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Royal Observatory and RGO Staffing: Records, 1925 - 2021

Reference Code: GBR/0180/RGO 171

Scope and Contents

An incomplete set of record cards, telephone directories, organisational charts, lists, and retirement and death notices for staff of the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, RGO Herstmonceux and Nautical Almanac Office.

The class includes the following official staff records: photocopied card indexes of staff from 1676-1964; staff lists for 1965-1966 and 1971-1983; nominal rolls for 1983-1985 and 1988; organisational charts for 1973-1979, 1982-1983, 1991, and 1993-1997; and distributed staff telephone lists for 1974-1996.

The class also contains various (unofficial) research files compiling the names and positions etc. of former staff. These include: two lists of staff from 1675-1963 (ROG/RGO) and 1811 to 1963 (NAO); a list of staff from 1811-1910 and 1910 to c.1935; and lists of human computers (c.1836-1948) and assistants to the Astronomers Royal etc.

Two further files give details of staff retirements, deaths, and career details: RGO internal notices of retirements and deaths (issued in 1979 and 1985-1988); and staff obituaries for individuals who have died since 2012 (collated by the RGO archivist; accruing).

While the staff record cards stop at 1963, it is likely that cards continuing the series to 1989 are at RGO 114: RGO Administration Division Files (uncatalogued). Note: when the RGO Herstmonceux closed in 1990, 'P' files (personnel records) were transferred to the Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC) at Polaris House, North Star Avenue, Swindon. SERC underwent various name changes through the years – it changed first to PPARC and is now the STFC or ‘Science and Technology Facilities Council’. Under RGO Administration, 'P' files were traditionally kept for 80 years after the date of birth of the subject at which time they were routinely destroyed.


  • Creation: 1925 - 2021


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 (


0.038 cubic metre(s) (3 archive boxes) : Paper

Language of Materials



Catalogued by Dr Emma Saunders, November 2022.

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
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Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom