Library Visit for Friends of the RAS

Start Date
End Date


LIBRARY VISIT FOR FRIENDS OF THE RAS: Wednesday 20 November 2013, 14:00-16:00 in the Royal Astronomical Society Library


The RAS Library houses a world-class collection on astronomy and geophysics that is far more comprehensive than the libraries of most universities and research institutions.  It contains more than 10,000 books from popular level to conference proceedings, as well as a comprehensive collection of periodicals.  The Society owns the largest specialist collection of astronomical rare books in England, with about 4,000 items published before 1851, including works by Copernicus, Brahe, Galileo and Newton. Archival holdings comprise observational and other scientific material, administrative papers and correspondence from the mid-18th century to the 1940s, and the archive of William, John, and Caroline Herschel. 


At this special event for the Friends, the Librarian Jenny Higham will display and introduce some of the key treasures of the collection.  Items will include depictions of medieval astronomy from the very early days of printing, the first edition of Copernicus’s De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (1543), Giovanni Cassini’s celebrated scientific map of the Moon (1679), William Herschel’s notebooks revealing his moments of discovery, and objects from the Society’s collection of historical artefacts such as a Moon globe by John Russell and a sextant used by Captain Cook.

This event is limited to 20 Friends. Please email or call 020 7734 4582 by 8 November to put your name in the hat for a place. We are expecting this event to be very popular, and it will be re-run next year for anyone who doesn’t get the opportunity to attend this time.