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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Eng 1415

Sir John F. W. Herschel papers


Notes, compositions, and correspondence of the British astronomer John Herschel focusing on double stars.


  • Creation: 1810-1917
  • Creation: Majority of material found in 1830-1866

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.


3 linear feet (18 volumes and 2 boxes)

Includes John Herschel's notes, autograph compositions, and correspondence with his father and others, including the 1860 correspondence with Robert Fitzroy. Materials focus especially on double stars and include 2 boxes of "forms of registry of the micrometic measures of double stars." Also includes transcripts of his materials (1917), compositions of others, and correspondence of William Herschel with others.

Biographical / Historical

John Herschel was a British astronomer and successor to his father, Sir William Herschel, in the field of stellar and nebular observation and discovery.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

*67M-67. Deposited by Arthur A. Houghton Jr., '29,715 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York; received: 1968 January; gift: 7 December 1970.

Herschel, John F. W. (John Frederick William), Sir, 1792-1871. Sir John F. W. Herschel papers: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, archives, and more. Houghton Library's collections represent the scope of human experience from ancient Egypt to twenty-first century Cambridge. With strengths primarily in North American and European history, literature, and culture, collections range in media from printed books and handwritten manuscripts to maps, drawings and paintings, prints, posters, photographs, film and audio recordings, and digital media, as well as costumes, theater props, and a wide range of other objects. Houghton Library has historically focused on collecting the written record of European and Eurocentric North American culture, yet it holds a large and diverse number of primary sources valuable for research on the languages, culture and history of indigenous peoples of the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

Houghton Library’s Reading Room is free and open to all who wish to use the library’s collections.

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