|Description||Lists 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 observbations 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.'