The Harvard Books on Astronomy
Below is a list of the “first series” of Harvard Books, those published by the Blakiston Company of Philadelphia. The series editors were Harlow Shapley and Bart J. Bok. Originally bound in crimson with gold lettering, their dust jackets were in blue, with white lettering and black borders. This list may lack one or two reprintings of the books. A list of the “second series,” published by the Harvard University Press, follows, but it is not as complete. These volumes were not uniform in binding or dust jackets.
Two volumes planned for the series never appeared. The first, part of the original plan, was Inside the Stars, by Theodore E. Sterne and Martin Schwarzschild. The second, added to the plan early on, was The Relativistic Universe, by Philipp Frank. An outline of the first volume survives, but of the second it is to be presumed that parts may be found in the writings of Professor Frank during the 1940s. There was talk, but no agreement, about a volume on novae and supernovae by Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin and Sergei Gaposchkin.
The first volumes to appear were The Milky Way and Between the Planets, published on September 3, 1941. Blakiston printed 2000 volumes of each title at a retail price of $2.50.
George Z. Dimitroff and James G. Baker. Telescopes and Accessories. First edition, 309 pages, February 1945. Second printing, December 1945. Third printing, 1948.
Fred L. Whipple. Earth, Moon and Planets. First edition, 293 pages, 1941. Second printing, 1944. Third printing, 1945. Fourth printing, 1946. Fifth printing, 1947.
Fletcher G. Watson. Between the Planets. First edition, 222 pages, 1941. Second printing, 1945.
Leon Campbell and Luigi Jacchia. The Story of Variable Stars. First edition, 226 pages, October 1941. Second printing, February 1945. Third printing, with additions,229 pages, January 1946.
Bart J. Bok and Priscilla F. Bok. The Milky Way. First edition, 204 pages, 1941. Second edition, 224 pages, 1945. Second printing of second edition, 1946.
Donald H. Menzel. Our Sun. First edition, 326 pages, 1949. Second printing, 1950.
Harlow Shapley. Galaxies. First edition, 227 pages, 1943. Second printing, October 1944. Third printing, 1945. Fourth printing, 1947.
Leo Goldberg and Lawrence H. Aller. Atoms, Stars and Nebulae. First edition, 323 pages, 1941. Second printing, 1944. Third printing, 1945. Fourth printing, 1946. Fifth printing, 1950.
The Blakiston Company, which became part of Doubleday Doran, ceased to publish works on astronomy after 1951, and Harvard University Press took over the rights at the beginning of 1952. New editions of some of the volumes appeared, as well as some new titles.
Gerhard R. Miczaika and William M. Sinton. Tools of the Astronomer. First edition, 1961.
Fred L. Whipple. Earth, Moon and Planets. 293 pages, 1952. Second edition, 278 pages, 1963. Third edition, 297 pages, 1968. Second printing, date unknown to me. Third printing, 1970. Dates of the third and fourth printings are unknown to me. Fifth printing, 1976. Sixth printing, 1978. New edition, under the title Orbiting the Sun, 338 pages, published in 1981.
Fletcher G. Watson. Between the Planets. Second edition, 188 pages, 1956.
Bart J. Bok and Priscilla F. Bok. The Milky Way. Third edition, 269 pages, 1957. Second printing, 1968. Fourth edition, 273 pages, 1974. Fifth edition, 356 pages, 1981.
Donald H. Menzel. Our Sun. Second edition, 350 pages, 1959.
Harlow Shapley. Galaxies. Second edition, 186 pages, 1961. Third edition, 232 pages, 1972. Professor Paul W. Hodge revised the latest edition.
Lawrence H. Aller. Atoms, Stars and Nebulae. Second edition, 351 pages, 1971. Second printing, 1975. Third edition, 366 pages, Cambridge University Press, 1991.
Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin. Stars in the Making. First edition, November 1952.
Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin. Stars and Clusters. First edition, 1979.
I would like to thank Professors Fred Whipple, Lawrence Aller, and James Baker for their assistance in this project, as well as the staff of the Harvard University Archives and of the Harvard University Press.