Project outcomes

The main outputs of the Board of Longitude project are listed below.


Longitude Punk’d

Royal Observatory, Greenwich, 10 April 2014 – 4 January 2015

Ships, Clocks & Stars: The Quest for LongitudeNational Maritime Museum, Greenwich, 11 July 2014 – 4 January 2015Winner of the BSHS ‘Great Exhibitions’ 2014 prize

The Art & Science of Exploration 1768-80Queen’s House, Greenwich, 7 August 2014 – 27 Jul 2015

Ships, Clocks & Stars: The Quest for Longitude, international tour:

Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington DC, 16 March – 23 August 2015

Mystic Seaport, Connecticut, 19 September 2015 – 28 March 2016

Australian National Maritime Museum, Sydney, 5 May – 30 October 2016

Redisplay of Time and Longitude’, Royal Observatory, Greenwich, opened 16 March 2015


Alexi Baker (ed.), The Board of Longitude 1714–1828: Science, Innovation and Empire (Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming)

Adriana Craciun and Simon Schaffer (eds), The Material Cultures of Enlightenment Arts and Sciences (Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming)

Richard Dunn, Navigational Instruments (Shire, forthcoming)

Richard Dunn and Rebekah Higgitt, Finding Longitude (Collins, 2014)Shortlisted for the BSHS Dingle Prize 2015

Richard Dunn and Rebekah Higgitt (eds), Navigational Enterprises in Europe and its Empires, 1730–1850(Palgrave Macmillan, 2015)

Rebekah Higgitt (ed.), Maskelyne: Astronomer Royal (Hale Books, 2014)

Published papers and articles

Alexi Baker, ‘The Toyman and the Telescope’, The Griffith Observer, March 2010

Alexi Baker, ‘“Precision”, “perfection” and the reality of British scientific instruments on the move during the 18th century’Material Culture Review, 74-75 (2012), 14-29

Report on the conference ‘Curiously Drawn: Early Modern Science as a Visual Pursuit’, Royal Society, 21-22 June 2012, BSHS Viewpoint, 99 (2012), 10

Alexi Baker, ‘A Star to Steer Her by’, The Griffith Observer, September 2013

Alexi Baker, ‘Vernacular GIS: mapping early modern geography and socio-economics’, in Alexander von Lünen and Charles Travis (eds), History and GIS: Epistemologies, Considerations and Reflections (Springer, 2013), 89-110

Alexi Baker, ‘The Digitization of the Board of Longitude Archives’The Mariner’s Mirror, 100 (2014), 73-74

Alexi Baker, ‘“Humble servants”, “loving friends”, and Nevil Maskelyne’s invention of the Board of Longitude’, in Rebekah Higgitt (ed.), Maskelyne: Astronomer Royal (Hale Books, 2014), 203-228

Alexi Baker, entries for Jane Squire (1686-1743) and George Willdey (died 1737), in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2015)

Alexi Baker, ‘The Willdey telescope: instrument for fashion, learning and amusement’, in Adriana Craciun and Simon Schaffer (eds), The Material Cultures of Enlightenment Arts and Sciences (Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming)

Alexi Baker, ‘Symbiosis and style: the production, sale and purchase of instruments in the luxury markets of eighteenth-century London’, in volume 5 of the Brill series, Scientific Instruments and Collections, edited by Paolo Brenni, Alison Morrison-Low and Sara Schechner (title tbc, forthcoming)

Alexi Baker, ‘“Scientific” instruments and networks of craft and commerce in early modern London’, in Justin Colson and Arie van Steensel (eds), Cities and Solidarities: Urban Communities in Pre-Modern Europe(forthcoming)

Katy Barrett, ‘Explaining’ themselves: The Barrington papers, the board of longitude, and the fate of John Harrison‘, Notes and Records of the Royal Society, 65 (2011), 145-162

Katy Barrett, “The Longitude and Latitude of Bedlam in Hogarth’s A Rake’s Progress” in Bernd W. Krysmanski (ed.), 250 Years On: New Light On William Hogarth. 47 Essays to Commemorate the 250th Anniversary of Hogarth’s Death (Krysman Press, Forthcoming)

Katy Barrett, ‘“Diese Linien sind so überaus fein”: William Hogarth und John Harrison lösen das Längengradproblem’ (‘The lines, which are so very fine’: William Hogarth and John Harrison solve the longitude problem’) in Deutsche Gesellschaft für Chronometrie, 52 (2013), 27-36

Katy Barrett and Richard Dunn, ‘A Mechanic Art’, Apollo, CLXXX no. 625 (November 2014), pp. 82–86

Katy Barrett, ‘Keep within compass’, in Adriana Craciun and Simon Schaffer (eds), The Material Cultures of Enlightenment Arts and Sciences (Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming)

Richard Dunn, ‘High Astronomer of the Kingdom: Nevil Maskelyne and the Pursuit of Science in the Age of Reason’, Purton Historical Bulletin, 38 (2011), pp. 2-11

Richard Dunn, ‘The Impudent Mr Jennings and his Insulating Compass’, Bulletin of the Scientific Instrument Society, 111 (2011), pp. 6-9

Richard Dunn, ‘Scoping Longitude: Optical Designs for Navigation at Sea’, in A. Morrison-Low et al. (eds), From Earth-Bound to Satellite. Telescopes, Skills and Networks (Brill, 2011), pp. 141-154

Richard Dunn, ‘Taming the Telescope: Notes on the Instrumental Iconography of Georgian Astronomy’, in Jürgen Hamel and Michael Korey (eds), Seeing Further. Essays on the Early History of the Telescope and History of Science in Augsburg (Frankfurt, 2013), pp. 190-201

Richard Dunn, ‘Heaving a little ballast: Seaborne astronomy in the late-eighteenth century’, in Marcus Granato and Marta C. Lourenço (eds), Scientific Instruments in the History of Science: Studies in transfer, use and preservation (Rio de Janeiro, 2014), pp. 79-100

Richard Dunn, ‘James Cook and the New Navigation’, in James Barnett and David Nicandri (eds), Arctic Ambitions: Captain Cook and the Northwest Passage (Anchorage Museum/University of Washington Press, 2015), pp. 89–107

Richard Dunn, ‘A Bird in the hand, or, manufacturing credibility in the instruments of Enlightenment science’ and ‘By hand or by engine’, in Adriana Craciun and Simon Schaffer (eds), The Material Cultures of Enlightenment Arts and Sciences (Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming)

‘North by Northwest? Experimental instruments and instruments of experiment’, in Geography, Technology and Instruments of Exploration, in Fraser MacDonald and Charles W. J. Withers (Ashgate, forthcoming)

Richard Dunn and Eóin Phillips, ‘Of Clocks and Cats’, Antiquarian Horology, 34 no. 1 (2013), pp. 88-93

Richard Dunn and Sophie Waring, ‘Afterword’, in Jared Shurin (ed.) Irregularity (Jurassic London, 2014)

Rebekah Higgitt, ‘A British national Observatory: The Building of the New Physical Observatory at Greenwich, 1890-99’, British Journal for the History of Science, 47 (2014), 609-635

Rebekah Higgitt, ‘The quest for longitude’, BBC History Magazine, July 2014

Rebekah Higgitt, ‘The eighteenth century search for longitude and the crucial Barbados trial of 1764’, Barbados Museum and Historical Journal (2014)

Rebekah Higgitt and Richard Dunn, ‘The Bureau and the Board: Change and collaboration in the final decades of the British Board of Longitude’, in Martina Schiavon and Laurent Rollet (eds), Le Bureau des longitudes (17951930): Context national et international (Presses Universitaires de Nancy, forthcoming)

Rebekah Higgitt and James Wilsdon, ‘The benefits of hindsight: how history can contribute to science policy’, in Robert Doubleday and James Wilsdon (eds), Future direction for scientific advice in Whitehall (2013), 79-85

Rebekah Higgitt, ‘Equipping expeditionary astronomers: Nevil Maskelyne and the development of ‘precision exploration’’, in Geography, Technology and Instruments of Exploration, in Fraser MacDonald and Charles W. J. Withers (Ashgate, forthcoming)

Owen Holland and Eóin Phillips, ‘Fifty years of EP Thompson’s The Making of the English Working Class: some field notes’, Social History, 39 (2014), pp. 172-181

Marek Kukula and Richard Dunn, ‘Introduction’, in Edward Everett Hale and Adam Roberts, The Brick Moon(Jurassic London, 2014)

Katherine McAlpine, ‘Travels with a Trusty Friend’, BSHS Viewpoint, June 2015

Katherine McAlpine, ‘Ships, Clocks & Stars: The Quest for Impact’Journal of Science Communication, 14(03) (2015), C02

Eóin Phillips, ‘Remembering Matthew Flinders’, Journal for Maritime Research, 14 (2012), 111-119

Eóin Phillips, ‘Instrumenting order: longitude, seamen, and astronomers, 1770-1805’, in Geography, Technology and Instruments of Exploration, in Fraser MacDonald and Charles W. J. Withers (Ashgate, forthcoming)

Nicky Reeves, ‘Maskelyne the manager’, in Rebekah Higgitt (ed.), Maskelyne: Astronomer Royal (Hale Books, 2014)

Simon Schaffer, ‘Easily cracked: scientific instruments in states of disrepair’, Isis, 102 (2011), 706-717

Simon Schaffer, ‘The Bombay case: Astronomers, Instrument Makers and the East India Company’, Journal for the History of Astronomy, 43 (2012), 151-180

Simon Schaffer, ‘In transit: European cosmologies in the Pacific’, in Kate Fullagar (ed.), The Atlantic world in the Antipodes (Cambridge Scholars, 2012), 70-93

Simon Schaffer, ‘Chronometers, charts, charisma: on histories of longitude’, Science Museum Group Journal, 2 (2014)

Simon Schaffer, ‘Swedenborg’s lunars’, Annals of Science, 71 (2014), 2-26

Sophie Waring, ‘Who should tell the story of longitude?’, BSHS Viewpoint, 95 (2011 )

Sophie Waring, ‘The Board of Longitude and the funding of scientific work: negotiating authority and expertise in the early nineteenth century’, Journal for Maritime Research, 16 (2014), 55-71

Sophie Waring, ‘Instrument of controversy: two copies of the Nautical Almanac’, in Adriana Craciun and Simon Schaffer (eds), The Material Cultures of Enlightenment Arts and Sciences (Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming)

Doctoral theses

Katy Barrett, ‘The Wanton Line: Hogarth and the public life of longitude’ (University of Cambridge, 2013)

Eóin Phillips, ‘Making Time Fit: Astronomers, Artisans and the State, 1770-1820’ (University of Cambridge, submitted 2014)

Sophie Waring, ‘Thomas Young, the Board of Longitude and the Age of Reform’ (University of Cambridge, submitted 2014)

Digital and broadcast 

(excluding posts on the Board of Longitude project blog)

Board of Longitude, Cambridge Digital Library, launched July 2013The archives of the Board of Longitude, with associated material from Greenwich and Cambridge, fully digitized, with contextual content produced by the project team and associated scholars

Alexi Baker, ‘Convening “Objects in Motion: Material Culture in Transition”’, CRASSH blog

Alexi Baker, Woman’s Hour, Radio 4, 12 May 2015

Alexi Baker, ‘Setting “Objects” in Motion’, Objects in Motion blog

Alexi Baker, ‘Art, drama and “Objects in Motion”’, Objects in Motion blog

Alexi Baker, ‘The (extra)ordinary, the personal and the universal in material culture’, Objects in Motion blog

Alexi Baker, ‘Selling toys and tech in 18th-century London’, Oxford Centre for Life-Writing Blog

Alexi Baker, ‘Finding latitude in longitude: Parliamentary funding of early modernscience & technology’, History of Parliament Blog

Alexi Baker, ‘A snake into your chimney-corner’: early modern crime and the extendedfamily’, Crime in the Community: Old Bailey Online & London Lives blog

Alexi Baker, ‘Foreign friends to the British Board of Longitude (1714-1828),international war, and espionage’, ICHSTM 2013 conference blog

Alexi Baker and Alex Burton, ‘The lady of the longitude’, Cambridge University website

Katy Barrett, ‘Exploring the language of longitude’, Oxford Words blog

Katy Barrett, ‘Stones, Clocks, and Stars at the National Maritime Museum’, Dittrick Museum blog

Katy Barrett, ‘Longitude? It’s Patently Obvious’, British Library Social Science blog

Katy Barrett, ‘From pamphlet to pixel: the humanities in transition’, University of Cambridge Research pages

Katy Barrett, ‘It’s not longitude that matters it’s what you do with it that counts’, PhDcast for CRASSH

Katy Barrett, Ships, Clocks & Stars exhibition, Daily Brunch, Channel 4, 21 November 2014

Richard Dunn, ‘John Harrison and the Board of Longitude go digital’, AHS blog

Richard Dunn, Inside Science, Radio 4, 24 April 2014

Richard Dunn, ‘Ships, Clocks & Stars: The Quest for Longitude’, Longitude Prize 2014 blog

Richard Dunn, ‘Looking for a new John Harrison’, The H word

Richard Dunn, Ships, Clocks & Stars exhibition, London News, ITV, 9 July 2014

Richard Dunn, Focus Magazine Podcast, summer 2014

Richard Dunn, Ships, Clocks & Stars exhibition, Robert Elms Show, BBC London 94.9, 12 July 2014

Richard Dunn, Nature podcast, 17 July 2014

Richard Dunn and Katy Barrett, Front Row, Radio 4, 10 July 2014

Richard Dunn and Sheryl Twigg, ‘Longitude Prize. The History’, Longitude Prize 2014

Rebekah Higgitt, ‘Science prizes: what are they for?’,  The H word

Rebekah Higgitt, ‘The benefits of hindsight: how history can contribute to science policy’, The H word

Rebekah Higgitt, ‘Leonhard Euler, longitude winner’, The H word

Rebekah Higgitt, ‘Advising government: did Isaac Newton get it wrong?’, The H word

Rebekah Higgitt, ‘Will David Cameron’s ‘Longitude Prize’ for innovation achieve its aim?’, The H word

Rebekah Higgitt, ‘Navigating 18th-century science: Board of Longitude archive digitised’, The H word

Rebekah Higgitt, ‘Barbados or bust: longitude on trial’, The H word

Rebekah Higgitt, ‘Astronomers Royal, scientific advice and engineering’, The H word

Rebekah Higgitt, ‘The Longitude Prize Committee: a new Board of Longitude?’, The H word

Rebekah Higgitt, ‘Twenty years on from Longitude… rewriting the “villainous” Nevil Maskelyne’, The H word

Rebekah Higgitt, Matthew Flinders bicentenary: statue unveiled to the most famous navigator you’ve probably never heard of’, The H word

Rebekah Higgitt, ‘The Greenwich longitude exhibition on tour’, The H word

Simon Schaffer, Coast, BBC2, 5 August 2014

Conferences and workshops

‘All a-Board: The Processes of Governmental Administration 1730–1830’, Department of History and Philosophy of Science, Cambridge, 6 September 2011

‘Longitude and Survey: International Relations’, National Maritime Museum, 15 June 2012

‘Oceanic Enterprise: Location, Longitude and Maritime Cultures 1770–1830’, The Huntington, California, 25–26 January 2013

Navigating 18th Century Science and Technology: the Board of Longitude’, CRASSH, Cambridge, 18 July 2013

IntroductionTim Hitchcock, ‘Con-text, pre-text and post-text: what should we do after digitising the Western archive?’Sophie Waring, ‘Fixing longitude: perks and pitfalls of digitisation’Larry Stewart, ‘Projecting the Longitude’David Philip Miller, ‘Navigating Longitude: how does position matter?

‘Empires of Longitude: International Perspectives on Navigation, Mapping and Science’, 24th International Congress of History of Science, Technology and Medicine, University of Manchester, 27 July 2013

‘Decoding Harrison’, National Maritime Museum, 12 July 2014

‘Longitudes Examined: Tercentenary Conference on the History of the Board of Longitude and the Determination of Longitude at Sea’, National Maritime Museum, 25–26 July 2014

‘Science, voyaging, art, empire: science and empire’, National Maritime Museum, Queen’s House and Royal Observatory, Greenwich, 18 October 2014

‘Harrison Decoded’, National Maritime Museum, 18 April 2015

‘Digitising Longitude’, National Maritime Museum, 23 April 2015

Lifelong learning events

Dark and Stormy Late, National Maritime Museum, 24 July 2014

‘Behind the Scenes: Sextants’, National Maritime Museum, 29 July 2014

GPS workshops, National Maritime Museum, 3 August 2014

‘Behind the Scenes: Marine Chronometers’, National Maritime Museum, 5 August 2014

‘Behind the Scenes: Telescopes’, National Maritime Museum, 12 August 2014

Longitude in Georgian London walking tour, 30 August 2014

Audio Described Tour of Ships, Clocks & Stars, National Maritime Museum, 4 September 2014

Curator introduction to Ships, Clocks & Stars, National Maritime Museum, 4 September 2014

Talk: ‘The Art of Longitude’ by Katy Barrett, National Maritime Museum, 4 September 2014

‘Longitude: Back and Forth across the years’, National Maritime Museum, 25 September 2014

Curator tour of Ships, Clocks & Stars, National Maritime Museum, 9 October 2014

‘The Virtue of Coffee’, National Maritime Museum, 23 October 2014

‘Sextants to satellites’ festival, National Maritime Museum, 30 October 2014

‘Behind the Scenes: Rare Astronomy Books’, National Maritime Museum, 30 October 2014

Curator introduction to Ships, Clocks & Stars, National Maritime Museum, 6 November 2014

Clocking Off Late, National Maritime Museum, 13 November 2014

‘Behind the Scenes: Maps and Charts’, National Maritime Museum, 21 November 2014

‘The Knowledge’ with Lewis Dartnell, National Maritime Museum, 27 November 2014

‘Behind the Scenes: Marine Chronometers’, National Maritime Museum, 28 November 2014

Ships, Clocks & Stars: Curators’ favourites, National Maritime Museum, 4 January 2015

Wikipedia edit-a-thon, National Maritime Museum, 15 April 2015

Schools projects

Digital learning resources:

Explorers (Key Stage 2)

Inventors (Key Stage 3)

‘The Quest for Longitude project’ with the John Roan SchoolBlippar and Ravensbourne

Schools’ trail, Royal Observatory, Greenwich

Note: the many talks given by members of the project team at conferences and other events throughout the UK and abroad over the five years of the project are not included.