Papers, 1721-1951, (Archival material, 1721) []
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Papers, 1721-1951,

Author: Herschel Family.George Hamilton Gordon Aberdeen, Earl ofJohn Couch AdamsHenry Unwin AddingtonGeorge Biddell AiryAll authors
Edition/Format:   Archival material : EnglishView all editions and formats
The bulk of the Herschel papers consists of Sir John F.W. Herschel's correspondence, essays, drawings, notes, calculations, reports, notebooks, charts, documents, memoranda books, diaries, and travel journals from 1809 to 1871. Also present are Caroline Lucretia Herschel's correspondence, biographical memoranda, documents, tables, and diaries from 1787 to 1846; Sir William Herschel's correspondence, essays, notes,

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Genre/Form: Diaries
Laboratory notes
Charts, diagrams, etc
Document Type: Archival Material
All Authors / Contributors: Herschel Family.; George Hamilton Gordon Aberdeen, Earl of; John Couch Adams; Henry Unwin Addington; George Biddell Airy; F Arago; George Arbuthnot; Jasper Atkinson; Charles Babbage; Francis Baily; Mary Baldwin; William Henry Barton; William Henry Bateson; Francis Beaufort, Sir; A B Becher; A J B Beresford Hope; John Elliot Drinkwater Bethune; Henry Bingly; William Radcliffe Birt; George Phillips Bond; William Cranch Bond; Gail Borden; Richard Bourke, Sir; William Thomas Brande; David Brewster; Benjamin C Brodie, Sir; John Cam Hobhouse Broughton, Baron; Julia Margaret Cameron; Richard Grenville Chandos; John George Children; Hammond Chubb; Edward Daniel Clarke; John Cruickshank; John Dalton; J Frederic Daniell; Charles Darwin; William Rutter Dawes, 1799-1868.; Augustus De Morgan; George Dolland; Frederich Marow Eardley-Wilmot; Alexander John Ellis; Johann Franz Encke; Michael Faraday; Henry William Field; M H J Finch; James David Forbes; John Forbes, Sir; Carl Friedrich Gauss; Frederick Waymounth Gibbs; W E Gladstone; Thomas Graham; James Grahame; William Debonaire Haggard; Charles Wood Halifax, Viscount; George Alexander Hamilton; William Alexander Baillie Hamilton; Thomson Hankey; Joseph Alfred Hardcastle; H D Harness; Philip Harwood; Edward Hawkins; John Haygarth; Caroline Lucretia Herschel; John Herschel, Mrs.; John F W Herschel; Margaret Brodie Stewart Herschel; Mary Herschel, Lady.; William Herschel; William James Herschel, Sir Bart; W E Hickson; John Gellibrand Hubbard; Alexander von Humboldt; Joseph Hume; Robert Hunt; Charles Hutton; Robert Harry Inglis, Sir; H James; T B Jervis; William Stanley Jevons; Richard Jones; T Rupert Jones; Robert Kane; Kater, Captain; Philip Kelland; G W Kitchin; Anne Elise Knipping; Joseph Jérôme Le Français de Lalande; J H Lefroy, Sir; Humphrey Lloyd; J W Lubbock; Charles Lyell, Sir; Thomas Maclear; Robert Mallet; Nevil Maskelyne; Gilbert Farquhar Mathison; Charles May; William Lamb Melbourne, Viscount; Adolf Bernhard Meyer; W H Miller; Gilbert Murray Knynmond Minto, Lord; Thomas Spring-Rice Monteagle of Brandon, Baron; Roderick Impey Murchison, Sir; Robert Forester Mushet; J N Nicollet; Spencer Joshua Alwyne Compton Northampton, Marquis of; Richard Owen; George Peacock; John Phillips; Benedetto Pistrucci; Joseph Planta; Bartholomew Price; Charles Pritchard; Adolphe Quetelet; H R Reynolds; Henry Rich, Sir; William Ritchie; Patrick Francis Robertson; Charles J Rodgers; Peter Mark Roget; James Clark Ross, Sir; William Parsons Rosse, Earl of; John Russell Russell, Earl; Edward Ryan; Edward Sabine, Sir; Herman Schlagintweit; William Sharpey; R Sheepshanks; Richard Lalor Sheil; Alfred Smee; J T Smith; W H Smyth; William Spottiswoode; James Calder Stewart; Peter Stewart; George Gabriel Stokes; Richard Strachey, Sir; Sykes, Colonel; William Henry Fox Talbot; Richard Taylor; Charles E Trevelyan; Henry Venn; Benjamin Lewis Vulliamy; H G Ward; Charles Richard Weld; Charles Wheatstone, Sir; William Whewell; William, King of Great Britain; Joseph Whitworth; C Rivers Wilson; James Wilson; Leonard Charles Wyon; Thomas Young; British Association for the Advancement of Science.; Great Britain. Royal Mint.; Merz, Georg and Söhne.; Royal Commission on Standards of Weight and Measurement.; Royal Greenwich Observatory.; Royal Society (Great Britain)
OCLC Number: 122472759
Language Note: Primarily in English; some works and correspondence in German, Italian, or French.
Notes: Books from Sir John Herschel's library, including books by members of the Herschel family, as well as presentation copies of memoirs and treatises by other scientists, have been withdrawn from the collection and cataloged in the HRHRC book collection. Some of these contain autograph notes and corrections by Sir John.
Photographs by Sir John Herschel and W.H. Fox Talbot have been removed from the collection and are housed in the HRHRC Photography Collection.
Pamphlets and other printed matter regarding Caroline, William, and John Herschel have been removed from the collection and are housed with the Center's vertical file materials.
A lock of Sir William Herschel's hair has been housed with the HRHRC Personal Effects holdings.
Description: 47 boxes (20 linear ft.)


The bulk of the Herschel papers consists of Sir John F.W. Herschel's correspondence, essays, drawings, notes, calculations, reports, notebooks, charts, documents, memoranda books, diaries, and travel journals from 1809 to 1871. Also present are Caroline Lucretia Herschel's correspondence, biographical memoranda, documents, tables, and diaries from 1787 to 1846; Sir William Herschel's correspondence, essays, notes, and tables from 1758 to 1822; correspondence and essays by other members of the Herschel family, colleagues, and acquaintances; and reports, minutes, and documents of various organizations to which John F.W. Herschel belonged.

Among manuscripts of Sir John Herschel's works are his writings on actinometry, astronomy, the barometer, biology, chemistry, geology, music, photography, physical optics, physics, and other subjects, as well as 37 poems he wrote between 1826 and 1842. A manuscript of one of Herschel's earliest works, Memoir on a Remarkable Application of Cote's Theorems, is present in the collection, as are notebooks from his student years. Notes from numerous chemistry experiments date from 1848 to 1870. Diaries cover the years 1820-71, while travel journals from 1809 to 1850 contain observations on tours in Italy, France, Germany, and England. Herschel's reports, notes, star charts, financial accounts, and diaries from his work at an observation point at the Cape of Good Hope are present. Reports, essays, and documents of various organizations with which Sir John was associated, including the Royal Mint (1850-55), the English Committee for the Terrestrial Magnetism Survey (1838-39), the Greenwich Observatory (1830), the Royal University Commission (1850), the British Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Royal Commission on Standards of Weights and Measurements (1838-43), are also included.

Items in the miscellaneous works series include Sir John Herschel's sketches titled "Profiles Taken with the Camera Lucida," sketches of apparatus, and various writings and calculations. Sir John's list of his publications chronologically records all of his published books, articles, and letters from 1812 to 1870. The letters series comprises correspondence from Sir John Herschel to over 200 correspondents, including George Biddell Airy, Mary Baldwin, W.E. Gladstone, Margaret Brodie Stewart Herschel, Richard Jones, Henry Rich, Edward Sabine, William Henry Fox Talbot, and Charles E. Trevelyan.

The miscellaneous series is comprised of correspondence to Sir John Herschel, correspondence and works of other members of the Herschel family, and correspondence and works of colleagues and acquaintances. Also included are Sir John's account books, memoranda books, and Lady Herschel's housekeeping books from 1822 to 1840. Correspondence to Sir John Herschel includes nearly 1200 letters from such correspondents as George Biddell Airy, Jasper Atkinson, Charles Babbage, William Thomas Brande, Henry Drury Harness, George Peacock, Richard Sheepshanks, and William Whewell.

Within Sir William Herschel's correspondence are letters from his father and other relatives in Germany. Sir William's "Concerning the Central Powers of the Particles of Matter," "My Idea of Matter," "Remarks on Dr. Priestly's Disquisition on Matter and Spirit," "Interference of Light," notes on astronomy, notes on optics, and various mathematical tables are represented in the collection. A list of the telescopes Sir William constructed and documents relating to his early musical career are also present. Sir William's biographical memoranda from 1758 to 1787, recopied by Caroline Herschel, and the original draft of Sir John's obituary of his father, are included as well. Among Caroline Herschel's correspondence are letters from Carl Gauss, John Haygarth, Alexander von Humboldt, and Joseph Lalande. Caroline Herschel's manuscripts include diaries from 1833 to 1845, biographical memoranda, an autobiography, documents about the disposal of her property, her will, diplomas, the royal warrant for her salary, and her astronomical tables. Her commonplace book of astronomical memoranda records her education as an astronomer. Correspondence by various other members of the Herschel family dates from 1721 to 1951. Correspondence and writings by other scientists, such as George Biddell Airy and John Dalton, complete the miscellaneous series.


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