Other Collections

In addition to our archives and manuscripts, the RAS Library contains books, journals, photographs, and a small collection of instruments.


The RAS Library holds a specialist collection of books on astronomy and geophysics. New additions to the collection are listed on the main page of the library catalogue. The collection also includes thousands of astronomical early printed books dating as far back as the 15th century. Collection highlights include works by Copernicus and Galileo.

You can contact the librarian for more information on early printed books, which are being added to the online catalogue.  


The Library subscribes to over 40 current print journals which can be consulted on the premises. Current journals can be searched using the Library catalogue, along with 3,000 non-current journals. 

The Library does not provide online access to journal articles. For guidance on how to find open access articles via the Astrophysics Data System (ADS) and to learn how Fellows can gain access to Royal Astronomical Society journals, see Help with your research.


The Society has a collection of over 3,000 photographic glass plates. Collected since the early days of astrophotography, the collection features photographs by Warren De La Rue, E.E. Barnard and many others. Work is in progress to catalogue and rehouse these photographs. For more information, contact the librarian


The Society has a collection of over 100 objects and instruments, including telescopes, sextants and clocks. Originally loaned to Fellows for observation work, many of these instruments remain on loan to museums and observatories, while some are still in Burlington House, such as a small log which is purported to be from Isaac Newton's apple tree.