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96/6/1 Photographic prints, bound inside publication, 'Photographs of The Milky-Way & Nubeculae taken at Sydney Observatory, 1890', paper / emulsion / cloth, photographed by Henry Chamberlain Russell, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1890. Click to enlarge.

Photographs of The Milky-Way taken at Sydney Observatory by Henry Chamberlain Russell

Designed
During his term as Government Astronomer H.C. Russell worked on two internationally significant photographic projects. The first was the organisation of photography for the New South Wales section of the 1874 Transit of Venus. The second was the mapping of the stars in the southern section of the heavens using photography. Planning for this began in 1887 and started in 1890 after which it continued to play a major role in the activities at Sydney Observatory up until the 1960s.

The success …

Summary

Object No.

96/6/1

Object Statement

Photographic prints, bound inside publication, 'Photographs of The Milky-Way & Nubeculae taken at Sydney Observatory, 1890', paper / emulsion / cloth, photographed by Henry Chamberlain Russell, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1890

Physical Description

Photographic prints, bound inside publication, 'Photographs of The Milky-Way & Nubeculae taken at Sydney Observatory, 1890', paper / emulsion / cloth, photographed by Henry Chamberlain Russell, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1890

A cloth bound book featuring sixteen mounted photographic prints taken by Russell at Sydney Observatory in 1890. They were part of the Astrographic Catalogue project, and were among the first photographs of the southern sky. An introduction and notes by Russell face each photograph. Inside the front cover is a book plate for the British Astronomical Association New South Wales Branch Library.

Marks

Text on the book plate reads 'The / British Astronomical Association / NEW SOUTH WALES BRANCH / LIBRARY / PRESENTED BY H. Wright Esq / [FRAS] / Date 25th September 1923'.

Dimensions

Height

292 mm

Width

450 mm

Depth

23 mm

Production

Notes

Henry Chamberlain Russell (1836-1907) was appointed to Sydney Observatory as a computer in 1859 shortly after the Observatory began work. In 1870 he became Government Astronomer, a position he held until 1905.
Russell established the Observatory's research program and was the most significant Government Astronomer. According to James Kerr, Russell's 'talent and inherited entrpreneurial flair was supplemented by an intimate knowledge of how to work the political and bureaucratic system in NSW. It was an irresistable combination and, coupled with a longevity that gave Russell a 35-year tenure as government astronomer, was to make him the Grand Old Man of physical science in the colonies' (J S Kerr, Sydney Observatory: A conservation plan..., MAAS, 1991, p.27).

HC Russell was a pioneer of astronomical photography. He took photographs of the transit of Venus in 1874 and in the 1880s experimented with photography of the moon. As a result he was invited to the 1887 Paris conference which initiated the Astrographic Catalogue project - a huge international project to phtographically map the whole sky with identical telescopes. Russell undertook the photography and measurement of a large area of the southern sky on behalf of Sydney Observatory. This task continued for 80 years. The photographs in the book were taken while waiting for the astrographic lens Russell ordered in 1887. Russell adapted a Dallmeyer portrait lens (H10186) to the telescope mounting he had designed for the project.

Cite this Object

Harvard

Photographs of The Milky-Way taken at Sydney Observatory by Henry Chamberlain Russell 2021, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 17 October 2021, <https://ma.as/154275>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/154275 |title=Photographs of The Milky-Way taken at Sydney Observatory by Henry Chamberlain Russell |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=17 October 2021 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

Incomplete

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