Sweeps Nos 1–107. 1823–27. Fair Copy.
1/4. Register of Objects observed in Sweeps with the Twenty-feet Reflector by J.F.Wm. Herschel. Arranged in order of Right Ascension and Reduced to Jan 1. 1830.
1/5.1. Working lists for 20-feet Sweeps. Vol. 1.
1/5.2. (ditto) Vol.2.
1/5.3. (ditto) Vol.3.
1/5.4. (ditto) Vol.4.
1/6. Reductions of Sweeps to 1830.0 from Sweep 75–July 2 1827 to Sweep 229.
1/7. Reducing curves (11 sheets).
1/8. Chart-Index to Sweeps with 20-feet. Slough.
1/9. 20 feet apparatus. Memorandum Book. (Entries in this book are probably not confined to the period at Slough.)
1/10. Loose papers concerning double stars, under a cover marked: ‘New Double Stars 2nd Class’. (Consists largely of 29 pages of observations of double stars, 1816–17, extracted from 1/1. In addition there is an autograph letter CH to JH, 20 June 1831, containing double star observations, and also some MSS of a much later date.)
1/11. A bundle of micrometrical measures of double stars on printed forms in order of RA (19h0m0s to 24h0m0s), taken both at Slough and at the Cape (1828–37).


2. Cape observations.

2/1.1. Cape Sweeps. Vol. I. 429–570. (5 March 1834 – 13 April 1835.)
2/1.2. Cape Sweeps. Vol. II. 571–731. (In fact 571–730, 18 April 1835 – 5 Sept. 1836.)
2/1.3. Cape Sweeps, Vol. III. 731–810. (6 Sept. 1836 – Jan. 1838.)
2/2.1. Cape Register. Vol. 1. Nebulae.
2/2.2. Cape Register. Vol. 2. Double Stars.
2/2.3. Cape Register. Vol. 3. Stars.
2/3. Star gages. Sweeping Notes. 20-feet Instrumental Record. Dec 1834 – Dec 1836. C.G.H. [Cape of Good Hope]. (Small notebook, sweeps 516–783.)
2/4. Working charts. (Nine star charts; the cover is a chart of ‘Triangles connecting Feldhausen with the Royal Observatory & with La Caille’s’.)
2/5. General Chart Index For Both Hemispheres. arranged in Zones of 3° in NPD and in Hours of RA or in 1440 Squares. (This covers the Slough and the Cape sweeps.)
2/6.1. Tables to be used For Reducing The Cape Sweeps.
2/6.2. Redns Vol ii. Reductions of Cape Sweeps.
2/6.3. Vol. iii. Reductions of Cape Sweeps... Sw 614 to Sw 810. (Opened from the back, this volume contains lists of useful numerical values and constants.)
2/7. Reducing curves. (Eight sheets.)
2/8.1. Data for Monographic Maps of the Magellanic Clouds. (1836–37.)
2/8.2. First approximation towards a Catalogue of Objects in the Greater Magellanic Cloud containing the Places for 1830 of [—] Nebulae & Stars prepared for construction of a Map.
2/9. Equatorial Note Book. Dec. 1834 to Nov 37 [in fact Jan. 1838]. C.G.H.
2/10.1. Working Catalogue of double Stars for measurement with the 7ft Equatorial.
2/10.2. Micrometrical Measures of Double Stars taken with the 7 feet Equatorial at Feldhausen. Cape of Good Hope.
2/11. Observations of sun-spots, Dec 1836 – Oct 1837. (A series of 176 diagrams of spots on the solar disc, 13 ‘Magnified figures’ of spots, a note ‘Scale of Griesbach’s Sun drawings’, and a list of JH’s observations.)
2/12. Astronometer Book. March 26 1836 to Dec 26 1836. C.G.H. (Small notebook.)
2/13. Star Magnitudes. Trial List. (Small notebook. Opened from the back, it contains later workings on star magnitudes.)
2/14. A series of slips of paper: lists of stars, ordered according to observed magnitudes, 1835–38 (see Results, pp. 310–26) and 1839–40, and some miscellaneous observations.
2/15. Loose pages under a cover marked: ‘Plans &c of the Equatorial Instrument & Revolving Roof. For the Cape’.
2/16.1. Guard Book. Vol. VIII. Drawings of Nebulae and Comets & the Southern Milky Way. (With a few exceptions these drawings are Cape observations and many were printed in Results. They are individually numbered from 645 to 734, but the series is incomplete.)
2/16.2. Loose drawings, originally inside 2/16.1.
2/17. Memoranda of Polishing Work. Feldhausen. Cape of Good Hope. 1834. (Small notebook, 26 Aug. 1834 – 12 April 1837, one entry for 22 Oct. 1856.)
2/18. Loose sheets under a cover marked: ‘Tides in Table & Simon’s Bay’. (1835.)
2/19. Loose sheets under a cover marked : ‘Meteorological Hourly observations made Monthly, but not including those at Solstice & Equinox’. (Observations made at Feldhausen by JH, 1837, and at Bathurst, Sussex, by Nathaniel Morgan, 1837–38.)
2/20. A notebook marked: ‘Plans, Sections and Elevations’. (Surveys and plans made at the Cape.)
2/21. Brisbane Rough Catalogue. (A note by JH on the fly-leaf reads: ‘MS. of an index Catalogue of Sir Thos. Brisbanes Southern Stars (subject to revision & correction prior to the publication of the reduced observations) reduced and arranged by Mr. Richardson of the Royal Observatory Greenwich and by him confidentially communicated to Sir J.F.W. Herschel on the eve of his departure to the Cape of Good Hope’. See Results, pp. viii–ix.)


3–8. With a few exceptions, these are loose Cape observations arranged by subject, or calculations on the Cape observations, made both at the Cape and in the period 1838–47. (Results appeared in 1847.) MSS under 3–7 came from a single bundle of papers, and the original ordering has been preserved, since there is evidence of a larger arrangement by JH.)


3. A large folder marked ‘Monographs’. Inside papers were arranged by subject under covers marked as follows:

3/1. Monographs. h Argus.
1.1. Folder marked: ‘Variable Stars. h Argus’. (Includes letters to JH from Francis Baily, 24 Aug. 1843, and Thomas Maclear, 17 Dec. 1843, 17 Sept. 1844.)
1.2. Rough notes and calculations.
1.3. Folder marked: ‘Rough Monograph Book (come to pieces)’. (Various observations, not confined to h Argus.)
1.4. Folder marked: ‘Measures of D Stars in h Argus’.
1.5. Folder marked: ‘Fields of View in the Nubecula Major’.
1.6. Observations and workings.
1.7. Notebook marked: ‘h Argus. Places of Leading Stars in Mass’.
1.8. Rough notes, charts, and catalogues of stars in the nebula around h Argus.
3/2. Monographs. q Orionis. (Includes a letter to JH from Edward J. Cooper, 21 March 1836.)
3/3. Monographs. 17 Messier.
3/4. Monographs. H. IV.41./V. 10 11 12. 17h52’RA. 113 1 NPD.
3/5. Monographs. c Orionis.
3/6. Monographs. 30 Doradus.
3/7. Monograph of 8 Messier. (Includes a letter to JH from James Prescott Joule, 24 April 1843.)
3/8. Monographs. k Crucis.
3/9. Monographs. Moon.


4. A series of folders containing loose pages of notes and calculations. There was no overall cover, but most of the papers concern JH’s work on ‘astrometry’ (see Results, chap. 3). Individual folders are marked as follows:

4/1. Variable Stars. a Cassiopeiae. (Includes JH’s corrections to a proof copy of the chart that accompanied his paper on the revision and rearrangement of constellations in Mem., xii, and a letter to JH from Sir Francis Beaufort, 15 June 1840. JH often used spare space on letters, usually unimportant ones, for calculations, &c. There are, for example, others from Beaufort, but in general such letters have not been noted here.)
4/2. Star-batches. Rude preliminary trials of the Algebraic Process.
4/3. Analysis of the lists. Groupes [sic] of Southern Stars by Alphabets as arranged in 1840.
4/4. Chart-making. Memoranda. Scraps. Star magnitude notations. Triangles roughly filled in.
4/5. Star-magnitudes. Lists of Northern Stars under examination with collaterals to be successively introduced.
4/6. Star magnitudes. Analysis of the lists. Groupes of Northern Stars by Alphabets. (Many of these pages are actually corrected proofs of JH’s review of Whewell’s History of the inductive sciences and Philosophy of the inductive sciences in The quarterley review, lxviii.)
4/7. Northern Star-groupes in process of Successive arrangement as resulting from the alphabetic analysis.
4/8. Northern Star-magnitudes. Numerical Evaluation and First steps to their combination with the Southern so as to carry out a uniform Scale of magnitudes for Both Hemispheres.
4/9. Alphabets for Corrected Sequences. (Includes a letter to JH from Charles Pritchard, 11 Nov. 1845.)
4/10. Southern Star groupes & lists preparatory for numerical assignment of magnitudes as resulting from the Alphabets.
4/11. Southern Star-magnitudes. Numerical evaluation and comparison of the results with those deduced from the direct Photometric Process.


5. A large folder marked ‘Star Magnitudes’.

5/1. Loose pages of observations under a cover marked: ‘Star-magnitudes. Original Observed Lists. Booked’ (1836–41)
5/2. Under a cover marked ‘Chap. IV. Astrometry of The Magnitudes of the Stars’:
2.1. Loose pages of notes and calculations under a cover marked: ‘Photometric Astromety [sic]’. (Includes a letter to JH from Hugh, third Duke of Northumberland, 30 Oct. 1840.)
2.2. Notebook: ‘Magnitudes of the Stars from actual observation’. (Observed sequences, 1835–41.)
2.3. Loose pages of notes relating to comparisons of stars by the intervention of the moon (see Results, pp. 353–72).
2.4. Three pencil charts. (Work of June 1841.)
2.5. A Catalogue of Stars for the year 1830 of the fifth magnitude and upwards... from NPD. 125° to 180° with their true magnitudes as observed in the years 1834, 5, 6, 7, 8 by Sir J.H.
5/3. Loose notes on the revision of the southern constellations.
5/4. Loose notes marked: ‘Constellation Reform. Nomenclature’.


6. A large folder marked ‘A 16’

6/1. Loose pages of catalogues in a folder marked ‘Brisbane Stars’.
6/2. Loose pages of miscellaneous notes. (Includes 3 letters to JH from Thomas Maclear, no dates, and several sheets in CH’s hand.)
6/3. Parts of the reduced observations of nebulae and clusters (see Results, pp. 89–128) and of the reduced observations of double stars (ibid., pp. 199–237).
6/4. Maclear’s observations of Right Ascensions of Brisbane stars (see Results, pp. viii–ix).


7. A large folder marked ‘A 17’. Inside papers were arranged under covers marked as follows:

7/1. Rough work for the Charts of the distribution of Nebulae over the Heavens. Done with. To be preserved.
7/2. Southern Constellations. (Seven charts.)
7/3. Comet. (Observations and notes on Halley’s Comet. Includes letters to JH from Thomas Maclear, 24 Jan. 1836, 4 March 1836, 5 March 1836, 15 April 1836, 4 undated; from C. Bell n.d., and a printed communication from Edward J. Cooper.)
7/4. Foul Copy and rough Calculations &c. Done with. (Observations and notes on Halley’s Comet. Cf. Mem., x, 325–35.)
7/5. Comet. Sheets read for fair Copy.
7/6. Satellites of Saturn. (Observations, notes, tables and drafts of passages in Results, chap. 6. Includes a letter to JH from Johann von Lamont, 10 Dec. 1846.)


8. A miscellaneous collection of charts and graphs on large sheets of paper, apparently brought together only because of their size. Many, though not all, are relevant to the Cape observations. They include star charts, double star orbits, astrometry curves, meteorological graphs, &c.


9. The manuscript of Results. Except for 9/9, these papers were originally under two separate covers marked: ‘Cape Observations No. 1. MS. of the Catalogues. Returned from the Printer. 1847’ and ‘Cape Observations No. 2. MS of Letter-press. Returned from the Printer. 1847’.

9/1. Introduction.
9/2. Chap. I. Observations of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars taken in the course of Sweeping with the 20-feet Reflector.
2.1. Introduction to the Catalogue of Nebulae.
2.2. Remarks on this Catalogue.
2.3. A general Catalogue of the Stars known to exist in the area occupied by the great Nebula about h Argus...
2.4. Reduced observations of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars ...
2.5. Synoptic Table of the dates of the Sweeps... A list of such nebulae and clusters of stars of Mr Dunlop’s Catalogue as have been certainly or more or less probably identified with objects in the foregoing Catalogue... [not printed]. List of figured Nebulae referred to in the Catalogue.
2.6. Of the law of distribution of nebulae and clusters of stars over the surface of the heavens. ... Of the Classification of Nebulae.... Of the two Nubeculae or Magellanic Clouds.
2.7. Stars, Nebulae and Clusters in the Nubecula Minor. ... Stars, Nebulae and Clusters in the Nubecula Major.
9/3. Chap. II. Of the double Stars of the Southern Hemisphere.
3.1. Introduction to the Catalogue of Southern Double Stars.
3.2. Reduced Observations of Double Stars...
3.3. Introduction to the micrometrical measures of Double Stars.
3.4. Micrometrical measures of Double Stars... Notes to accompany the micrometrical measures ... Synopsis of the results...
3.5. Comparison of Angles of Position of double Stars measured with the Seven feet Equatorial and the 20 feet Reflector.
3.6. Special Remarks on the measures of particular double Stars ...
9/4. Chapter III. Of Astrometry, or the numerical expression of the apparent magnitudes of the stars.
4.1. Section 1. Of the method of Sequences.
4.2. Section 2. Account of some attempts to compare the intensities of Light of the Stars one with another by the intervention of the Moon...
9/5. Chap. IV. Of the distribution of Stars and of the Constitution of the Galaxy in the Southern Hemisphere.
9/6. Chap. V. Observations of Halley’s Comet with remarks on its physical condition and that of comets in general.
9/7. Chap. VI. Observations of the Satellites of Saturn.
9/8. Chap. VII. Observations of the Solar Spots. ... Appendix.
9/9. Original drawings of nebulae. (Also some corrected proofs and a set of prints from Results.)