During the 18th and early 19th centuries, the race was on to find an accurate way of calculating a ship's position of longitude (its vertical position on the globe).
The Board of Longitude was active throughout this period, spearheading and documenting the race to accurately calculate longitude. This collection holds digitised papers relating to the Board of Longitude's work – including meeting minutes, project outlines, maps and details of experiments.
It also offers access to the longitude-related papers of two different Astronomer Royals, Nevil Maskleyne (Astronomer Royal from 1765 to 1811) and John Pond (Astronomer Royal from 1821 to 1835).
Further material comes from the manuscript and print archives of the National Maritime Museum. A selection of modern ‘Longitude Essays’ provide a detailed guide to the collection, linking out to content and giving contextual background. A video guide to the collection is also available on the collection homepage.