April Star Notes newsletter

positive plate reproduction
positive plate reproduction found in an Ida Woods notebook (phaedra1203)

Hi everyone,

Hope you’re all doing well! We had a great Women’s History Month, and we hope you did too. We’re so grateful to be able to share the notebooks of the Harvard Computers with our volunteers. We’re thankful for all of our volunteers for their continued support on our various projects, such as on the Transcription Center and on Zooniverse. 

Over on our Zooniverse project, we were able to complete all the notebooks of Sarah Breslin. We’re glad to now be finishing up the remainder of the notebooks by Ida Woods. Woods attended Wellesley College and started working as a Computer at the Harvard Observatory in 1893. She discovered many variable stars, and her publications include “Fifty New Variable Stars in the Southern Milky Way” (1926) and “The Southern Station of the Harvard Observatory” (1927). 

Our next Office Hours will be held on Tuesday, April 13th at 2PM EST. This month, we’ll be talking about some of the biographical details of the lives of the Computers and early Harvard astronomers.We’ll be on Zoom for an hour to answer questions and chat. You can stop by anytime during the hour. You can register for our April Office Hours here! Our May Office Hours will be on Tuesday, May 11th at 2PM EST. In May, we’ll be hearing from historian Dr. Emily A. Margolis, a curator of American Women’s History at the National Air and Space Museum. You can register for the May Office Hours here

April is Citizen Science Month! We’re also excited to announce that we’ll be giving a virtual talk at the Boston Public Library to celebrate. On Wednesday April 14th at 6PM EST, we’ll be talking with a librarian from the BPL about our Star Notes project. Click here for more information about the event!

An update on the tags used in our Zooniverse project: the tags are completely created by volunteers on the project. Which is pretty neat! We think it’s awesome that people are creating a mini vocabulary of sorts, without us requesting certain tags to be used. We also don’t discourage people from using tags. So basically, feel free to use any tags that you’d like! We welcome any and all tags, similar to how we welcome any and all comments on the Talk board. The tags are being used by other volunteers and researchers, so they are definitely helping with the project!

As always, if you have any questions for us, or if there’s anything that we can do to help, you can contact us or find us over on the Talk boards. If you’re looking to get approval for your volunteer hours, please reach out and contact us. Have a great month! 

Sam and Nico 

Star Notes Team 

Wolbach Library, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics 

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