National Library of Australia
View Catalogue Record
Papers about the discovery of methods of measuring longitude at sea, notably the work of John Harrison. They also include papers relating to other issues of navigation. There are records, notably logs of scientific observations, relating to some major voyages of discovery, including ones led by Captain James Cook, Captain Matthew Flinders and Captain George Vancover, as well as to the search for the North West Passage.
The Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP) filmed RGO 14, Pieces 1-54.
Available for Access.
Many of the records digitised as part of the AJCP are still in copyright. Readers wishing to publish or reproduce documents should seek permission, in the first instance, from the National Archives of the UK. Further advice is available from: The National Archives of the UK. Copyright (http://nationalarchives.gov.uk/legal/copyright/)
Acknowledgement of use of this material should refer to the location of the original material (The National Archives of the UK) and to the Australian Joint Copying Project.
Citation of items from this collection should include references to the location of the original material at the National Archives of the UK and to the AJCP nla.obj number, which serves as the online identifier for the digital copy.
Example: TNA Series: CO 201/429, New South Wales. Original Correspondence. Despatches May-June 1850 (AJCP ref: http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-1234)
Further information on TNA citation guidelines in available at The National Archives of the UK
Material selectively filmed as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project. AJCP Reels: 1727-1733, 1740-1759.
Original microfilm digitised as part of the AJCP Online Delivery Project, 2017-2020.
The records of the Board of Longitude are now held in the Royal Greenwich Observatory Archive located in the Cambridge University Library, they were formerly held by The National Archives of the UK(TNA) where they were filmed by the Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP).
Series Reference: RGO 14.
For further information see RGO 14 at The National Archives of the UK. (http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C245)
Information on the Series is also available from the Cambridge University Library. (https://cudl.lib.cam.ac.uk/collections/rgo14/1).
The Papers of the Board of Longtitude have been fully digitised as part of the Board of Longitude Project and are available online at the Cambridge Digital Library. (https://cudl.lib.cam.ac.uk/collections/longitude)
Dates used in the this finding aid refer to those of the records selected for filming by the Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP) rather than to the date range of the original Series or File.
This online finding aid, published by the National Library of Australia in 2018, is a revised online version of the original paper AJCP Handbook:
Australian Joint Copying Project. Handbook. Part 6. Public Record Group: Air Ministry, Board of Trade, Exchequer and Audit Department, Treasury and other Record Groups, Second Edition, pp xviii, 95-97, National Library of Australia, 1995.
Great Britain: Board of Longitude
Originally published as:
Australian Joint Copying Project. Handbook. Part 6. Public Record Group: Air Ministry, Board of Trade, Exchequer and Audit Department, Treasury and other Record Groups, Second Edition, National Library of Australia, 1995.
The Board of Longitude was set up by Act of Parliament in 1714 'for the discovery of longitude at sea and for examining, trying and judging of all proposals, experiments and improvements relating to the same'.
The Commissioners, who included the Lord High Admiral, the President of the Royal Society and various Members of Parliament, were empowered to advance sums for promising schemes and to make a reward of £20 000 to the discoverer of a method of determining longitude with a margin of error of less than 30 miles.
The Board met for the first time in 1737. The problem of determining longitude was solved with the invention of a chronometer by John Harrison, a copy of which was tested on Cook's second Pacific voyage in 1772–75. The Board of Longitude was abolished in 1828.
Papers selected by the Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP) for filming include: accounts of meetings of the Board of Longitude at which arrangements were made for sending out astronomers with Captain Cook's expeditions to South Seas; Log books of Adventure and Resolution contain astronomical observations and charts made by Wales and Bayly, whose instruments are listed in pieces 5 and 6, and astronomical observations made by Cook, in 1776 and other astronomers on voyages of exploration, 1791-1802.
Cook, Captain James (1728-1779); Adventure (Ship); Resolution (Ship); Astronomy: Observations; Astronomy: Instruments; Pacific Ocean: European discovery and exploration