C. S. Peirce: "Letter from Charles S. Peirce to Arthur Searle, Leipzig, 17.07.1875

Letter from Charles S. Peirce to Arthur Searle
(Leipzig, 17.07.1875)

Spanish translation & annotations

Leipzig 1875 July 17

Dear Sir

Yours of the 26th ultimo reached one day before yesterday.

I do not remember whether all the Struve-star observations are printed or not. I should recommend your getting a complete set of proof of all that has been printed. There is a synopsis of the observations on large yellow sheets. This synopsis will show what observations remain to be printed. The synopsis should itself be printed with an additional column for the number of the observation. This num-


ber is generally written in coarse pencil mark on the synopsis but as the numbering was several times changed in the course of printing, you must have it revised by comparison with the proof-sheet of the observations.

Whatever observations are not printed are ready to print (with an exception I shall mention directly.) The synopsis is not quite ready to print because the RA and Dec (finding places to 0m.l  and 1') should be first written in the appropriate columns. Further more, Sir John Herschel's catalogue or index of double stars having now appeared all non-Struve stars containing in this list should receive the number of this list. This affects observations & synopsis. In the latter a column should be appropriated to this number. The list of double stars discovered at the ob-


servatory should also be compared with this list.

The package of notes to double stars is ready to print. It contains notes on all the important Struve stars whether observed in Cambridge or not. You can publish all or keep those relative to stars not observed for publication in the future after those stars have been observed. These notes were written in order to make something to print. They are good useful notes but their publication ought not by its expense to stand in the way of the publication of the Photometry or other original observations & researches.

In regard to the question whether the list of doubles discovered at the observatory should be limited to those which Mr Wilson can find, two circumstances impare my judgment


1st I never approved of the publication of the double stars work without two years more careful work at the telescope. 2nd I do not know how clever Mr. Wilson is in finding the stars.

My impression is that the list is not worth much any way. It contains a few really good stars but the greater part are such as can be picked up in the heavens like pebbles in a beach.

I now pass to the photometric work.

The originals of the observations are deposited in the observatory. They are in a box of my books which I trust will not be opened without need.

I have with me the MS for publication and there is a mass of other MS. relating to the researches which I regard as my property although I may sometime turn it over to the observatory.

I consider the immediate publication of the photometric researches important. They


are intended not merely to commemorate facts to the astronomical world, but also to inculcate ideas. If there happens to elapse a sufficient time for their due digestion before the photometric stomach receives anything else of importance, I am in hopes they may acquire a certain influence on the current of research in this direction. So that I do not want to lose time in getting them published. Besides that I can at this time pay a certain amount of attention to the printing which may be impossible later. I desire to read a "revise". I can do no more; but the earlier proof sheets will require the careful scrutiny of an astronomer.

In accordance with my understanding with Professor Winlock, which your letter encourages me still to act upon, I came yesterday to Leipzig and applied to


Engelmann, the greatest publisher of such things in the world, to furnish an estimate of the cost of printing the photometric researches. His son, who is not only a professional astronomer but has also a practical acquaintance with photometric work, would read the proof con amore.

I enclose the estimate which is expressed in Reichsmarks (=about 1/4 of a dollar). It supposes 500 copies. 600 would come to about 200 marks more for the item of printing. It supposes the work not to be stereotyped. I enclose a specimen of the paper he would use. The size of the page would be the same as the usual page of the Annals.

H. Engelmann has the printing he desires to be allowed to print 150 extra copies for sale, for which he


will pay a commission.

I hope that Engelmann's proposal will be accepted and with authority to print at once. The paging I suppose will have to be independent.

Please bring the question before the government of the observatory and telegraph me care of McCulloch London, simply "Yes" which means just what I propose is agreed to or else add a few words such as "stereo" etc. to indicate how my plan is to be modified. Mr. Eliot, you say, wishes to print at once. The thing will be much better & cheaper done here & much more quickly. It will be everyway better, so I shall not expect an absolute negative.

Yours very truly

Arthur Searle Esq
In charge of the Cambridge Observatory


C. S. Peirce


P. S. What I propose is to print my monogram & comparative catalogue but not the journal of observations unless the funds are really abundant. That would add 150 pages.


Transcription by Jaime Nubiola (2013)
Una de las ventajas de los textos en formato electrónico respecto de los textos impresos es que pueden corregirse con gran facilidad mediante la colaboración activa de los lectores que adviertan erratas, errores o simplemente mejores transcripciones. En este sentido agradeceríamos que se enviaran todas las sugerencias y correcciones a sbarrena@unav.es
Proyecto de investigación "Charles S. Peirce en Europa (1875-76): comunidad científica y correspondencia" (MCI: FFI2011-24340)

Fecha del documento: 23 de octubre 2012
Última actualización: 8 de octubre 2013

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