Old BAA Circulars

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    Is there an archive online of all past BAA Circulars? I can see ones going back to 2002 but any earlier than this, into the 1960s? I’m interested in the announcement of Nova Delphinus 1967.



    Peter Meadows

    Hi James,

    I see that the original IAU Circular of the discovery is available online at http://www.cbat.eps.harvard.edu/iauc/02000/02022.html#Item1. 

    You might also be interested in an article written by George on his discover in The Astronomer magazine:


    and also http://www.theastronomer.org/post/NASA%20ADS/ (select Vol4 for all TA magazines from this period).


    owen brazell

    There is also a piece on George and Nova Del 1967 in the latest Annals of the Deep Sky Vol 8. I believe Martin Mobberley contributed some of that.

    Nick James

    I’m not aware of one but it would certainly be nice to have. My first paper circular is No. 557, dated 1974 October 16. It announced the discovery of Nova Sgr which became V3888 Sgr I think. They were a slightly odd paper size (not quite A5) in those days but would probably be something that could be scanned quite quickly.


    I emailed Sheridan Williams and he has sent me the BAA Circular and says he scanned them all for the BAA some years ago, so they do exist somewhere, just not on the website as far as I could see.

    Thanks for the comments and links above.



    Many years ago after I scanned and digitised all the BAA Journals from 1890 I scanned all the Circulars, The Moon, the Handbooks, Memoirs and several of Waterfield, Lenham, Peek and Elger material.

    It is strange that apart from the Journals this material is not accessible to members in the same way as the Journals.

    Sheridan Williams

    Daryl Dobbs

    I wonder if the historical section has them?

    Bill Barton

    Not as far as I am aware (Historical Section Deputy Director), but then again, the archive is a separate entity.

    Nick James

    Sheridan, I wonder where these other items, particularly the circulars, ended up. They would certainly be very useful if they were online and searchable. Do you still have copies?

    John Chuter

    A little while ago I put together a document with links to many parts of the website where there are materials which I would regard as archives. I mentioned this in one of my archive pieces in the journal, https://britastro.org/jbaa/pdf_cut/jbaa_26268.pdf 

    This is the document https://britastro.org/system/files/BAA%20Archives_1.pdf

    The digitization of our archives, with them then being made available to members, is something I have been working for since becoming archivist. As an example of this I uploaded all the handbooks back to 1922 some time ago, after Sheridan sent them to me. I do not have the circular scans but it would be a simple matter to upload them once I do have, plus the other material mentioned.

    There is much more that could, and should, be done. Most sections have archive material. Some, but definitely not all, is online. These section archives are not within my control. 

    Nick James

    John – That is a really useful document and it would be great to get it uploaded as an HTML page somewhere that is easy to find on the website. Hopefully you can get the circulars uploaded too. Once they get indexed they will be easy to search and that would be a great resource. I know that a new website design is on the way and it would be nice to see a dedicated BAA archives section on that.

    I’ve been gradually scanning Comet Section material and some of that is here.

    John Chuter

    There is a webops meeting next week where I can raise this matter. I think this can easily be done.

    As you have also mentioned, the new website will be able to index documents, automatically, which will be a very large improvement to the current website. This is certainly the case with journals but I need to check if that will also apply to all other PDFs as well.


    If anyone wants a particular issue, perhaps a replacement, just for the cost of postage, back to the 1946-47 Session, we do have some paper copies spare. Please ask me by private email and I shall be glad to help. I cannot make up complete sets, however.

    I would be interested if any member wished to donate original copies of the Circulars from 1946 and earlier, as on the whole we have only one copy of each. I think most people treat them as ephemeral, and like newspapers they become rarities. We are also pleased to receive good copies of early journals and memoirs and handbooks, before 1934, as a few of our early ones are without covers, something that can occasionally be spotted in the scanned copies comprising the Journal CD set.

    Sheridan did a great job with scanning them, and of course with the other long runs of publications.

    Richard McKim

    Dr Paul Leyland


    Does the offer of paper copies extend to BAA Handbooks? I would like to complete my collection as far as possible.

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