The role of the IAU gleaned from oral histories of individuals involved in astronomy in South Africa

Lerothodi L. Leeuw, Jarita Holbrook

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO), formerly known as the Royal Observatory, Cape of Good Hope, will be 200 years old in 2020. Also, South Africa (SA), formerly a British colony known as the Cape of Good Hope, will celebrate her 100-year anniversary as an International Astronomical Union (IAU) member in 2020, following the IAU centenary in 2019 that this IAU Symposium 349 celebrates. In light of all this, particularly in anticipation of the 200-year anniversary of SAAO in 2020, the SA National Research Foundation (NRF) has developed a Roadmap for the History of Astronomy in South Africa. As part of this we are conducting an oral history of astronomers to complement the historical celebrations of the institutions and science relating to astronomy in SA, supported by the SA NRF. Primarily drawing on literature and setting the scene for this work, here we present a snippet of the on-going oral histories, to glean the role of the IAU in astronomy in South Africa and show the potential of the oral histories to inform and complement written history.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnder One Sky
Subtitle of host publicationThe IAU Centenary Symposium
EditorsChristiaan Sterken, John Hearnshaw, David Valls-Gabaud
PublisherCambridge University Press
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International Astronomical Union
PublisherCambridge University Press
ISSN (Print)1743-9213


  • oral history
  • South Africa
  • Cape of Good Hope Observatory


Dive into the research topics of 'The role of the IAU gleaned from oral histories of individuals involved in astronomy in South Africa'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this