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Bibliography of Astronomers, 19th century

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#1 BobinKy



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Posted 23 January 2013 - 12:18 PM

Anybody seen the Bibliography of Astronomers, Vol. 1: Books and Pamphlets in English, The Spirit of the Nineteenth Century?

I wonder if it is just a list, or an annotated bibliography with descriptions and comments about the entries?

I think I might order a copy--19th century astronomy (the guys, the scopes, and the observatories) plays symphonies with my imagination!

#2 ianatcn


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Posted 23 January 2013 - 06:22 PM

That looks really promising. Also, it looks like the first in a series. Well, another WB title to add to the wish list. :jump:

#3 rookie


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Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:51 PM

I wonder if it is better than "Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers"? That 2 volume set published by Springer was an incredible $28 value you posted 5/2010. I've used mine quite often.

#4 Alvan Clark

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 03:28 PM

I swear i remember this book in the WB catalog like 20 years ago.

#5 BobinKy



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Posted 28 January 2013 - 08:42 PM

I swear i remember this book in the WB catalog like 20 years ago.

...Alvan Clark

Your memory is quite good. Today, my copy of the book arrived on my doorstep. Here is the publishing information in the front matter.

Luther, Paul (compiler). (1989). Bibliography of Astronomers. Books and Pamphlets in English by and about Astronomers. Volume One: The Spirit of the Nineteenth Century. Bernardston, MA: Astronomy Books. Limited Edition of 500 Copies.

Now on to a few words about the book.


The compiler Paul Luther gives us biographical and annotated bibliographic information on the following 14 individual 19th-century astronomers.

Airy, George Biddell (1801-1892)
Ball, Robert Stawell (1840-1913)
Bond, George Phillips (1825-1865)
Bond, William Cranch (1789-1859)
Clerke, Agnes Mary (1842-1907)
Hall, Asaph (1829-1907)
Herschel, John Frederick William (1792-1871)
Holden, Edward Singleton (1846-1914)
Lockyer, Joseph Norman (1836-1920)
Lowell, Percival (1855-1916)
Mitchel, Ormsby macKnight (1809-1862)
Newcomb, Simon (1835-1909)
Proctor, Richard Anthony (1837-1888)
Somerville, Mary Fairfax Greig (1780-1872)
The entry for each Astronomer varies in length from 8 to 28 pages. The contents for each entry include astronomer's education, biographical and bibliographical citations in other works, chronology of first editions, and annotated bibliography of published writings.

The front matter in Luther's Bibliography of Astronomers includes the following.

(1) Compiler's telephone number and access and answer service to individual and institutional owners: Information about current market values, revisions and corrections, and answers to questions related to this book.
NOTE: I purchased the book so I figured I had also purchased the right to call Paul the compiler and ask a few questions. I discovered, after 24 years, Paul was at the same telephone number; which reminded me of a line from a Rod Stewart song: "after all of these years, at the same address." Paul and I had a pleasant conversation about this book and other bibliographical books he has published over the years. I am particularly interested in his bibliography of The Crawford Library affiliated with the Royal Observatory of Edinburgh, as I plan to visit Scotland in the next year or two.
(2) Table of Contents
(3) Introduction
(4) Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations
(5) Cataloging Conventions
(6) General Sources
In doing the research for this book Paul made personal inspections of collections at the following libraries.

(a) His own 12-year personal files of antiquarian bookselling, handling 20,000 books and cataloging 7,500 titles.
(b) Frost Library of Amherst College, Amherst Massachusetts.
© USNO Library, Washington DC.
(d) Library of Congress, Washington DC.
(e) Dudley Observatory Library, Schenectady, NY.
(f) Wolbach Library, Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, Massachusetts (the old Harvard College Observatory Library).
(g) Prof. A. G. Davis Philip and wife Chris (personal collection).
(h) Robert B. Ariail (personal colection).

Paul also consulted numerous secondary sources in compiling this book.
This is a unique and very interesting book. If you have an interest in 19th-century astronomers, I suggest you place this book on your wish list.

DISCLAIMER: I am not related to the compiler of this book and have never spoken or exchanged any personal communication with the compiler before this evening's telephone conversation.

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