last updated on: 2006-06-09 - 13:23:09

    Top : Digitization projects : The Parallax Project

    Name of Collection: The Parallax Project
    URL of Collection:

    Name of Institution: University of Pittsburgh
    Institution URL:

    Description: The Digital Research Library, a department of the University of Pittsburgh Library System, provides online access to historic star data and calculations compiled and published by the Allegheny Observatory. The Parallax Project Website makes available over five decades of the Observatory's valuable research, which represents one of the largest systematic, ground-based studies of star distances ever conducted. Prior to the Parallax Project Website, public access to this stellar data was available only through a limited number of deteriorating copies of the Publications of the Allegheny Observatory of the University of Pittsburgh. This ten-volume set, published between 1910 and 1969, primarily documented the observations of the Photographic Parallax Program. Frank Schlesinger, director of the Observatory from 1905-1920, established this program to measure a star's distance from the Sun (i.e., a parallax) using the photographic record of blue and ultraviolet light emitted by the brightest stars visible from Pittsburgh. The Publications also contain reports on the methodologies of astronomical observation, articles about innovative models of calculating star positions, and descriptions of observational instrumentation. The Digital Research Library has extended the life of this information and made it more widely available to the research community through an extensive digitization project. The pages of the Publications have been converted into scanned images for viewing so that the online material replicates the layout and format of the original volumes. Users of the digital Publications can also search the content of these volumes for such star identifiers as Allegheny Observatory running number, star name, right ascension, declination, and parallax value. The project also produced two sets of preservation reprints of the Publications to replace the highly acidic and brittle originals.

    Main language of the collection: English
    Type of Material: Text


  Contact editor: Aziz Abid, UNESCO Memory of the World
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