UNEDITED WORKING LIST OF AMATEUR AND PROFESSIONAL ASTRONOMERS


AN EXPLANATION OF THIS TABLE AND IT'S INTENDED USES FOR BIOGRAPHICAL STUDIES OF THE HISTORY OF AMATEUR CONTRIBUTIONS TO ASTRONOMY

As in the past, this version of the "Unedited List" has been updated in several ways. First and as always, names have been added to the list as new resources become available, new contacts established who have suggestions etc. For example, this edition includes an extensive contribution of Russian/Soviet amateur astronomers from V.A. Bronshten. Also, as in the past and probably most important, while scanning the available files for name clarification, spelling, dates and other information, a few additional errors and duplicate entries were discovered, and corrected. Holders of previous editions of this list may want to discard those earlier editions to help avoid perpetuation of those errors.

My practice is to list every name that is suggested to me on the attached list. Sometimes a suggestion is complete, that is, all necessary information is available. In other cases the information is quite fragmentary, and in fact may consist of only of a Last name. Even just a fragment of a name is helpful however, as it provides an awareness that calls to attention names that would otherwise be passed over. As time goes by, more and more of the picture of each such individual emerges from the added bits that become available because of that awareness. This is, therefore, truly a "working list". It is modified and updated frequently, and is almost never quite up to date with all the information that is constantly becoming available.

A word about the "unedited" nature of this table seems appropriate. As indicated above, the names of every astronomer suggested to me have been included on the list. There are some included who are clearly professionals, and others who have probably not contributed in any way that would merit their inclusion in such a list. A set of specific criteria on which to make judgments about who should be included in a final list will be required to "edit" this list to remove most such problems. Such criteria have been developed, but are not yet applied rigorously to the classification of all the individuals listed here. I use the following codes to distinguish individuals in the STATUS column: AMA = Amateur Astronomer who meets my criteria for such designation, PRO = Professional, ATP = Amateur Turned Professional, PQA = Professionally Qualified Amateur, AST = an astronomer whose contribution was, for the most part, completed prior to 1800, and RSO = Recreational Sky Observer, an individual who made no apparent effort to contribute to the science of astronomy and is not therefore an astronomer, either amateur or professional, in the sense utilized for this classification.

As with previous editions, it is clear that great care should be exercised in any contemplated use of the information presented here for other than it's intended use, i.e. as a communication tool to remind me, and others who may find it useful, of who has been considered an amateur astronomer, and to facilitate recognition of those who should be included and are not as of this date.

I welcome all comments and suggestions on this list and related issues, e.g. criteria for inclusion in the final list, etc.

Tom Williams, 1750 Albans Road, Houston, TX 77005-1704, USA

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