Skip to content

Please be aware that some material may contain words, descriptions or illustrations which will not reflect current scientific understanding and may be considered in today's context inaccurate, unethical, offensive or distressing.

Register of nebulae by William Herschel and Caroline Herschel

Reference number: MS/339/4

Date: 21 September 1786-4 February 1793


List of nebulae and star clusters, numbered 1501-2000, arranged in order of discovery, with all subsequent observations and descriptions of the astronomical objects.

A fair copy and collated version of information gathered during telescopic sweeps of the night sky, made at Slough, Berkshire, England, generally with a reflecting telescope of 20 feet diameter and occasionally a 10 feet diameter instrument. These records were transcribed directly from the sweep books, usually on the day following the original sighting.

Generally written on the recto sheets only. With occasional notes in pencil, some by John Frederick William Herschel. The wooden front board has a label: 'Sir William Herschel's nebulae No.1501 - ... - 2000'.

Reference number
Earliest possible date
21 September 1786-4 February 1793
Physical description
On paper. Originally pressed between wooden boards, which have been removed and retained separately.
Page extent
500 pages.

Creator name

Sir William Herschel

Use this record


Sir William Herschel, Register of nebulae by William Herschel and Caroline Herschel, 21 September 1786-4 February 1793, MS/339/4, The Royal Society Archives, London,, accessed on 15 June 2024

Link to this record

Embed this record

<iframe src="" title="Register of nebulae by William Herschel and Caroline Herschel" allow="fullscreen" frameborder="0" width="100%" height="500px"></iframe>


This item is part of:

Explore the collection

  • Manuscripts General

    Dates: 1551 - 1951

    Science in the Making presents selected items from the 'Manuscripts General' series, notably astronomical observations, investigations of discrete topics, and indices and registers of papers read before the Royal Society.

    View collection