March Star Notes Update

Join us starting this month for our Project PHaEDRA Spring Book Club, which we will be hosting during our office hours!

Hello everyone,

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

We will be starting our Spring book club this month!  In March, April, and May, we will be using our monthly office hours (2nd Tuesdays at 2pm ET) to discuss books about the history of women in astronomy and space science. We will discuss the following books: The Glass Universe by Dava Sobel in March, Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly in April, and Rise of the Rocket Girls by Nathalia Holt in May. For each book, we will be focusing discussion on a specific chapter, so if you don’t have time to read the entire book, you can still participate! 

In March, we will be discussing chapter six of The Glass Universe, which is largely based on information from Williamina’s Fleming’s journal for the “Chest of 1900” time-capsule project at Harvard. Future updates and more information on the book club will be posted on the Star Notes talk board, on our website, and in future newsletters. This month, our virtual office hour will be used for our book club meeting on The Glass Universe, on March 8th at 2pm ET, and you can register by clicking the link here.

We also want to share information about a new exhibit in the Wolbach Library, called “The Work of Knowledge: Glass Plate Photography and the Harvard College Observatory,” by Shea Hendry, Collections Assistant. The exhibit examines the history of astrophotography at the Harvard College Observatory, which is essential to the work done by the Harvard Computers. In the exhibit case are some of the physical materials used for the production, storage, and display of photographic glass plates. You can explore the digital exhibit to learn more about the fascinating history of glass plate photography here.

Currently, the notebooks we are using for transcription of plate numbers for Star Notes belong to Jenka Mohr. The notebooks we are using for transcription of all note content for Project PHaEDRA belong to Dorrit Hoffleit and Williamina P. Fleming

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