‘If you wish to contribute to, or find out more about the History of Astronomy, then I would strongly encourage you to join the SHA’

Dr Allan Chapman       SHA President

Acceptance Article Nov ’02

Picture Credit: Helen Fairweather

Welcome to the our Website. Our President, Allan Chapman, states above the main aim of the Society. This is achieved in a variety of ways:-

  • By Providing a range of publications both printed and electronic which provide a broad range of topics, all to do with the History of Astronomy
  • By Organising Meetings throughout the year where you can listen to a range of talks from expert speakers on a wide variety of topics related to the History of Astronomy
  • By Providing access to, and conservation of, a world-class collection of books related to the History of Astronomy
  • By Undertaking a survey of astronomical history in the UK

If what you see here interests you, then please consider joining the Society by following the ‘Membership’ Tab above, or to the right, where you will find details on how to join.


Statement from the Chair – Autumn/Winter 2022.

Dear ladies and gentlemen, fellow members, I hope this message finds you in good health, and staying safe. At the time of writing this statement the year’s Autumn Equinox is fast approaching, and your memories of sitting on a seaside beach in very hot weather may soon like my own be in the distance past. Many observational astronomers are now looking forward to the nights growing in length, and many of the winter night sky objects coming into view once again.

However the astronomical historian who may prefer to stay indoors, and stay warm if
circumstances allow, will be catered for in the months ahead by events and publications from the Society, and made available to members. The SHA have just organised an excellent weekend webinar, with special guest speaker, renowned astronomical historian Wayne Orchiston. This is to be followed in November by our last webinar of this SHA anniversary year, to be given by Wolfgang Steinicke, a respected expert on the Herschel family, and his presentation will reflect on epochal work of both William and Caroline Herschel. The famous 18th century observational “double act” both being remembered and celebrated this year.

We must also note that society members will soon be kept informed with the world of
astronomical history, and related sciences with the next issue of our electronic newsletter the “SHA – eNews”. A great connect resource of information, and meeting details for SHA members in the UK and all over the world. The second SHA bulletin of the year will be published at the end of the year, with the highlight being an article by the SHA President Dr Allan Chapman, this long awaited replacement for his spring conference presentation, which he was prevented from delivering in person due to illness. Dr Chapman will also be adding to the expanding SHA booklet series in the coming year, but more information and details on that very soon.

The society has very successfully been able to celebrate its twenty years since foundation, despite world pandemics, European conflict, and transport disruption. Together with increased external financial costs in running, and maintaining the society. I therefore hope that you will join me in person at the SHA 2022 autumn AGM and Conference, in Birmingham, to hear how the society has overcome these past dark months and weeks to be in the strong place it now finds itself. We also have an outstanding line up of speakers and presentations planned. Details of booking your place for the conference and also society membership details can be found via the SHA web site.

It is my sincere wish, and that of the SHA Council, that you continue to have a long and happy membership, but in turn tell your astronomical friends, just what they are missing!

Gerard Gilligan
Chair – Society for the History of Astronomy.


Information Sheet about the SHA

SHA Constitution

SHA Data Protection Policy