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Astronomical Paintings, Drawings and Other Representations, 1677 - 1990

Reference Code: GBR/0180/RGO 116

Scope and Contents

Illustrative material collected from various parts of the Royal Observatory archival stores; chiefly images of Royal Observatory buildings at Greenwich.

The first two series, the engravings of Francis Place, are perhaps the most celebrated. Other items of note include drawings, sketches and watercolours of the buildings at Greenwich by relatives of the Astronomer Royal, George Airy, including his sisters-in-law Elizabeth Smith (RGO 116/3) and Caroline Smith (RGO 116/4), and his daughter Christabel Airy (RGO 116/5); a set of watercolour illustrations produced by William Bazett Murray and published in the London Illustrated News (RGO 116/10); miscellaneous drawings and watercolours of the RO Greenwich (RGO 116/6); a set of early photographs of the Observatory (RGO 116/9); and illustrative material relating to Halley's Comet (RGO 116/11).


  • Creation: 1677 - 1990


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 (


6 archive box(es) (6 boxes) : Paper

1 folder(s) (1 outsized folder)

Language of Materials



Arranged in twelve series.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accumulated by the Royal Observatory, Greenwich and the Royal Greenwich Observatory.

Existence and Location of Copies

A selection of drawings from this collection has been digitised on the Cambridge Digital Library. Links are provided at item levels.


Catalogued by Dr Emma Saunders, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives, 2017-2018

Finding aid date

2014-10-13 14:42:31+00:00

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
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Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom