Introduction To Archives and Manuscripts

As well as institutional and membership records dating back to 1820, the RAS archives contain the working papers of William, Caroline and John Herschel, and other leading 19th and 20th century astronomers. The Catalogue of RAS Archives and Manuscripts, compiled by Dr J. A. Bennett and originally published in Memoirs of the Royal Astronomical Society, vol. 85 (1978), is available on this website via the sections outlined below. You can also browse the original catalogue as a PDF.

RAS Additional Manuscripts 

A series of smaller accessions containing over 260 items, mainly manuscripts, observations, photograph albums, drawings or scrapbook collections.

RAS Letters

General correspondence, mainly incoming letters dating back to 1820.

RAS Manuscripts 

Individual collections of manuscripts originating from over 40 astronomers and geophysicists. These collections consist of letters and correspondence, observations, papers, manuscripts of journal articles, diaries, memoirs, drawings, plans and diagrams.

RAS Papers

Minute books, membership and other institutional records.

Herschel Papers & Manuscripts

The working papers of William, Caroline and John Herschel.