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Category Archives: Astronomy

UAT v.2.0.0 Released

Today we are releasing Version 2.0.0 of the Unified Astronomy Thesaurus. This release cleans up minor errors, such as duplicate concepts and preferred label consistency. We have also changed all concept IDs to numeric identifiers, a change that will facilitate editing and management of the UAT going forward. Overview of…

Status of the UAT Project

This is a short summary update of the status of the UAT project. http://astrothesaurus.org/ — 1) UAT v1.1.0 Published Online A few weeks ago we published version 1.1.0 to Research Vocabularies Australia (RVA), a controlled vocabulary discovery service from the Australian National Data Service (ANDS).  We’ve been collaborating with ANDS…

Librarians in Space!

As an astronomy library, we like to press to the edges of modern librarianship to explore strange new technology, to seek out new services and new innovations, to boldly go where (almost) no library has gone before… space, the final frontier. In order to make this dream a reality, we…

On archives, libraries and… astrology.

From February 9th to May 10th 2015 I had the wonderful opportunity to be a fellow at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics for the purpose of producing, with the SAO/NASA ADS (Astrophysics Data System) bibliographical data, a statistical study about the citing behavior of French astronomers. While the goal of…

Journal of Williamina Paton Fleming Curator of Astronomical Photographs. Harvard College Observatory

[Background Note: The “Chest of 1900” was a time-capsule project to document everyday life at Harvard University for the month of March 1900. Many project participants contributed diaries; below is that of Williamina Paton Fleming, Curator of Astronomical Photographs at the Harvard College Observatory. Raphaelle Lapotre transcribed the journal during…

Walk-through: Contribute to the Astronomy Thesis Collection

How to Contribute to the Astronomy Thesis Collection Remember: Unless you have special permission, you should only upload your own thesis or dissertation. Make sure that you have the appropriate legal documentation allowing you to upload someone else’s thesis or dissertation before doing so. Go to www.zenodo.org and either sign…

Launching the Astronomy Thesis Collection

An Open, Online Astronomy Thesis Collection How can people access your thesis and/or dissertation? Most people would answer that the library of their institution has a copy, they have a copy, and perhaps there is a copy at the Library of Congress.  But it is difficult to find full-text online,…

Joel H. Metcalf Biography (Part 4)

Joel Hastings Metcalf Part 4: A Legacy of Discovery In 1910, Metcalf moved to Winchester, Massachusetts, where he continued his work as a preacher and found an eager audience, as demonstrated by his sermons being published in the local newspaper, the Winchester Star, on more than one occasion[1]. Of course,…

Joel H. Metcalf Biography (Part 3)

Joel Hastings Metcalf Part 3: From Amateur to Expert Following his period of study at Oxford and time of further rest away from his ministerial profession, Metcalf found himself in Taunton, Massachusetts, in 1904, where he had accepted a position at the Unitarian Church. He became associated with the Harvard…

Joel H. Metcalf Biography (Part 2)

Joel Hastings Metcalf Part 2: The Cultivation of a Passion Metcalf’s fascination with astronomy would prove to be much more than a youthful pursuit forgotten with age, though it would not be center of his professional life either. That role was left to his work as a preacher, a calling…

Joel H. Metcalf Biography (Part 1)

 Joel Hastings Metcalf Part 1: From An Early Age The Reverend Joel Hastings Metcalf was a passionate figure who made many important and fascinating contributions to the field of astronomy at Harvard during the early part of the 20th century. Being trained and educated as a minister, astronomy was not…

Boyden Observatory through the 60″ Rockefeller Reflector

The 60-inch Rockefeller Reflector is one of the main telescopes at Boyden Observatory, currently located in Bloemfontein, South Africa. It all started when Uriah A. Boyden, a mechanical engineer in Boston, MA, donated $238,000 to Harvard College in 1879 to extend astronomical research. With the newly acquired money, Harvard declared…

The Damon Telescopes

One of the biggest contributions of Edward Pickering, who was the director of Harvard College Observatory for 42 years (1876-1918), is initiating a program to map the variability of objects in the night sky [1]. One of the main consequences of this program was to collect a huge number of…

Open Access Publishing Made Easy for Conferences

Are you tired of how conference proceedings are currently published? Zenodo.org, created by OpenAIRE and CERN, and supported by the European Commission, now offers functionality that can help. The research community can now publish, preserve, cite and make their conference material (slides, posters, videos, white papers, reports) readily available using Zenodo, so that it…

Rediscovering the Horsehead Nebula

Rediscovering the Horsehead Nebula There are currently about 500,000 photographic plates residing at the Harvard College Observatory. The collection is unique in its coverage of the sky (both the northern and southern hemispheres), its coverage of time (data dating back to the 1880s), as well as its sheer size (the…

Asteroid 433 Eros, Part 3

The late 1800s and early 1900s was an era of immense astronomical focus on 433 Eros. During this time at Harvard College Observatory, a series of documents called Circulars were disseminated as a way to publish discoveries and other important findings by the observatory. One thing to note when reading…

Asteroid 433 Eros, Part 2

As explored in the previous post, asteroid 433 Eros was an area of major study at the turn of the 19th century. The first goal of studying Eros, in 1899, was to generate an accurate ephemeris for the asteroid. This feat was first accomplished by Chandler and Fleming of the…

Asteroid 433 Eros, Part 1

Spitzer Surveys Dozens of Near-Earth Asteroids

On August 13, 1898, astronomers Gustav Witt and Auguste H.B. Charlois independently discovered an asteroid which would become a focal point of numerous studies throughout the next century, 433 Eros. Eros was the first near-Earth asteroid (NEA) to be discovered, crossing the orbit of Mars, and is amongst the largest…

Every Star Speaks for Itself

Every Star Speaks for Itself: Williamina Fleming and the Work of the Harvard College Observatory by Maria C. McEachern In collaboration with fellow John G. Wolbach Library colleagues:  Michael R. Blake, Amy L. Cohen, Christopher C. Erdmann and William L. Graves To those with merely a cursory interest, the marks on the…