RO and RGO Solar Plates Contact Prints, 1873-06-02 - 1972-08-02
Scope and Contents
The 1873-1917 prints in this class were made from glass plate negatives which are no longer extant. The plates were the product of a solar observation programme begun in 1873 at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich but are thought to have been destroyed in the First World War. The sequence of images is a continuation of RGO 67: Kew Observatory solar photographs (1858-72) and is itself continued by RGO 50: Royal Observatory Greenwich and Royal Greenwich Observatory, Herstmonceux Solar Plates (1918-79).
The 1955 prints are of images made at different times of day from the plates in RGO 50 and thus do not replicate that series. The 1956-72 prints were made from plates extant in RGO 50. Gaps in the sequence of RGO 50 were filled by sourcing plates from other observatories and thus the prints in RGO 51 also include some images created in locations other than Greenwich and Herstmonceux.
From the early 20th century the prints show the hand drawn circles, arrows and reference codes made on the glass plate negatives to mark sun spots and foculae.
- 1873-06-02 - 1972-08-02
- Royal Greenwich Observatory (Organization)
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
Please refer to the introduction to RGO 50 for a description of the rationale for solar observation by the RO and RGO and also of the process used to create the glass plate negatives from which these contact prints were made.
7437 photographic print(s) (7437 contact prints) : photograph
Language of Materials
Items previously classed as RGO 51/8001-8245 are now classed as RGO 202/1-245, those as RGO 51/8301-8400 are now classed as RGO 51/7238-7337 and those as RGO 51/8401-8490 are now classed as RGO 51/7338-742727.
Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements
The 1886 and 1892-4 prints from India are in poor condition.
Other Finding Aids
A handlist is kept in the Manuscripts Reading Room but contains a considerable number of keying error rectified in this electronic version. A tabulated catalogue, combined with other RGO solar image lists, and which may be sorted by various data e.g. former reference.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Produced or accumulated by the Royal Observatory, Greenwich and the Royal Greenwich Observatory. Prints dated from 1917 and from the 1950-70s are later additions to the class.
The online catalogue for Janus was largely compiled from an existing list in June 2009 by Zoe A. Rees, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives.
DateText: 1873-1917; 1955-72.
Royal Observatory, Greenwich; Royal Greenwich Observatory, Herstmonceux
Finding aid date