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Catalogues and indexing to William Herschel's nebulae observations, by William, Caroline and John Frederick William Herschel

Reference number: MS/344

Date: 1776-1863

Description

An original gathering of astronomical material relating to nebulae, consisting of William Herschel's descriptions of Messier objects, together with indexing to his Philosophical Transactions catalogues of 2,500 nebulae, created by family members.

An original brown paper cover from the whole series is inscribed: 'W. Herschel: Observations of Messier's Nebulae and Clusters. Three indexes to all his observations of 2500 Nebulae & Clusters.' A spine label in pink paper is inscribed: 'Review of the Zodiac &c.'

These documents are referred to in Sir John Herschel's explanation of Herschel family manuscripts on nebulae. See pp.6-7 of 'Catalogue of nebulae and clusters of stars', by John Frederick William Herschel, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, v.154 (1864) pp.1-137.

Custodial history

Presented by Sir John Frederick William Herschel. On 4 October 1863, Sir John Herschel noted in his diary that he had 'Added the final sentences to the introduction of my nebulae catalogue and prepared a letter for Stokes presenting my Father's sweeps & Register sheets & my Aunt's Catalogue to R.S.' These were taken by his son William for delivery to Somerset House on 15 October [MS/583/29]. The donation was acknowledged in the Royal Society's Council Minutes of 28 January 1864, where the packages of papers are listed. Council noted 'That the best thanks of the President and Council be returned to Sir John Herschel for his interesting and valuable present…and that these MSS be preserved in the Archives of the Royal Society.' [RS Council Minutes, Printed, v3 1858-69, p.177].

Reference number
MS/344
Earliest possible date
1776-1863
Physical description
On paper
Page extent
4 files and 1 item
Format
Manuscript

Creator name

Sir William Herschel

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Citation

Sir William Herschel, Catalogues and indexing to William Herschel's nebulae observations, by William, Caroline and John Frederick William Herschel, 1776-1863, MS/344, The Royal Society Archives, London, https://makingscience.royalsociety.org/items/ms_344/catalogues-and-indexing-to-william-herschels-nebulae-observations-by-william-caroline-and-john-frederick-william-herschel, accessed on 26 May 2024

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This volume contains 4 manuscripts:

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  • 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.

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