‘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 and you will find full details on how to join.



Dear Members and friends of the SHA.

During 2020 The Society was forced to suspend all meetings, events and BMI Library openings until further notice. This was due to the current situation and the need for containment of the C-19 virus outbreak. 

As we now move into a New Year, which can only be one of hope and optimism we continue to join the fight to reach a point of normality again in 2021 and beyond.

While the SHA Council realise that the cancellation and postponement of events and meetings will cause some inconvenience and disappointment, the health and well-being of our members, venue staff and visitors is our highest priority, and will continue to be the case.

However we have put in place several online lectures using “Zoom” for your enjoyment and to keep in touch with SHA events during the coming months. Details of these will be posted on the website and elsewhere.  I would therefore encourage you to renew your membership for 2021 if you have not already done so, or indeed join if you are not yet a member.

We hope to re-arrange some events/meetings later in the year, and hopefully as circumstances improve for us all, these will take place face to face.

During the past year you may have experienced the sad passing of a family member or close friend, which may or may not have be connected to the pandemic. We have sadly lost several members of the society recently, and I regret to inform you of the loss of the Society Hon Vice-President, Sir Arnold Whittaker Wolfendale FRS, emeritus professor of Physics, Durham University, former astronomer royal, who sadly died on 21st December 2020 aged 93. Our condolences to his wife Dorothy, and all the family at this very sad time. A full appreciation of the life and work of Sir Arnold will appear in relevant SHA publications very soon.

I wish you good health and best wishes for the year ahead, which can only be an improvement on the one we now leave to the history books. In the meantime please do follow the current official health advice:


Take care, stay well, and stay safe.

Gerard Gilligan

Chairman The Society for the History of Astronomy.

1st January 2021



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