January Star Notes Update

Hello everyone,

This is Sydney and Katie, Star Notes and Project PHaEDRA researchers. Happy New Year! We hope you had wonderful holidays. Thank you for remaining interested in our work and for volunteering your time to help with our research! We appreciate your effort to learn about the history of women in astronomy, as well as preserve the research of the Harvard College Observatory. 

Thank you to everyone who attended Ken Launie’s talk on antique telescopes! We will not have an office hour meeting this month. The next Project PHaEDRA office hour will take place on Tuesday, February 14th, 2023. We will meet to discuss the Smithsonian Transcription Center project, focusing on the nitty gritty of transcribing and formatting the content in the logbooks, particularly the more difficult pages. Come with your questions ready and examples of pages that make you say, “What?” and we will talk through it! You can register for this meeting here.

We are planning to create a commemorative book about Project PHaEDRA to celebrate the completion of phase one of Star Notes. This book will cover the history of the project and explain our motivations for transcribing the notebooks. We would like to include volunteer perspectives and contributions in the book. Some examples could include: interviews with volunteers, a contributors list, interesting finds, and guest essays. If you are interested in shaping the direction of the book and/or contributing to it, please fill out this short three-question survey.

The second phase of Star Notes asks volunteers to identify any non-textual material in the PHaEDRA logbooks, including astronomical sketches, graphs, and inserted material. As always, we are available on the talk boards to answer any questions you may have about the new workflow, as well as discuss your interesting new findings! Additionally, the notebooks we are currently transcribing on the Smithsonian Transcription Center belong to Williamina P. Fleming and Evelyn F. Leland.  

If you’re a volunteer looking to get credit for your work on our project, please fill out this Google Form to receive a volunteer confirmation on Center for Astrophysics letterhead (you will need to sign in to a Google account to submit the form. If you don’t have a Google account, you can send an email to sydney.evans@cfa.harvard.edu). 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 on the talk boards. Have a great month and a great start to your year!

Sydney & Katie
Project PHaEDRA Team, Wolbach Library 
Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian
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