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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Eng 1414

Sir William Herschel papers


Scientific papers of the German-born British astronomer William Herschel.


  • Creation: 1780-1822

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.


1 linear feet (4 volumes)

Includes papers relating to the Bath Philosophical Society, transcripts in the hand of Caroline Herschel and Edmund Rack, manuscripts by William Herschel including scientific papers, materials on Uranus, his autobiograhical memoir, and letters from him.

Biographical / Historical

Herschel was a German-born British astronomer. He discovered the planet Uranus and was a pioneer, along with his sister Caroline, of the systematic classification and investigation of the heavens.


Arranged alphabetically by correspondent.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

*79M-42. Deposited by Arthur A. Houghton, Jr., '29, 715 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York; received: 1968.

Manuscripts purchased at Christie's sale, 14th June 1979, through Bernard Quaritch Ltd., 5-8 Lower John Street, Golden Square, London W1R 4AU with assistance from Arthur A. Houghton, Jr. and the Mumford Fund; received 1 July 1979. These manuscripts were formerly accessioned as *67M-67 (1-27) and (39), the deposit of Mr. A.A. Houghton, Jr. These MSS were returned to Mr. Houghton in January 1968 and finally purchased at the sale of his library. Item (28) was not previously deposited in this library.

Herschel, William, Sir, 1738-1822. Sir William 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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