Finding Number (Click this to view full catalogue structure)UA35
TitleRecords of the University of Birmingham: Student Societies and Clubs: Birmingham University Astronomical Society
Extent1 file
DescriptionReports, correspondence, and observation records generated by members of the society from its foundation in 1909, including correspondence discussing observation of Halley's Comet in 1910, and other letters discussing the use of telescopes and other equipment, and the use of an observatory at 'Bournbrook', the new University campus at Edgbaston. Papers are likely to have been kept by J. L. Haughton, secretary of the society during this period. The correspondence includes letters from Professor J. H. Poynting, Oliver Lodge, student members of the society, and others connected with the group.

Papers comprise secretary's report and income and expenditure accounts 1908-1909, secretary's report 1910, secretary's report and balance sheet 1910-1911, balance sheet 1911-1912; set of unused printed circular letters to be sent to members when subscriptions were due; copies of handwritten guidelines entitled 'suggestions for variable star observations' together with printed forms issued by the University of Birmingham Astronomical Society to enable members to record variable star observations, some of which have been filled in by members including J. L. Haughton, Muriel M. C. Trench, W. F. Roberts, Percival Lycett, G. Bevenot, O. Hudson, John Cartland, Cecil Henry Bailey, for observations in cassiopeiae in March and April 1910; typed observations on comet 1911; two copies of typed 'Measurement of the magnitude of 6 stars on the photographs of the neighbourhood of T. Monocerotis, taken during January, February and March 1911 by the University of Birmingham Astronomical Society and signed by J. L. Haughton; typed specifications of parallel wire micrometer, provided by Buckingham Works, York; correspondence dating from January 1909 to November 1911 including letters relating to membership and meetings of the society, the acquisition of books and telescopes and other equipment.

There is a letter from Oliver Lodge dated March 1909 agreeing to give a paper, letters from the Midland Secretary of the Workers' Educational Association concerning a visit by members of the Dudley tutorial class to the observatory at Bournbrook in the hope of viewing Halley's comet, March 1910, together with a letter from John Henry Poynting, a letter from Fred Haskew, Bilston, offering his summer cottage in the Clent Hills to society members viewing Halley's comet from the observatory there, May 1910, with a printed map of the area, tickets for Open Meeting of the Astronomical Society to be held in the medical theatre at Edmund Street including a lecture on 'Comets' by Oliver Lodge, correspondence between J. H. Reynolds and John Henry Poynting concerning a display of slides of photographs of Halley's comet, 1910, and correspondence between John Henry Poynting and society members concerning the duplication of keys to the observatory, 1911
Finding AidsThere is no other finding aid to this collection available at present. For further information please contact the Cadbury Research Library: Special Collections
Access StatusOpen
Physical DescriptionStored at Run 68
Administrative HistoryBirmingham University Astronomical Society was founded in March 1909 for students at the University of Birmingham, but is likely to have been open to staff and external members. Membership was via annual subscription. The society organised lectures throughout the academic year, and members also took an active role in practical astronomy, making observations of stars and planets at the observatory on the Edgbaston campus, and observatories at other sites in the Midlands area, including the Clent Hills. The early records suggest that minutes of meetings were kept, but the only records that survive are those described here, covering the first few years of the society's existence, and likely to have been kept by the society's first secretary
AcquisitionTransferred to the Cadbury Research Library: Special Collections by Sophie Meredith, chair of the Birmingham University Astronomical Society, March 2015
Related MaterialCadbury Research Library: Special Collections hold the archives of the University of Birmingham and its predecessor colleges. These include records of other student and departmental societies


    Some of our most significant collections