The following is a selection of providers of photos and other material, mainly UK-based. Other useful sources of information include PPARC's resource guide, and the Federation of Astronomical Societies Handbook, published annually. (Available from the FAS Publications Secretary, Malcolm Jones, The Willows, Hawkes Lane, Bracon Ash, Norwich NR14 8EW, Tel: 01508-578392; Fax: 01508-570986; Email: )
If you are simply looking for collections of spectacular astronomical images on the Web, go to our astrolinks image listing.


The Royal Astronomical Society holds a large collection of negatives and prints from which copies can be made to order at the normal rates for photographic work. For specialised purposes, such as publication in books and journals, photographs are also frequently supplied from material in the RAS Library and Archives, subject to the constraints of condition, copyright, etc.; see the separate information sheet Notes for Picture Researchers for the costs, reproduction fees and other conditions of this service. The RAS currently has for sale a set of five colour posters of nebulae, and a CD of organ works by William Herschel. for the costs, reproduction fees and other conditions of this service. The RAS currently has a set of five colour posters of nebulae, and a CD of organ works by William Herschel. for the costs, reproduction fees and other conditions of this service. The RAS currently has a set of five colour posters of nebulae, and a CD of organ works by William Herschel. An additional source of photographic material available from the RAS Library Photographic Archive is via the Science Photo Libary - See below

Armagh Planetarium, College Hill, Armagh, Northern Ireland, BT61 9DB.
Tel 028-3752-4725; Fax: 028-3752-6187; Email: .
Sets of slides on astronomy and spaceflight subjects, videos, posters and postcards, charts, globes, gifts, T-shirts. Sources include NASA, the Anglo-Australian Telescope, and the UK Schmidt Telescope.

Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, Broad Street, Oxford, OX1 3BG.
Tel 01865 277214/277153; Email: .
Filmstrips and 35mm mounted colour slides comprising ancient illustrations covering astronomy, astrology, instruments, constellations, etc., eleventh to sixteenth centuries, various countries of origin, from manuscripts and early printed books in the Dept. of Special Collections and Western Manuscripts. Transparencies, prints, microfilms, digital images available to order. An iconographic index to the mediaeval MS illumination producing these images is available for consultation, Most of these are available for purchase to personal customers, or by mail order, at the Bodleian Library Shop.

Federation of Astronomical Societies. Contact The Slide Librarian, Alan Drummond, 27 York Road, Crawley, West Sussex BN44 3LR.
Tel: 01293-535027.
103 slides, taken by amateur astronomers. These have the great advantage of showing what can actually be seen or photographed with amateur equipment. Some of these are available as a set of 31, with teacher's notes, for school astronomy projects or adult education classes.

National Maritime Museum (Picture Library; Picture Gallery), Greenwich, London SE10 9NF,
Tel 020 8312 6631/6704 (Picture Library), 020 8312 6600 (Picture Gallery); Fax: 020-8312 6533/6599; .
The NMM administers the nearby Royal Observatory Greenwich, and includes one of the world's most comprehensive collections of astronomical and navigational instruments. The collection includes oil paintings, prints, drawings, and historic photographs. The Picture Library serves 'made-to-order' enquiries. Images can be purchased and prints or transparencies hired for reproduction purposes; charges comparable with a commercial picture library are made. The Picture Gallery sells 'off-the-peg' prints of items in the collection.
Natural History Museum Picture Library, Cromwell Rd., South Kensington, London SW7 5BD.
Tel: 020 7942 5401/5324; Fax: 020 7942 5443; Email: .
Small reference collection of NASA transparencies of the planets, may be available for loan to publishers, etc.

UK Astronomy Technology Centre Photolabs, Royal Observatory Edinburgh, Blackford Hill, Edinburgh EH9 3HJ.
Tel 0131-668-8100; FAX 0131 662 1668 OR 0131-668-8264; Email: .
High quality astronomical images principally from the UK Schmidt Telescope Unit in Australia, for research, scientific, teaching, p/r, media and illustrative purposes. Collection included sites, telescopes and equipment plus ROE/AATB (David Malin) shared copyright images, plus historic photos of the ROE and images from its archives and early astronomical books. Some of the most popular images have been made available through the Science Photo Library (q.v.) who market reproduction rights and to whom the initial application should be made for images required for publication.

Science & Society Picture Library, has, since 1998, represented the collections of the National Museum of Science and Industry, comprising the Science Museum, the National Museum of Photography, Film & Television, and the National Railway Museum. It can be contacted at
The Science Museum,
Exhibition Road,
London SW7 2DD;
Tel: 020-7942 4400; Fax: 020 7942 4401: Email: .
Prints can be purchased, or transparencies, prints and digital images loaned for reproduction;substantial charges are made.


The following are commercial picture libraries supplying material for publication, broadcasting, etc. Charges are made for access and for supply of material.

Galaxy Picture Library
. Contact Robin Scagell, 34 Fennels Way, Flackwell Heath, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire HB10 9BY
Tel 01628 521338; Fax 01628 520132; Email .
Astronomical photographs, astronomers, observatories, plus NASA space images. Night sky views and montaged composite images provided to customer's requirements.

, Unique House, 21-31 Woodfield Road, London W9 2BA.
Tel: 020 7266 2662 (Sales), 020 7579 5777 (Research); Fax: 020 7266 3154, 020 7266 2414; E-Mail: (Research), (Sales).
Includes the former Space Frontiers picture library on spaceflight, space applications and astronomy

Mary Evans Picture Library, 59 Tranquil Vale, Blackheath, London SE3 0BS.
Tel: 020 8318 0034; Fax: 020 8852 7211.
General historical picture library including some material on the history of astronomy. Also good for depictions of futuristic Space Travel, Aliens etc., which accompanied stories such as those of H.G. Wells and Jules Verne.

Science Photo Library
, 327-329 Harrow Road, London W9 3RB.
Tel: 020 7432 1100; Fax: 020 7286 8668.
Commercial photo agency with large collection on all aspects of astronomy and space, as well as other fields of science, technology, and medicine. By arrangement they hold images from the RAS Library Photographic Archive made available for the public.


The following are UK retailers supplying material mainly originated by others.

Earth and Sky
. Contact Simon Batty and Christine Parker, West Barsham Road, East Barsham, North Norfolk NR21 OAR.
Tel./Fax.: 01328 820083; Email: .
Supplies a wide range of astronomical slides, charts, videos, observing aids and books; always willing to give advice and guidance.

Jodrell Bank Visitor Centre
, Nuffield Radio Astronomy Laboratories, Jodrell Bank, Lower Withington, Macclesfield, Cheshire SK11 9DL.
Tel: 01477 571339; Fax: 01477 571695; Email:
Sells postcards and photographs, mainly from Armagh with some from Edinburgh.

London Planetarium
, Customer Services Centre, Madame Tussaud's, Marylebone Rd., London NW1 5LR.
Tel: 0870 400 3010.
Posters, charts, books, mugs.

Midland Counties Publications
, 4 Watling Drive, Hinckley, Leics. LE10 3EY.
Tel: 01455 254450; Fax: 01455 233737; Email: .
Supplies videos.

National Maritime Museum
, Romney Rd, Greenwich, London SE10 9NF.
Tel: 020 8312 6600 (NMM), 020 8858 4422 (ROG).
The Time and Tide Shops in the NMM and in the Royal Observatory Greenwich (ROG) both sell various relevant material (the Picture Library prints referred to above, plus timepieces, globes, clothing, china, kitchen items, cards, etc.).

PCET Publishing
(Pictorial Charts Education Trust), 27 Kirchen Rd., London W13 0UD
Tel: 020-8567-9206; Fax: 020-8566-5120; Email: .
Produces a series of wall charts primarily intended for schools on the following subjects: The Solar System;The Earth; Exploring the Planets; The Sun; The Moon; Meteorites; The Night Sky; Eclipses; Life in Space.

(Rickitt Educational Media Ltd), Great Western House, Langport, Somerset TA10 9YU.
Tel: 01458-254700; Fax: 01458-254701; Email: .
Range of slide sets and some computer software, intended for educational use, on astronomy and space.

Royal Observatory Visitor Centre
, Blackford Hill, Edinburgh EH9 3HJ.
Tel 0131-668-8404, Fax: 0131-668-8429; Email: .
Science gift shop.

Sources of Films, Videos, etc

Some of the sources listed above, and particularly the Science Museum and the Natural History Museum, include material on planetary science, and the distinction between this and geophysics can be somewhat blurred. The Royal Astronomical Society's library includes a number of early books covering the subjects that eventually became part of geophysics.


The British Geological Survey, part of the National Environment Research Council, has a photograph collection and archive covering most aspects of Geophysics with special strength in seismology, and maintains the National Archive of Geological Photographs image database; photographs include geophysical instruments and scientists using them, maps and illustrations of the results obtained, and the dramatic effects of phenomena such as Earthquakes. A wide range of photographic and digital products can be purchased for private use or, subject to permission, for publication. The Survey has two main offices and in each case enquiries should be directed to the Chief Photographer.
Shops situated in the main BGS offices carry a wide range of items including rock, fossil and mineral specimens, geological ornaments, natural jewellery, postcards, posters and educational toys and games:
BGS, Kingsley Dunham Centre, Keyworth, Nottingham NG12 5GG. Tel: 0115 936 3360 (Chief Photographer), 0115-936-3241 (shop). BGS, Murchison House, West Mains Rd., Edinburgh EH9 3LA. Tel: 0131 667 1000 (Chief Photographer), 0131-667-1000 (shop). BGS London Information Office, Natural History Museum (Earth Galleries), Exhibition Road, London SW7 2DE. Shop only, Tel: 020-7589-4090.

The National Geophysical Data Center
(NGDC) of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is an American source of similar material (see below).

The following US-based organizations offer very extensive ranges of astronomical merchandise and publications in Astronomy; please remember, first, that North American videos need to be specifically ordered for the PAL system (rather than the native NVTSC), unless you have a modern multi standard player; and secondly, that import duty may be payable on items other than books, and although the duty itself may be quite modest the Customs and GPO charges for clearance and collection of the money can inflate this to an alarming degree. There are also a number of websites associated with NASA (q.v.) and the Hubble Space Telescope (see our astrolinks image listing).

Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 390 Ashton Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94112, USA.Tel: 001 415 337 1100; Fax: 001 415 337 5205; Email: .
has a catalogue stuffed with books, slides, videos, models, posters, educational aids, computer programmes, etc.

National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC) of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) can supply a wide range of material including CD-ROMs, posters and slide sets with images in its subject area. They have a very extensive Web site.
NOAA/NGDC Mail Code E/GC, 325 Broadway, Boulder, Colorado 80305-3328, USA.
Tel: 001 303 497 6826; Fax: 001 303 497 6513; Email: .

Sky Publishing Corporation, 49 Bay State Road, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA. Tel: 001 617 864 7360; Fax: 001 617 864 6117; Email: . Publishers of the foremost popular astronomy magazine, Sky and Telescope, who offer another elaborate catalogue with more emphasis on books but also including globes, videos, slides, and computer software .


NASA does not currently make copies of images directly available to the general public, but images may be downloaded from its websites. Many of these offer multiple formats for the images, including high-resolution versions suitable for printing. Publication-standard copies of NASA images may also be obtained by media representatives or NASA research partners by contacting the Public Affairs Office of the responsible NASA Center; they may also be purchased from certain commercial sources – those in the UK include the Science Photo Library (q.v.) and the Hulton|Archive (q.v.). 'Off-the-peg' NASA images and products are usually available from local science centres and planetaria.

NASA Multimedia Gallery
. Portal for NASA's photo, video, audio and arts galleries of NASA audio-visual products, including the NASA Image eXchange. It is not a unified searchable data base. NASA Image eXchange (NIX) is the first step towards a comprehensive online collection of NASA images, and comprises a web-based search engine for simultaneously searching one or more of NASA's online image and photo collections; additional collections are gradually being added to the scheme. NASA's Planetary Photojournal, hosted by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), is the website for the Planetary Image Archive (PIA) of planets, satellites, and minor planets. All these have images which may be downloaded from their websites in high-resolution versions suitable for printing.

Sources potentially useful for material on collaborations between Russia and the USA include the Science Photo Library (q.v.) and the Hulton|Archive (q.v.), whose stock includes NASA pictures. Material from the USSR period can also be ordered from the Russian Information Agency–Novosti (Russian HQ only), whose London office retains an archive of photographs from the Soviet/Russian space programme:

Russian Information Agency–Novosti (RIA-Novosti), London Office, 3 Rosary Gardens, London SW7 4NW; Tel: 020-7370-1873 (photo library); Fax: 020-7244-7875; Email: . If you are interested in possessing samples of Russian space food, Shuttle tiles, or figurines of astronauts, not forgetting such routine items as postcards and stickers, see the lists of the Agency for the Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics, Moscow; contact Nick Steggall, FRAS FBIS, Bird in Hand, Salters Lane, Trimdon Village, County Durham TS29 6JQ; Tel: 01429 880391; Fax: 01429 882010; Email: . Map Marketing Ltd, 92-104 Carnwath Road, London SW6 3HW.
Tel 08075-862-013; Fax: 020 7371 0473; Email: .
Supply a range of posters in various formats based on satellite imagery, offering images of the whole earth, Europe, Britain, and various more detailed areas. Images are also available as jigsaw puzzles.

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This revision by M.I. Chibnall from an original by P.D. Hingley, with contributions by I. Howarth, J. Lane, J, Mitton, and M. Penston. The information in this document is given in good faith, but any mention of commercial enterprises should not be taken as an endorsement by the RAS or its staff. Information is believed to be correct at the time of publication, but is subject to change. We welcome corrections or suggestions; please contact the RAS Librarian or webmaster.

Posters of Earth from Space, etc: Russian material, NASA websites, North American Sources, Geophysical Material, Retailers, Commercial Picture Libraries, Libraries, Museums and other Astronomical Organizations. British Universities Film and Video Council, 77 Wells Street, London W1T 3QJ. Tel: 020 7393 1500; Fax: 020 7393 1555. BUFVC maintain the Researcher's Guide Online (RGO) database (Tel: 020 7393 1506; Email: ), covering film, TV, radio and related documentation collections in the UK, and the HERMES database (Tel: 020 7393 1506; Email: ), covering titles of AV programmes produced by UK higher education institutions, programmes from a wide range of additional sources, plus the catalogues of distributors of AV programmes. This includes films, videos, DVDs, slides and tape-slide packages; . BUFVC also sell videotapes, CD-ROMs and videodiscs; (Tel: 020 7393 1503; Email: ).
The BUFVC maintain the 'Moving Image Gateway' portal to websites relating to moving images and sound, and their use for UK higher and further education.