Papers of John Guy Porter, 1925 - 1981
Scope and Contents
RGO 45/1-81: Correspondence
RGO 45/82-136: Printed and published papers, with related material
Printed and published papers by Porter (82-116); Reviews from journals and periodicals of Porter's 'Comets and Meteor Streams' (117-121); Printed and published papers of colleagues and correspondents containing a dedication to Porter (124-135); Published papers by colleagues containing a foreword by Porter (136).
RGO 45/137-157: B.A.A. and other drafts
Draft papers by Porter for the B.A.A. Computing Section (137-140); Draft papers by Porter, probably for the B.A.A. Computing Section (141-143); Miscellaneous draft papers by Porter (144-157).
RGO 45/158-174: Material relating to H.M.N.A.O.
Papers regarding methods of comet orbit calculation (158-163); Notes from Porter to D.H. Sadler (164-174).
RGO 45/175-178: Material relating to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena
Technical memoranda for internal distribution at the J.L.P. (175-177); Computer printout (178).
RGO 45/179-190: Notes
Manuscripts lecture notes by Porter (179-188); Manuscript notes by Porter (189-190).
RGO 45/191: Miscellaneous papers
RGO 45/192-194: Draft papers by colleagues
RGO 45/195-232: Numbers unassigned
RGO 45/233-431: Scripts for B.B.C. Radio broadcasts
'The Night Sky' (233-385); 'General Science' (386-404); 'Citizenship' (405); 'For Country Schools' (406); 'Science and the Community' (407-409); 'Talks for Sixth Forms' (410); Untitled scripts for B.B.C. Schools Radio (411-412); 'Talks for Sixth Forms' (413-415); 'Science and Everyday Life' (416-418); 'Science Survey' (419-420); 'Thursday Roundabout' (421); 'Woman's Hour' (422); 'Calling West Africa' (423-426); B.B.C. Radio talk (427); Various parts of scripts (428-431).
RGO 45/432-447: Other material relating to B.B.C. broadcasts
Question and answer papers (432-438); Newspaper cuttings (439-440); 'Radio Times' extracts (441-447).
RGO 45/448-451: Miscellaneous
- 1925 - 1981
Conditions Governing Access
Biographical / Historical
Porter was closely involved throughout his career in developing methods of computing the orbits of comets, meteors and natural satellites. Whilst at the N.A.O., he worked with Donald Sadler, then Superintendent, in the revision of the Office's methods for the computation of the orbital elements and ephemerides of comets, supervising the move away from logaritH.M.S. to using programmable electromechanical calculating machines and then early electronic computers. He helped introduce similar changes at the B.A.A., overseeing the abandonment of traditional methods of cometary calculations and the adoption of hand-held programmable electronic calculators.
Porter was noted for his contribution to the spread of knowledge and understanding about astronomy. He was involved in broadcasting, contributing monthly talks on 'The Night Sky' for the Home Service or Third Network, 1946-1961, and also broadcasting and writing for the Forces' Network, the World Service and extensively for Schools' Radio. He was Patron of the Junior Astronomical Society, and wrote works which attempted to illuminate his subject for younger enthusiasts.
3 archive box(es) (3 boxes) : paper/photograph
Language of Materials