Library Copies of the IAU Circulars

Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams

It may be helpful here to explain why we are speaking of HCO Library copies of the IAU Circulars, when the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) officially operates the CBAT, while SAO shares office space with HCO at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA). The SAO Library and the HCO Library are separate entities for legal and fiscal reasons, though they share the same librarians and shelf space at the CfA; the two libraries have separate "ownership" to their books and journals, though the collections of both libraries are shelved together in the Wolbach (CfA) Library.

When the CBAT moved from Copenhagen Observatory to the SAO (which in 1965 had had its offices at HCO for nearly a decade, following the move of SAO from Washington, DC, to Cambridge), for some reason the Copenhagen Observatory never sent a complete set of IAU Circulars to SAO. Thus, only a single set of the pre-SAO IAU Circulars exists at the CfA, namely the HCO set -- as the HCO Library maintained a subscription from the publication of IAUC No. 1 onwards in 1922. The Central Bureau thus never inherited a full, complete set of IAU Circulars from Copenhagen Observatory upon the transfer in 1965, and the CBAT must rely on the HCO Library set for any immediate reference to (and for the scanning in of) the older, Copenhagen-published IAU Circulars. As the HCO set has many problems that make many of the IAUCs not very (or at all) readable (and many original copies are missing from the HCO collection, replaced by often-very-inferior photocopies), we are asking other librarians to help complete a working, readable set that the CBAT staff can readily access.