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RAS Images overview

Many of the photographs in the Society's archives fall into the portraits and telescopes categories but there are many of events such as eclipse expeditions, plus many miscellaneous items of related interest and 'photographica' from the development of the photographic process. A large and as yet little-explored resource is the collection of celestial photographs, some dating back as far as the 1860s; work is in hand to make these more easily available without danger of damage to the material.

 

Solar Eclipse Expedition
to Rivabellosa, Spain
1860 July 18.

W.H.Steavenson at
Radcliffe Astronomical Station,
S.Africa

Halley's Comet
and Venus, 1910

Orion Nebula, 1883

M31, 1888

All images © Copyright 2003 Royal Astronomical Society

 

More information
  • The Library holds many portraits of past astronomers, geophysicists and others.
  • There is a strong collection of pictures of telescopes from Galileo to the present.
  • Sources of astronomical and geophysical slides, photographs, memorabilia, videos etc.
  • Some images are available online.
 
RAS Photographic Archive online

 

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By arrangement, the Science Photo Library (SPL) holds images from the RAS Library Photographic Archive as well as a large collection covering all aspects of astronomy and space. These images are available directly online from SPL

SPL, acting as the agent of the RAS, will sell licences (including discounts for academic, educational works and preferred clients) to reproduce images for specified projects. The copyright and intellectual rights in the images, however, will remain the property of the RAS at all times. The agreement is non-exclusive, in that the RAS may continue to exploit or distribute images in any other way at its own discretion. The Society will supply pictures to its Fellows by individual arrangement, especially where the arrangement develops the Society's collections or other activities for the benefit of other Fellows and the public at large.

 
Portraits

 

A major strength of the Library is its collection of portraits of past astronomers, geophysicists and others and these are regularly supplied for book illustrations etc. Most of these are photographs with some engravings and a few paintings and busts.

The collection is wide ranging but is relatively strong on 18th- early 20th-century portraits of British figures; we have few modern overseas astronomers. A complete run of portraits of Presidents of the RAS is held. There is a card index of the RAS portraits. If a portrait is not held it is often possible to locate one in a book or journal from which copies can be made subject to copyright restrictions; an information sheet is available listing the major sources of portraits and biographical material.

Portraits can be supplied for commercial reproduction through our arrangement with Science Photo Library.


John Herschel


William Herschel


Arthur Eddington


Galileo

All images © Copyright 2003 Royal Astronomical Society

 
Telescope pictures

 

An area where the RAS Library is strong is the collection of pictures of telescopes from Galileo to the present. Some of these are engravings from rare books while others are from archive photographs and drawings. A card index is available of the archival items. As with portraits, if an original is not held it is often possible to locate an illustration of a particular instrument in a book or journal from which copies can be made subject to copyright restrictions. These illustrations can be supplied for commercial reproduction through our arrangement with Science Photo Library.

 

40ft. Herschel telescope

Hevelius' 150ft. telescope

Huyghens' Aerial telescope

Hevelius. Machina Coelestis 1673

Melbourne Observatory

All images © Copyright 2003 Royal Astronomical Society