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A collaborative digital framework for nineteenth-century letters of science

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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 Epsilon.

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 εpsilon.

Collection
Sir John Herschel[X]
Date
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Document type
letter (153)
Herschel9601
From:  Jean Baptiste Joseph Fourier
To:  Sir John Herschel
Date:  1824-1
Classmark:  RS:HS 7.342
Summary:  

Sending copies of his Éloge on William Herschel, and requesting some information regarding his publications.

Contributor:  John Herschel Project
Herschel12698
From:  Sir John Herschel
To:  David Brewster
Date:  1824
Classmark:  TxU:H/L-0112; Reel 1054
Summary:  

Letter to [Edinburgh Philosophical] Journal calling attention to 1809 article by [Paul] Erman of Berlin, which some say anticipated JH's 1824 Bakerian lecture on 'Motions produced in fluid conductors when transmitting the Electric current.' JH compares both papers, admits Erman's priority on some theoretical points but claims originality for JH's experiments.

Contributor:  John Herschel Project
Herschel14841
From:  Sir John Herschel
To:  Giuseppe Piazzi
Date:  1824
Classmark:  unknown
Summary:  

Defends William Herschel's views against charges of hostility to religion. Describes his father as 'a sincere believer in, and worshipper of, a benevolent, intelligent, and superintending Deity....","L

Contributor:  John Herschel Project
Herschel13506
From:  Sir John Herschel
To:  Unidentified
Date:  [1824 to 1848]
Classmark:  TxU:H/L-0743; Reel 1089
Summary:  

Received [?]'s inquiry of 1 Feb. Lists all biographical notices pertaining to William Herschel. Comments in detail on biography and philosophy of WH in David Brewster's Edinburgh Review.

Contributor:  John Herschel Project
Herschel11129
From:  Mrs. Mary Frances Kater
To:  Sir John Herschel
Date:  [1824]
Classmark:  RS:HS 11.19
Summary:  

Many thanks for his beautiful ballad.

Contributor:  John Herschel Project
Herschel4536
From:  Joseph Planta
To:  Sir John Herschel
Date:  [1824 to 1827?]
Classmark:  RS:HS 14.166
Summary:  

Regrets missing JH's visit. Refers JH to [Charles] König for admission to Department of Natural History at the British Museum.

Contributor:  John Herschel Project
Herschel7402
From:  William Smith Williams
To:  Sir John Herschel
Date:  [1824 or later]
Classmark:  RAS:JH Archive 6/2.1 verso; Reel 8
Summary:  

Packets will be sent Saturday by Smith, Elder & Co., so that the one for [Caroline] Herschel will not be late for Mr. Köhler.

Contributor:  John Herschel Project
Herschel8089
From:  Thomas Young
To:  Sir John Herschel
Date:  [1824 to 1829]
Classmark:  RS:HS 18.355
Summary:  

JH is correct, and TY's 'little man is wrong.' Moon's apparent angular motion increases as spectator moves closer.

Contributor:  John Herschel Project
Herschel12361
From:  William Edward Parry
To:  Sir John Herschel
Date:  [4 January 1824]
Classmark:  RS:HS 13.218
Summary:  

Regrets delay in answering JH's communication, but was away from Bath when the letter arrived. Interested in the extraordinary local attraction observed by Mr. Duncan in 1791. Gives locations of three such situations in his recent voyage. Comments on the use of Peter Barlow's plate. Will write to Barlow before his next voyage.

Contributor:  John Herschel Project
Herschel8444
From:  Sir John Herschel
To:  James South
Date:  [8 January 1824]
Classmark:  RS:HS 16.426a (C: 20.173)
Summary:  

If JS has not already passed on to Humphry Davy JH's letter of 1823-12-21, JS should do so immediately. If post of Astronomer Royal should become vacant, JH would be interested in it, but would not wish to work with Stephen Lee, then under consideration for appointment as head assistant at Greenwich.

Contributor:  John Herschel Project
Herschel8445
From:  Sir John Herschel
To:  James South
Date:  [8 January 1824]
Classmark:  RS:HS 16.432 (C: 20.172)
Summary:  

Wishes JS immediately and confidentially to pass on to Humphry Davy JH's letter of 1823-12-21, making clear that JH does not favor appointment of Stephen Lee as head assistant at the Royal Observatory. Has heard that JS has felt that JH slighted JS in JH's letter. Denies this.

Contributor:  John Herschel Project
Herschel8185
From:  Sir John Herschel
To:  Alexis Bouvard
Date:  [15 January 1824]
Classmark:  RS:HS 19.3
Summary:  

Acknowledges letters from AB and French Board of Longitude received by Astronomical Society. Thanks for care given to JH's reflecting theodolite by Mr. Schenk. Promises copy of JH's and James South's [1824] article on double stars. Hopes to hear from J. B. Fourier regarding biography of William Herschel.

Contributor:  John Herschel Project
Herschel8205
From:  Sir John Herschel
To:  Heinrich Christian Schumacher
Date:  [15 January 1824]
Classmark:  RS:HS 19.11
Summary:  

Orders missing issues of Astronomische Nachrichten. Answers HS's question about JH's essay on Physical Astronomy. James South's testimony 'vindicated' Josef Fraunhofer's repeating micrometer to Edward Troughton. C. F. Gauss's mode of determining powers of telescopes. Nothing heard of Captain [Maughan?]. Directions for sending [K. L.] 'Harding's atlas' to JH. Gives J. F. Daniell's address. Astronomical Society is gratified that HS dedicated book to it. Shall direct Robert Molyneux to send L. A. Fallon's clock to HS.

Contributor:  John Herschel Project
Herschel5246
From:  Sir John Herschel
To:  Charles Babbage
Date:  [18 January 1824]
Classmark:  RS:HS 2.192
Summary:  

Regarding the First Assistant at Greenwich Observatory, and the possibility of JH ever becoming Astronomer Royal. Hopes to see him on Wednesday.

Contributor:  John Herschel Project
Herschel2881
From:  Heinrich Christian Schumacher
To:  Sir John Herschel
Date:  [20 January 1824]
Classmark:  RS:HS 15.372
Summary:  

Will forward Astronomische Nachrichten to JH and Astronomical Society. Comments on quality of [Joseph] Fraunhofer's micrometer, which has only the wires illuminated. [C. F.] Gauss uses a theodolite to determine the angle of the telescope.

Contributor:  John Herschel Project
Herschel8198
From:  Sir John Herschel
To:  Joseph Johann Littrow
Date:  [21 January 1824]
Classmark:  RS:HS 19.8
Summary:  

Receipt and shipment of various papers and letters. Robert Molyneux has not received payment for clock. JH ordered another for L. A. Fallon; it is ready to ship. Clarifies Edward Sabine's remark about pendulums. Hopes to translate JL's Analytical Geometry. JH translated JL's 'empirical formula of refraction.' Believes JL's method of determining latitude without knowing the time is not new. Notes J. W. A. Pfaff's translation of William Herschel's works.

Contributor:  John Herschel Project
Herschel4635
From:  George Biddell Airy
To:  Sir John Herschel
Date:  [22 January 1824]
Classmark:  RS:HS 1.19
Summary:  

Requesting information of the dispersion of rays in Crown and Flint glass.

Contributor:  John Herschel Project
Herschel10280
From:  Basil Hall
To:  Sir John Herschel
Date:  [23 January 1824]
Classmark:  RS:HS 9.163
Summary:  

Had no report he could offer the Astronomical Society. Outlines the situation in Chile. Hopes to arrange the material on his recent voyages in the form of a book.

Contributor:  John Herschel Project
Herschel11337
From:  Sir John Herschel
To:  Joseph Johann Littrow
Date:  [25 January 1824]
Classmark:  RS:HS 11.245
Summary:  

Approves of the plan for the observatory. Comments on some of the features. Good equatorial is a necessity. Will try to obtain a copy of the plan of the Cambridge Observatory.

Contributor:  John Herschel Project
Herschel587
From:  Sir John Herschel
To:  George Biddell Airy
Date:  [31 January 1824]
Classmark:  RGO 6.803.4
Summary:  

Sends GA information about indices of refraction in different glasses and in different parts of the spectrum; also recommends the writings of Josef Fraunhofer.

Contributor:  John Herschel Project