British Astronomical Association - Historical Section


Welcome to the BAA Historical Section!

The BAA is one of the world's oldest astronomical societies. We are the custodians of over 125 years worth of astronomical observations, by some of the world's most prolific and talented amateur observers.

Please come and join us in exploring the historical roots of our wonderful hobby.

What the Historical Section offers:

Section Meetings

We aim to hold a section meeting every year.

For 2017, we will be meeting on Saturday 25th November, at the Birmingham Midland Institute, Margaret St, Birmingham

Previous Section Meetings

Our most recent section meeting, with a theme of

Observational Astronomy through the Ages

was held on Saturday May 21st 2016, at the Quaker Meeting House, School Lane, Liverpool

Our 2015 Section Meeting was a joint meeting with the Society for the History of Astronomy at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, on Saturday March 28th.

On Saturday 3rd May 2014, at the Friargate Quaker Centre, York, with a theme of:

North Country Astronomy - Old and New

At the BAA Winchester Week-End, at Sparsholt College, Winchester, on Saturday April 6th 2013, with a theme of:

Observational Astronomy and Telescope-Making

On May 5th 2012, at Soho House, Birmingham, with a theme of:

Astronomy in the Industrial Age

At the Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge, on Saturday November 27th 2010, on the theme of:

Twentieth CenturyAstronomy

Section Newsletter

We produce a bi-annual section e-news. You can download recent editions


We have plenty of material suitable for research projects. We aim to offer a mentoring service to encourage newcomers to try out research.

Contact us if you are interested.

Articles in the BAA Journal

Recent papers in the Journal with historical themes include:

"Percy Mayow Ryves (1881-1956): Observer, Discoverer and BAA Section Director " - Martin Mobberley (J Br. Astron Assoc. 127;2, 2017, pp 82-97)

"Staying ahead of the curve: progress in British variable star astronomy" - Jeremy Shears (J Br. Astron Assoc. 127;1, 2017, pp 12-22)

"A. A. C. Elliot Merlin: A brief biography" - Richard McKim (J Br. Astron Assoc. 127;1, 2017, pp 25-32)

"Mr William Strachan and his remarkable telescope" - Martin Mobberley (J Br. Astron Assoc. 126;6, 2016, pp 343-352)

"Patrick Henry Hepburn Part 2:A Decade of Highs and Lows" - Martin Mobberley (J Br. Astron Assoc. 126;4, 2016, pp 210-224)

"Patrick Henry Hepburn Part 1:Solicitor, Eclipse-Chaser and Major" - Martin Mobberley (J Br. Astron Assoc. 126;3, 2016, pp 153-168)

"The BAA total solar eclipse expedition of 1936" - Martin Mobberley (J Br. Astron Assoc. 126,1,2016, pp 15-28)

"David Elijah Packer: Cluster variables, meteors and the solar corona" - Jeremy Shears (J Br. Astron Assoc. 125,6,2015, pp 338-349)

"The Controversial Pen of Edwin Holmes" - Jeremy Shears (J Br. Astron Assoc. 125,5,2015, pp 269-278)

The Society for the History of Astronomy

Section Members may also be interested in the activities of the Society for the History of Astronomy

Contact Us ...

Section Director - Mike Frost

Deputy Section Director - Lee Macdonald

Upcoming Events