Reference numberMS/339
Previous numbersMS 339, MS 340, MS 341, MS 342, MS 343
TitleRegisters of nebulae by William Herschel and Caroline Herschel
CreatorHerschel, Sir William (1738-1822) Astronomer
DescriptionLists of nebulae and star clusters, in order of discovery, with observational descriptions and some drawings. Numbered 1-2508.

The data contained within these volumes was extracted from the sweep books of nebulae, usually the day after observation, and was ultimately used in Herschel's series of Royal Society papers on nebulae, including the following.

Observations for 1783-1785: 'Catalogue of one thousand new nebulae and clusters of stars' by William Herschel, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, v.76 (1786) pp.457-499.
Observations for 1785-1788: 'Catalogue of a second thousand of new nebulae and clusters of stars; with a few introductory remarks on the construction of the heavens' by William Herschel, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, v.79 (1789) pp.212-255.
Observations for 1788-1799: 'Catalogue of 500 new nebulae, nebulous stars, planetary nebulae,and clusters of stars; with remarks on the construction of the heavens', by William Herschel, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, v.92 (1802) pp.477-528.

This set of documents is referred to in Sir John Herschel's explanation of Herschel family manuscripts on nebulae. See pp.6-7 of 'Catalogue of nebulae and clusters of stars', by John Frederick William Herschel, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, v.154 (1864) pp.1-137. 'In presenting to the Royal Society this Catalogue, it will be accompanied by the following series of records and documents...1st. A series of "register sheets", in which are entered up all the observations of each nebula or cluster copied verbatim from the sweeps, the nebulae, &c., being arranged in the order of their date of discovery. These are the "register sheets" referred to in the notes of this Catalogue, and cited by their general (i.e. current number, as H,1; H,2;...H,2508.'
Extent5 volumes
Physical descriptionOn paper. Each gathering originally pressed between wooden boards, which have been removed and retained separately.
Digital imagesView item on Science in the Making
Access statusOpen
Related materialDOI: 10.1098/rstl.1786.0027
DOI: 10.1098/rstl.1789.0021
DOI: 10.1098/rstl.1802.0021
DOI: 10.1098/rstl.1864.0001
Related records in the catalogueMS/272
Add to My Items

    Collection highlights

    Browse the records of some of our collections, which cover all branches of science and date from the 12th century onwards. These include the published works of Fellows of the Royal Society, personal papers of eminent scientists, letters and manuscripts sent to the Society or presented at meetings, and administrative records documenting the Society's activities since our foundation in 1660.

    The Royal Society

    The Royal Society is a Fellowship of many of
    the world's most eminent scientists and is the
    oldest scientific academy in continuous existence.
    Registered charity number 207043

    Website design ©CalmView


    + 44 207 451 2500
    (Lines open Mon-Fri, 9:00-17:00. Excludes bank holidays)

    6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AG

    Email Us →


    Subscribe to our newsletters to be updated with the
    latest news on innovation, events, articles and reports.

    Subscribe →

    © CalmView