July Star Notes Update

Join us this summer for our “Behind The Scenes” office hours!

Hello everyone,

This is Sydney and Nico, Star Notes and Project PHaEDRA researchers. We hope you are all doing well and enjoying the summer! As always, thank you for remaining interested in our work and for volunteering your time to help with our research and learn about the history of women in astronomy, as well as preserve the research of the Harvard College Observatory.

We will be moving on to the second phase of Star Notes soon. As we reach the end of the notebooks that have plate numbers, we are grouping multiple astronomers into a single workflow. We also are including male astronomers who worked with the plates. The next phase of Star Notes will ask you to identify and describe anything that is ‘non-textual’ including astronomical sketches, graphs, and inserted material. Expect updates soon on when that workflow goes live!

Our current office hour series is “Behind the Scenes”! Thank you to everyone who attended our virtual tour of the photographic glass plate stacks in June! You can find a recording of that meeting here in case you missed it! Our next meeting will be on July 26th at 2PM ET. We will be celebrating the upcoming completion of the plate number phase of Star Notes. Sydney Coldren will join us as a guest speaker to talk about her work creating oral histories that feature the stories of several people involved with the DASCH project. DASCH is a project to digitize the glass plates, which has been active for over 20 years. We are also planning for volunteers to do a “show and tell” during this meeting to highlight any interesting discoveries or questions you may have found during your work on Star Notes, including any pages or images that you’d like to share. You can register for this meeting here!

In August, artist Erika Blumenfeld will speak about how the photographic plates have inspired her stunning visual artwork, and how she preserves history in her pieces. You can register for this meeting here. We hope to see you there over the next couple months! 

Currently, the notebooks we are using for transcription of plate numbers for Star Notes belong to Boris Gerasimovich and Seyfert, Russell, King, Hanley, and Hearn. 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!

Sydney and Nico
Star Notes Team 
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics 
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