May 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 excited for 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 have an exciting announcement! Thanks to all your hard work on Star Notes over the past two years, we are nearing completion of the first phase of the project on the Zooniverse! This month and next month, two things will change: first, 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. Second, we will be launching the next phase of Star Notes where we will ask you to identify and describe anything that is ‘non-textual’ including astronomical sketches, graphs, and inserted material. Thank you to everyone who participated in our BETA test of that workflow. Soon, we will be moving to that phase, and expect updates in the next newsletter! 

We will be continuing our Spring book club this month! Thank you so much to everyone who attended our meetings in March and April. In the upcoming month of May we will be using our monthly office hours (second Tuesdays at 2pm ET) to discuss our last book about the history of women in astronomy and space science. We will discuss Chapter 9: Planetary Pull, from Rise of the Rocket Girls by Nathalia Holt on May 10th at 2pm ET. We will be focusing our discussion on that chapter, but if you don’t have time to read the entire book, you can still participate! Future updates about our office hours will be posted on our website and mentioned in future newsletters. 

Currently, the notebooks we are using for transcription of plate numbers for Star Notes belong to Ernestine Fuller. 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 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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