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Papers of the Board of Visitors, 1830 - 1964

Reference Code: GBR/0180/RGO 55

Scope and Contents

The largest part of the collection is a series of minutes of Board meetings. The remaining material is comprised of reports by or to the Board, Royal Warrants, resolutions and correspondence on the Annual Meeting.


  • Creation: 1830 - 1964


Conditions Governing Access

From the Management Group:

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 Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (

Biographical / Historical

The Board of Visitors was created by the Royal Warrant of 12 December 1710 to oversee the operations of the Royal Observatory, Greenwich. It carried out examinations of the Observatory's instruments, made decisions about the purchase of equipment, and received regular accounts of observational work from the Astronomer Royal. The members met annually at the Observatory to hold a visitation and to attend the annual meeting. The Board was comprised initially of the President and Fellows of the Royal Society. However, the membership was reconstituted by the Royal Warrant of 9 September 1830 to include the Presidents and Fellows of the Royal Society and Royal Astronomical Society, as well as the Savilian Professor of Astronomy at Oxford and the Plumian Professor of Astronomy at Cambridge. The Board's powers were reduced after George Airy's appointment as Astronomer Royal in 1835.


1 archive box(es) (1 box) : paper

Language of Materials



The papers underwent basic ordering and numbering prior to the compilation of this catalogue. The material has subsequently been reordered, but the original classmarks are listed under Former Reference.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers were created or accumulated by the Board of Visitors and transferred subsequently to the R.G.O. Archives.


This description was created by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives.


Royal Observatory Board of Visitors

Finding aid date

2007-05-14 12:23:44+00:00

Includes index.

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
West Road
Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom