The Herschel Archive:– William Herschel (Part 2 of 3)


The Herschel Archive:– William Herschel (Part 2 of 3)


4. The fixed stars and the construction of the heavens. The subjects covered in section 4 often overlap, but as far as possible the material has been arranged in the following order: general observations and catalogues; the nature of the stars; stellar parallax; double stars; the solar motion; the construction of the heavens, nebulae and clusters.

4/1. Observations of fixed stars, extracted from the Journal: in 7 volumes. (See Dreyer, p. 550.)

1.1. Fixt Stars. Volume 1st. (7 March 1775 – 24 May 1781.)

1.2. Fixt Stars. Volume 2d. (26 May 1781 – 5 April 1782.)

1.3. Fixt Stars. Volume 3d. (5 April 1782 – 31 Dec. 1782.)

1.4. Fixt Stars. Volume 4th. (31 Dec. 1782 – 30 June 1783.)

1.5. Fixt Stars. Volume 5th. (30 June 1783 – 17 Jan. 1784.)

1.6. Fixt Stars. Volume 6th. (18 Jan. 1784 – 13 April 1784.)

1.7. Fixt Stars. Volume 7th. (13 April 1784 – 12 July 1784.

4/2. Loose sheets under a cover marked: ‘Single Stars of the first magnitude with the nearest surrounding small stars’. (Observations taken from 4/1. See Dreyer, p. 551.)

4/3. Review of the Ecliptic By triangles trapesia &c. (Observations extracted from 2/2.6.)

4/4. Observations on changeable Stars. Observations on Stars I suspect to be changeable. (See Dreyer, pp. 551, 554–68. There are also 3 pages headed ‘Remarks from Observations. Review of the Ecliptic’.)


4/5. Catalogue of the fixt Stars in the Zodiac.

4/6.1. 1792. Feb 14. Review of the Zodiac.

4/6.2. Zodiac. Divided into Triangles &c.

4/6.3. Ecliptic laid down from Mr Woolaston’s [sic] Catalogue.

4/7. A copy, made in 1781, of Christian Mayer, ‘De novis in coelo sidere o phaenomenis’, Historia et commentationes academiae scientiarnum et elegantiarnum literarum, iv, 1779.

4/8. A copy of John Michell, ‘On the means of discovering the distance, magnitude etc, of the fixed stars, in consequence of the diminution of the velocity of their light...’, Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society, 1784.

4/9. Observations upon Algol. (Papers, i, cvii–cviii.)

4/10.1. On the nature and construction of the Sun and fixed Stars. (Papers, i, 470–84.)

4/10.2. Calculations belonging to the paper On the Nature & construction of the Sun & fixed stars.

4/10.3. Post Script to the Paper on the nature and construction of the Sun &c:

4/11. On the Parallax of the Fixt Stars. (Papers, i, 39–57. Also ‘Alterations to be made and notes to be added. Paper on the Parallax... In the Paper of the Description of the Lamp Micrometer’.)

4/12. Double star catalogues.

4/12.1. Catalogue of 702 Double Stars By Constellations & By Classes.

4/12.2. Catalogue of Double Stars by their Classes and Numbers.

4/12.3. Catalogue of Double Stars, by Constellations.

4/12.4. Index of Double Stars in Classes.

4/12.5. Index to the 1st 2d & 3th [sic] Catalogues of my Double Stars by Constellations, Classes & Numbers.

4/13. Review of double Stars. In order to assign the probability of their appearance whether Fixed, or in motion Direct, Retrograde or Proper.

4/14. Catalogue of Double-Stars. (Papers, i, 58–90.)

4/15. Catalogue of Double-Stars 2nd (Papers, i, 167–222.)

4/16. Loose pages in a folder marked: ‘New double stars in Constellations’. (There is also an empty folder marked: ‘New Double Stars 1st Class’. A companion folder, marked ‘New Double Stars 2nd Class’, now contains MSS by JH, see Herschel J. 1/10.)

4/17.1. Account of the Changes that have happened during the last 25 years in the relative situation of double-stars . . . (Papers, ii, 250–76.)

4/17.2. Calculations relevant to 4/17.1.

4/18.1. Continuation of an Account of the changes that have happened in the relative situation of double stars.

4/18.2. Calculations relevant to 4/18.1.

4/19.1. On the proper motion of the Sun and solar System. (Papers, i, 108–25.)

4/19.2. Post-Script to the Paper on the motion of the Solar System. (Papers, i, 125–30.)... Alterations in the paper.

4/19.3. Post-Script to the Paper on the motion of the Solar System. (Another copy.)

4/20.1. On the Direction and Velocity of the motion of the Sun, and Solar System. (Papers, ii, 317–31.)

4/20.2. Calculations for the paper on the solar motion.

4/21.1. On the quantity and Velocity of the solar motion. (Papers, ii, 338–59.)

4/21.2. Notes and calculations relevant to 4/21.1.

4/21.3. Calculations relevant to 4/21.1.

4/22. Notes and calculations (173 pages) concerning the solar motion.

4/23. Account of some Observations tending to investigate the Construction of the Heavens. (Papers, i, 157–66.)

4/24.1. On the Construction of the Heavens. (Incomplete. Papers, i, 223–54.)

4/24.2. Calculations and tables relevant to 4/24.1.

4/25. Catalogue of 1000 new Nebulae and Clusters of Stars. (Papers, i, 260–94.)

4/26. Catalogue of a second thousand of new Nebulae and Clusters of Stars... (Papers, i, 329–65.)

4/27. On Nebulous-Stars, properly so called. (Papers, i, 415–25.)

4/28.1. Catalogue of 500 new Nebulae, Nebulous-stars, Planetary nebulae and clusters of Stars; with remarks on the construction of the Heavens. (Contains only the ‘remarks’. Papers, ii, 199–215.)

4/28.2. Catalogue of 500 additional new Nebulae and clusters of Stars. (Papers, ii, 215–34.)

4/28.3. Calculations relevant to 4/28.1 and 4/28.2.

4/29.1. Astronomical observations relating to the construction of the heavens ... (Papers, ii, 459–97.)

4/29.2. Synopsis of the contents of this paper... Post Script. (Another copy.)

4/29.3. Figures belonging to a paper on the Construction of the Heavens.

4/29.4. Tables relevant to 4/29.1.

4/30.1. Astronomical observations relating to the sidereal part of the heavens, and its connection with the nebulous part... (Papers, ii, 520–41. With a ‘Synopsis of the contents of this paper’ and a print of the illustrations from Phil trans.)

4/30.2. Calculations belonging to the paper of observations relating to the sidereal part of the heavens &c.

4/31.1. Astronomical observations and experiments tending to investigate the local arrangement of the celestial bodies in space... (Papers, ii, 575–91. With ‘Calculations belonging to the paper on the local arrangement of the celestial bodies in space’.)

4/31.2. A set of circular diaphragms under a cover marked: ‘10 feet Gaging powers’.

4/32.1. Astronomical observations and experiments, selected for the purpose of ascertaining the relative distances of Clusters of stars... (Papers, ii, 592–613.)

4/32.2. Calculations relevant to 4/32.1.

4/33. Various observations, catalogues and indexes: nebulae and clusters.

4/33.1. Nebulae of the Conoissance des temps.

4/33.2. Loose sheets under a cover marked: ‘Observations on the Nebulae of the Connoissance des temps’.

4/33.3. Nebulae and Clusters of Stars of the Connoiss. des temps.

4/33.4. Planetary Nebulae pointed out by Stars.

4/33.5. General Index for nebulae. (A comparatively recent copy.)

4/33.6 Four volumes, under a cover marked by CH: ‘Several Catalogues & Indexes of Neb. & Clusters of stars used before their General catalogue was introduced’:

(1) Catalogue of 1000 new Nebulae & Clusters of Stars.

(2) Right ascension and Polar distance of Nebulae & Clusters of Stars at the time they were observed.

(3) Index to new Nebulas & Clusters of Stars.

(4) Places of new Nebulae and Clusters of Stars.

5. Telescopes.

5/1. Description of the Lamp-Micrometer and the Method of using it. (Papers, i, 91–96.)

5/2.1. Description of a forty feet reflecting telescope. (Papers, i, 485–527.)
5/2.2. Calculations and notes relating to 5/2.1.
5/2.3. A copy of the printed version of 5/2.1 from Phil. trans.
5/2.4. Another copy of 5/2.3: a presentation copy, inscribed ‘Herrn Carl Haase from Caroline Herschel’ in which the perspective view of the complete telescope is different.
5/3.1. On the power of penetrating into space by telescopes . . . (Papers, ii, 31–52.)
5/3.2. Calculation belonging to the paper On the power of penetrating into space.
5/3.3. Part of a letter in reply to criticism of 5/3.1 and ‘Three alterations in my paper’.
5/4.1. Experiments for ascertaining how far telescopes will enable us to determine very small angles . . . (Papers, ii, 297–316.)
5/4.2. Calculations relevant to 5/4.1.
5/5. Drawings of telescopes. (Thirteen drawings, of the 7ft, 10 ft, small 20 ft and large 10 ft; some are by W. Watson.)
5/6. Directions for the use of the Telescope. (7ft.)
5/7. Directions for the use of the telescope. (7 ft. Photocopy of original in the possession of A. C. Sanderson.)
5/8. Instructions sent with the large 10 feet Telescope.
5/9. Directions for use of the Telescope. (20 ft.)
5/10. Bills for Expenses of 20 feet. (Includes: ‘Directions for unpacking the Cases containing the telescope’ and ‘Lists of the Articles contained in the Packing Cases’.)
5/11.1. Contents of the boxes in which the various parts of the 25 feet Herschelian telescope are packed up.
5/11.2. Woodwork belonging to the Telescope. Iron, Brass, and other work belonging to the Telescope.
5/11.3. Directions for management of the telescope. (25 ft.)
5/12. Experiments on the Construction of Specula. (See Dreyer, p. 552.)
5/12.1. Vol. 1 (1773–28 Nov. 1790. ‘New copy with corrections and additions’.)
5/12.2. Vol. 2. (2 Dec. 1790 – 16 Dec. 1793.)
5/12.3. Vol. 3. (20 Dec. 1793 – 4 Jan. 1804.)
5/12.4. Vol. 4. (9 Jan. 1804 – 5 Dec. 1818.)
5/12.5. Index to the articles contained in the four volumes of experiments No. 1.
5/12.6. Index . . . No. 2 Intended.
5/12.7. Successful Experiments arranged for each mirror according to the succession of the volumes and numbers.
5/13. On the Construction of Specula. (Arranged in 5 folders. See Dreyer, p. 553)
5/14. Results of Experiments on the Construction of Mirrors for Telescopes. (See Dreyer, p. 553.)
5/14.1. Results of Experiments . . . (Arranged in 8 folders.)
5/14.2. Fifty-nine machine drawings to accompany 5/14.1, made by JH under WH’s inspection.
5/14.3. A large number of slips of papers carrying results from 5/12, arranged in bundles by subject, from which the sections of 5/14.1 have been copied.
5/15.1. A copperplate engraving of the large 20-ft telescope, 1794.
5/15.2. Nine prints taken from 5/15.1.
Note that item 3/4 (supra) also contains ‘Observations and experiments relating to the causes which often affect mirrors so as to prevent their shewing objects distinctly’.