The Crawford Project

The Crawford Project is a collaborative initiative between the Royal Observatory, Edinburgh (ROE), and historians of science at The University of Edinburgh. The project’s aim is to promote the study of medieval and early modern astronomy and astrology by exploring rare texts in the Crawford Collection housed at the Royal Observatory.

The Crawford Collection ranks alongside the top four institutional collections in the history of astronomy in the world: those of the Paris Observatory, the Observatory at Uppsala University, the Royal Astronomical Society in London, and the Pulkova Observatory in St. Petersburg. Despite its undoubted importance, however, is little known among historians of science, and it is scandalously underutilized. This is largely due to the fact that its printed catalogue is rare and can be found only in a small number of research libraries worldwide, thus making it difficult for scholars beyond Edinburgh to know what exactly is in the Collection. ROE and Edinburgh’s historians of science intend to make a sustained effort to make sure that the treasures of the Crawford Collection are better known both nationally and internationally.

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