"people forgot they were there"
September 2, 2017 5:05 PM   Subscribe

A Team of Women is Unearthing the Forgotten Legacy of Harvard’s Women 'Computers' by Alex Newman. From 1885 to 1927 over 80 women computed and analyzed astronomical data for Harvard University. Said data, mostly in the form of glass plate photographs, is in the process of being digitized by the Harvard Observatory as part of the DASCH Project. If you would like to know more about pioneering female astronomers such as Williamina Fleming or Henrietta Swan Leavitt, the Harvard Observatory has compiled some links. If you would like to take part in making their work available to the public, take part in Project PHaEDRA and transcribe their logbooks.
posted by Kattullus (5 comments total) 51 users marked this as a favorite

This whole story and project is amazing.

Then someone found a typewritten version of the 1973 catalog, adorned with a Post-it saying “Finally done! Rachel.” On the very last page was a handwritten path to a computer file, a spreadsheet on a Harvard server that hadn’t been accessed since 2001.

All it needs is a sign saying "beware of the leopard".
posted by jedicus at 7:20 PM on September 2, 2017 [3 favorites]

I should mention Dava Sobel was on the Aussie wireless flogging her book about this:

The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars
posted by adept256 at 7:28 PM on September 2, 2017 [1 favorite]

Covered by The Memory Palace.

(listen, please. The Memory Palace is one of the most beautiful things going around anywhere)
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:25 AM on September 3, 2017 [4 favorites]

And I know it's a minor detail, but I'd really like to know who Rachel and Joe Timko are (though this really doesn't look like "Timko" to me).
posted by Kattullus at 1:42 PM on September 3, 2017

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