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The Sir John Herschel Collection

The preparation of the print Calendar of the Correspondence of Sir John Herschel (Michael J. Crowe ed., David R. Dyck and James J. Kevin assoc. eds, Cambridge, England: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1998, viii + 828 pp) which was funded by the National Science Foundation, took ten years. It was accomplished by a team of seventeen professors, visiting scholars, graduate students, advanced undergraduates, and staff working at the University of Notre Dame.

The first online version of Calendar was created in 2009 by Dr Marvin Bolt and Steven Lucy, working at the Webster Institute of the Adler Planetarium, and it is that data that has now been reformatted for incorporation into Ɛpsilon.

Further information about Herschel, his correspondence, and the editorial method is available online here: http://historydb.adlerplanetarium.org/herschel/?p=intro

No texts of Herschel’s letters are currently available through Ɛpsilon.

From:
Johann Wilhelm Pastorff
To:
Sir John Herschel
Date:
[1820 to 1824]
Source of text:
RAS:JH Archive 6/2.10 verso; Reel 8
Summary:

Sends paper on photospheres to be read to Astronomical Society.

Contributor:
John Herschel Project
From:
Sir John Herschel
To:
Heinrich Wilhelm Matthias Olbers
Date:
[1820-1]
Source of text:
RS:HS 19.9
Summary:

Announces new Astronomical Society. Invites WO to become associate.

Contributor:
John Herschel Project
From:
Sir John Herschel
To:
James Wood
Date:
[1820].
Source of text:
St. John's College, Cambridge
Summary:

Congratulates on having obtained position at St. John's. Asks whether Cambridge University Press would publish new edition of Giuseppe Piazzi's star catalog.

Contributor:
John Herschel Project
From:
Sir John Herschel
To:
Johann Wilhelm Pastorff
Date:
[1820 to 1824]
Source of text:
RAS:JH Archive 6/2.10 verso; Reel 8
Summary:

JH presented JP's paper on photospheres to Society.

Contributor:
John Herschel Project
From:
Charles Babbage
To:
Sir John Herschel
Date:
[5 January 1820]
Source of text:
RS:HS 2.124
Summary:

Please send instructions as to how he would like the rock crystals cut so that he can pass the instructions on to Wilson Lowry. Is sending two drawings of JH. Has heard from David Brewster that Edinburgh has established a prize like that of Benjamin Thompson (Count Rumford).

Contributor:
John Herschel Project
From:
Sir John Herschel
To:
Charles Babbage
Date:
[17 January 1820]
Source of text:
RS:HS 2.125 (C: RS:HS 20.81)
Summary:

Would he please send back some of his papers on astronomy as he wants them in order to draw up a prospectus.

Contributor:
John Herschel Project
From:
Francis Baily
To:
Sir John Herschel
Date:
[22 January 1820]
Source of text:
RS:HS 3.34
Summary:

Regarding the printing and distribution of JH's Address.

Contributor:
John Herschel Project
From:
Francis Baily
To:
Sir John Herschel
Date:
[24 January 1820]
Source of text:
RS:HS 3.35
Summary:

Is sending copies of the Address and circular, and two copies of his own pamphlets.

Contributor:
John Herschel Project
From:
Sir John Herschel
To:
David Brewster
Date:
[30 January 1820]
Source of text:
RS:HS 20.82
Summary:

Arrangements for paying dues to the Royal Society of Edinburgh; some comments about light passing through crystals.

Contributor:
John Herschel Project
From:
Charles Babbage
To:
Sir John Herschel
Date:
[31 January 1820]
Source of text:
RS:HS 2.126
Summary:

Recent happenings and committee decisions in the Astronomical Society.

Contributor:
John Herschel Project
From:
Sir John Herschel
To:
Charles Babbage
Date:
[2 February 1820]
Source of text:
RS:HS 2.127 (C: RS:HS 20.83)
Summary:

Regarding the forthcoming meeting of the Astronomical Society. The printing of his own address. Is preparing a paper on functional equations. Is prepared to accept the office of Foreign Secretary of the Astronomical Society.

Contributor:
John Herschel Project
From:
Sir John Herschel
To:
David Brewster
Date:
[3 February 1820]
Source of text:
RS:HS 20.84
Summary:

Clarifies areas of disagreement with DB in JH's explanation of the results of colored tints of light passing through polarizing crystals.

Contributor:
John Herschel Project
From:
Charles Babbage
To:
Sir John Herschel
Date:
[6 February 1820]
Source of text:
RS:HS 2.128
Summary:

Has had a letter from Davies Gilbert regarding the presidency of the Astronomical Society. Possible alternatives. Gives a problem of the law of chance.

Contributor:
John Herschel Project
From:
David Brewster
To:
Sir John Herschel
Date:
[11 February 1820]
Source of text:
RS:HS 4.251
Summary:

Thanks for the extract of his paper. Comments on this and his own discoveries on the polarization of light. His fees for the articles will pay his subscription to the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Contributor:
John Herschel Project
From:
Sir John Herschel
To:
Wilson Lowry
Date:
[12 February 1820]
Source of text:
St. John's College, Cambridge
Summary:

Asks where WL procured a certain 'large crystal of Fish-eye-Stone.'

Contributor:
John Herschel Project
From:
Sir William Watson
To:
Sir John Herschel
Date:
[15 February 1820]
Source of text:
RS:HS 18.115
Summary:

Relieved that news of death of King [George III] did not weaken William Herschel. Will see JH and Lady Mary Pitt Herschel in Bath in April. Lady Watson and Miss Joy are not well.

Contributor:
John Herschel Project
From:
Wilson Lowry
To:
Sir John Herschel
Date:
16] February [1820
Source of text:
RS:HS 11.491
Summary:

Finds that the crystal of 'Fish-eye-stone' came from Sweden and was attached to a mass of oxydulous iron. Hopes that JH receives this information in time for his paper.

Contributor:
John Herschel Project
From:
George Peacock
To:
Sir John Herschel
Date:
[17 February 1820]
Source of text:
RS:HS 13.267
Summary:

Business matters relating to the R.S.L. and the Astronomical Society.

Contributor:
John Herschel Project
From:
Thomas Young
To:
Sir John Herschel
Date:
[1820 or 1825]-2-18
Source of text:
RS:HS 18.351
Summary:

Gives diagram and explanation of TY's reduced parallax. JH's formula is elaborate but complicated. TY's formula is less exact but easier for public to use. Welcomes criticism.

Contributor:
John Herschel Project
From:
Fearon Fallows
To:
Sir John Herschel
Date:
19 February [1820]
Source of text:
RS:HS 7.156
Summary:

Pleased to hear of his election to the Astronomical Society. No further news of the projected observatory at Cambridge. Has JH any news of the Observatory to be erected at the Cape? Would JH add his name to his certificate for the R.S.L. Is he interested in the Plumian Professorship?

Contributor:
John Herschel Project