A major strength of the Library is its collection of portraits of past astronomers, geophysicists and others and these are regularly supplied for book illustrations etc. Most of these are photographs with some engravings and a few paintings and busts.

The collection is wide ranging but is relatively strong on 18th- early 20th-century portraits of British figures; we have few modern overseas astronomers. A complete run of portraits of Presidents of the RAS is held. There is a card index of the RAS portraits. If a portrait is not held it is often possible to locate one in a book or journal from which copies can be made subject to copyright restrictions; an information sheet is available listing the major sources of portraits and biographical material.

Portraits can be supplied for commercial reproduction through our arrangement with Science Photo Library.

John Herschel

William Herschel

Arthur Eddington


All images © Copyright 2003 Royal Astronomical Society