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On 11th February 2009 the NMM hosted a Flickr meet, through the Flickr Commons group, at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich (ROG). Our intrepid Flickr Commons followers braved the wind and rain, not to mention the hill, to join us at the ROG and we're immensely grateful to them for their enthusiasm and dedication.
The afternoon got off to a flying start with a quick introduction from James and Natasha of the NMM, in the Royal Observatory cafe, after which we ventured 'behind the scenes' for a look at the photographic archives. This involved a steep climb to the circular, domed room, known as the Endeavour Room, which previously housed the Thompson 26-inch photographic refractor and 30-inch reflector, and is used as an impressive conference room now. So it was against this backdrop that Rebekah Higgitt, Curator of Science and Technology, gave an engaging overview of our photographic archives and some intriguing insights into the Royal Greenwich Observatory (RGO) collection.
The RGO collection consists of archival material, collected by the RGO astronomers, and dates back to the foundation of the Royal Observatory in 1675. While, for the most part of the twentieth century, the astronomers were not based in Greenwich, some of their archival material, including photographs, is still held by the ROG. As such the Flickr meet was an excellent opportunity to provide our Flickr Commons contacts with a preview of the RGO archive photographs which, we hope, will feature in a release on Flickr Commons.
After browsing just some of the photographs from the archives, and eager for some photo opportunities of our own, the group weathered the wind and the rain on a guided tour of the Royal Observatory and its buildings including: the South Building, the Peter Harrison Planetarium, Flamsteed House and the Meridian Line. With night falling and in high spirits we headed down the hill to the warmth of The Greenwich Union but not before taking in the excellent view from the ROG, across the UNESCO World Heritage site, to Canary Wharf.
We're delighted that the Flickr meet was such a great success and we'd like to thank everyone who helped to organise it as well as all those who attended. It was a very enjoyable day and we were fortunate enough to be able to meet just some of the people who make the NMM's involvement with Flickr so rewarding.
You can keep up-to-date with our releases on Flickr Commons by visiting our Flickr photostream.