Scope and Contents
The collection contains papers relating to a wide range of subjects, including the Observatory buildings and grounds; Visitations; solar eclipses; other observatories; astronomical equipment and methodology; longitude; rainbow, pendulum and other experiments; the Royal Astronomical Society; the Railway Gauge Commission; the Sale of Gas Act; the Standards Commission; the Royal Society; scientific societies; geodesy; mechanics; chemistry, chronology, the tides; chronometers; galvanic connections; magnetism; meteorology; the admission of visitors; and accounts. There is a large set of observations, computations, reductions and tables, and many letters, including a large volume of correspondence with tradesmen.
Conditions Governing Access
Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
Biographical / Historical
Sir George Biddell Airy (1801-1892) was born at Alnwick, Northumberland, on 27 July 1801. He attended Colchester grammar school, 1814-1819, and entered Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1819 (B.A., 1823), where he became a Fellow in 1824. He was appointed Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge in 1826, and Plumian Professor of Astronomy and Director of the Cambridge Observatory in 1828. He joined the Astronomical Society in 1828, and the Geological Society the following year, and became a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1836.
Airy was appointed Astronomer Royal in 1835. He introduced new instruments of his own design to the Greenwich Observatory, and oversaw the creation of a Magnetic and Meteorological Department in 1838. He controlled the British expeditions to observe the transit of Venus of 1874, and carried out the reduction of the collected data. During his time in office, he also reduced all the planetary and lunar observations made at Greenwich between 1750 to 1830. He retired in 1881, and died at the White House, near Greenwich Park, on 2 January 1892.
12 cubic metre(s) : paper
Language of Materials