Sky & Telescope: All 70 Years

Sky & Telescope
Our Seven Decade DVD Collection stretches back to the first issue published in November, 1941, after The Sky merged with The Telescope. One of the most useful features of the DVD collection is the ability to do a text search stretching over all articles published from 1941 to 2009.

An alternate way to look for past articles is to use our unified Table of Contents, which we update every year. It currently list all articles through 2013. However, you can only search by title or author, not by the actual text of the articles.

If you don't want to buy the entire collection, browse our online store for individual back issues.

36 thoughts on “Sky & Telescope: All 70 Years

  1. Mike Weasner

    Thanks for making the index available. I have all issues from Jan 62 to the present on my bookshelf. I still love and prefer the old masthead with the script “Sky and” and block letters “Telescope”. Wish it would make a comeback!

  2. Gary Carradine

    This index is a really good thing!! It will undoubtedly make it much easier to find that article I read “when was that?”

    FYI … I still like the old S & T logo used back in the mid 80s the best. Also, I would like to see the return of the binder folders that used the wire in them (circa 1980s), versus the ones currently available. Any idea where they can be purchased nowadays?

    Thanks for the index … keep up the GREAT work.

  3. Anthony Ayiomamitis

    This is an excellent resource and which will assist incredibly those who refer back to their issues for articles and data. Many thanks to everyone involved to make it possible.

    By the way, my vote goes to the CSV version which dates back to 1941.

    Anthony.

  4. Steve

    Any thought to producing a CD/DVD with back issues in a searchable format? It’d be great to be able to reference back to articles from 15 years ago, etc, without having to order a specific back issue.

  5. Frederick N. Ley

    Being a subscriber since 1971 and having accumulated older issues, I find that an index of this nature is a very welcome tool to have. Research becomes much easier when attempting to track down those elusive articles of yesteryear.

  6. Roy RobinsonRoy Robinson

    Thanks so much for making this index available. I just downloaded the 1941-2009 version, and it will be useful for finding those old telescope-making articles about which I’m particularly interested.

    In case this starts a contest of some sort among your long-time subscribers, I have every issue from July ’56 to the present (except for those last 10 pages of the Jan. ’10 issue, of course.) Very unfortunate, that. I did download the .pdf pages and have them stuck into the back of the issue.

  7. Ken Boquist

    It really is nice having the index. It was inconvenient having to go through each year’s index in order to find a specific article.

    I second Steve’s comment about providing S&T on a CD/DVD ROM. It would be wonderful if S&T could provide the complete S&T magazine going all the way back to the beginning on a CD/DVD ROM. Unfortunately for me, there is no library within reasonable distance from me that actually has a complete set of S&T going all the way back to the beginning, so I can’t look up the older articles. I know National Geographic has (or had?) a CD set containing every issue published, and I bought that when it came out. Of course, cost would be a consideration given the limited circulation of S&T, but I hope S&T will at least consider this!

  8. Nolan Leake

    Thanks for the searchable CSV index. This will be a great resource for your subscribers. For pre-7/96 articles, is it possible to get those from you by your scanning them in and sending them by pdf at a reasonable charge?

  9. Kevin J Kilburn

    This is a superb asset to Manchester Astronomical Society and the Society for the History of AStronomy. Both societies have nearly complete S&T collections going back to the 1950′s. Searching for historical subject is particularly useful.

    Secetary SHA

  10. Jason

    Began subscribing as a 9th grader in 1976 and later acquired all issues back to vol.1, no.1 and beyond that to some issues of The Sky and The Telescope. I really miss the older style and content of the magazine. The sensational headlines, pictures, and covers are amateurish in the bad sense of the word. Please bring back the ‘real’ S&T that represents the best of what amateur astronomy is all about.

  11. chris

    I’ll speculate that many (most?) of your longtime subscribers (I’m from Oct 58) dislike the ‘National Inquirer” tone of the covers we now see and long for one of the earlier incarnations.
    access to a searchable index is a wonderful service.

  12. John W. O'Neal, II

    I began subscribing in 1975 and later acquired all the past issues back to vol.1, no.1 and beyond that to The Sky and The Telescope.
    I’ve used the indexes in the back for many years when researching topics for presentations at my local astronomy club, or when wanting info on projects like barn door trackers, etc.
    However this new index is awesome. I just did a search for my two favorite topics, “comet” and “meteor.”
    I was surprised to see that there are about 2-3 entries for comets and 1-2 entries for meteors in every single issue for the past 68 years. That’s like over 1600 total entries for meteors and over 2400 for comets.
    Using this new index the info is readily available in an easy to find format.
    GOOD JOB, SKY & TEL and thanks for sharing this with us! I’m going to post the index on my Club’s website for all our members to use.
    Astronomically, John,
    VP, Black River Astronomical Society

  13. Bill Russo

    Agree with Jason on style and content of the magazine. Subscribed in 60s-70s. Now I just peruse it in the library. The recent slick consumer look and simplified content compared to years ago seem to me to be a condescending turn-off for your “real” faithful readership. I learned a lot form reading S&T in my teen years by trying to interpret the straightforward articles with unapologetic astronomical terms like “albedo.” A separate “beginner” publication is fine, but keep the two distinct. Like Ken B, I am in favor of any form of index back to 1941 and eventually some kind of access to all articles in all issues. For other limited circulation periodicals, third-party entrepreneurs have provided all-issue CDs, so maybe you can negotiate with one of those folks to produce the full set.

  14. jek

    I prefer the excel/csv format since it allows for easy sorting by a variety of criteria. I have missed the archive since most of my older issues were lost in a flood, and I haven’t replaced them. Another vote for the CD/DVD ROM.

  15. Tom

    I have all the issues since my subscription started (1951) and a number from the years preceding. I really appreciate your compiling this index as I do refer back to earlier articles.

    I would like to say that while in recent years not all changes to the magazine have been for the better, I do give a big “thumbs up” to Sue French’s column and the new “Going Deep” feature.

  16. Mike Finkelstein

    Great Idea. I imported the CSV into an Access database and now it makes it much simpler to search for articles by different criteria. I.E. I can search for all of the “Gleanings for ATMs” (always was my favorite section) between any two dates.

  17. Mark Kaye

    I downloaded the supposed 4.4M file, but it is only 2.5M when it arrives here. It looks complete, but I was wondering why there is a difference of this amount?

  18. Jack N

    I had a subscription starting sometime in the late 1950′s but did not keep it up. It’s a really neat idea having an index for the entire 68 year series In the early 1970′s I drove to Marshall, MN to the college library to search for various articles in old Sky and Telescope issues. It would be really great to be able to get a DVD set with all the issues and be able to look at any issue desired. But as a former professional librarian I believe that copies of articles should be available via interlibrary loan procedures, although copies would not be free. Just ask your local public reference librarian.

  19. Norman F. Ives, Jr

    Please note that there is a minor mistake in the above announcement, Microsoft’s Database Applications (programs) Are were Microsoft Access and Microsoft FoxPro.

    Microsoft Excel is not a database, it is a spreadsheet.

    It always has bugged me how folks get the two types of programs so confused.

    When one mouse-over the Icon for Excel, one gets an info balloon that reads:
    Microsoft Excel
    Perform Calculations, analyze information, and manage lists in Spreadsheets using Microsoft Excel.

    When one mouse-over the Icon for Access, one gets an info balloon that reads:
    Microsoft Access
    Create Databases and programs to track and manage your information by using Microsoft Access.

    Tks – NFI

  20. Norman F. Ives, Jr

    Please note that there is a minor mistake in the above announcement, Microsoft’s Database Applications (programs) Are were Microsoft Access and Microsoft FoxPro.

    Microsoft Excel is not a database, it is a spreadsheet.

    It always has bugged me how folks get the two types of programs so confused.

    When one mouse-over the Icon for Excel, one gets an info balloon that reads:
    Microsoft Excel
    Perform Calculations, analyze information, and manage lists in Spreadsheets using Microsoft Excel.

    When one mouse-over the Icon for Access, one gets an info balloon that reads:
    Microsoft Access
    Create Databases and programs to track and manage your information by using Microsoft Access.

    Tks – NFI

  21. Norman F. Ives, Jr

    Please note that there is a minor mistake in the above announcement, Microsoft’s Database Applications (programs) Are were Microsoft Access and Microsoft FoxPro.

    Microsoft Excel is not a database, it is a spreadsheet.

    It always has bugged me how folks get the two types of programs so confused.

    When one mouse-over the Icon for Excel, one gets an info balloon that reads:
    Microsoft Excel
    Perform Calculations, analyze information, and manage lists in Spreadsheets using Microsoft Excel.

    When one mouse-over the Icon for Access, one gets an info balloon that reads:
    Microsoft Access
    Create Databases and programs to track and manage your information by using Microsoft Access.

    Tks – NFI

  22. Michael Ramsey

    Thanks for providing the complete index to Sky & Telescope. It will be very useful. I began receiving Sky & Telescope back in January 1963 as a 12 year old. Back then it was very dark skies some 30 miles NW of downtown Cincinnati in western Buter County, Ohio. Today you can barely see the Milky Way on a very clear night. Have them all stored away in my basement – many, many boxes labeld by the years! I know it’s marketing calling but I still wish you had the 60′s covers with the nice clean cover photo. What we lose in the name of progress. Thanks for all the enjoyment and info you have provided me over the years. I just read today how many newspapers and magazines (300+ magazines in 2009 alone) have gone out of business because of the internet. Hope you never reach that point, it would be a horrendous loss.

  23. Randy

    The CSV file is great, but what good is the table of contents if you don’t have the issue? We have no good nearby library that cares about archiving magazines. When the magazines get a few years old, our library dumps them in a used book sale! So, I agree with Ken, a DVD of all back issues (like what National Geographic did) would be something I would buy.

  24. Antonio Mario

    Thank you so much for making the index available! I must confess that I always used this page not to order back articles but to find out when a certain article was published. Your index is a godsend. BTW, of the three short forms, the .html version is nice.

    I second the comments by Jason on S&T content, on Jan 1st. The NYT published a study today (Feb 10, 2010) that their most e-mailed articles were the scientific (!), longer ones, with intellectually challenging topics. So fear not, dear Editors, people WILL read good articles regardless of sensational pics.

    If I may, I’d also like to mention that I miss the flat magazine binding that showed the issue’s month/year, etc.

    Thanks.

  25. Taksun Poon

    I started subscribing to S&T since 1970. I was forced to stop renewing my subscription this year (my last issue was 2010-Jan) because of lack of bookshelf space.
    I’ve long planned to archieve my S&T electronically but you know it is a huge job for any individual.
    In fact the most useful item is an Index of all your issues. I started to build one myself but could never complete the task.

    Now I must express my thank to your great job. Look forward to see the pdf archive of the back issues.

    Taksun Poon, Hong Kong

  26. Bruce White

    I strongly disagree with all of the above favorable comments. I have been using the search function that was associated with the PDF file downloads to find articles in back issues since it was introduced several years ago. Within the dates it covered, it was MUCH more robust and usable than doing a text search on an Excel spreadsheet. This is a giant step BACKWARD from where we were a year ago. S&T should be embarrassed if this is the best back index search method they could come up with!!

  27. Ed Greding

    I have been an S & T subscriber since I was in seventh grade (1951). While all the color is nice, there are some things about the old format and content I prefer. I liked the cover lettering more that the square letter form presently used. I liked being able to find the issue date easily—why is it almost hidden? Also, I greatly valued the old “OCCULTATION PREDICTIONS”. Whatever happened to them? That short column was so easy to use, and now I rarely see a good occultation except by accident. Computers seem strange to me; I don’t even know what “pdf” means. I could learn more about these gadgets, but the poetry and wonder of the night sky continues to enthrall me more—just as it did when I had a 3.5″ newtonian telescope rather than the 25″ I now have, and we lived without being plugged in. Why are all the comment sections headed “Report Violation”? But thanks still for wonderful SKY & TELESCOPE; it has been a valued companion for nesrly sixty years.

  28. Ed Greding

    I have been an S & T subscriber since I was in seventh grade (1951). While all the color is nice, there are some things about the old format and content I prefer. I liked the cover lettering more that the square letter form presently used. I liked being able to find the issue date easily—why is it almost hidden? Also, I greatly valued the old “OCCULTATION PREDICTIONS”. Whatever happened to them? That short column was so easy to use, and now I rarely see a good occultation except by accident. Computers seem strange to me; I don’t even know what “pdf” means. I could learn more about these gadgets, but the poetry and wonder of the night sky continues to enthrall me more—just as it did when I had a 3.5″ newtonian telescope rather than the 25″ I now have, and we lived without being plugged in. Why are all the comment sections headed “Report Violation”? But thanks still for wonderful SKY & TELESCOPE; it has been a valued companion for nesrly sixty years.

  29. Jeff Whoolery

    Ken’s suggestion of having S&T on CD/DVD rom is great! Even better is having its predecesser magazines The Sky and The Telescope on CD/DVd rom as well. There is no place in Minnesota that I know of that has issues of The Sky and Telescope.

  30. Khalid Marwat

    Index is a good idea. I hope it helps in finding ‘that’ article which hovers in the memory but cannot be readily located. I have a cherished collection since 1989 and some magazines bear the toll of dust and rain but surprisingly those are the most precious ones. I somehow use the old paper indexes collected from every July and December issues. Can you please return back to the old logo of Sky & Telescope on the cover and the blue center fold sky map that had star and constellation names written ‘not by a computer’.
    Khalid Marwat

  31. Kevin J Kilburn

    Bothe Manchester Astronomical Society and I have a S&T collection going back to the late 1940s. Where can we buy the black S&T box files? They are easier to use than the older magazine files with wires and look neater.

  32. George Nickel

    The index is great, not just to find things but to see the incredible range of interesting topics addressed over the years. I tried to use it to find the author of the simple lunar phase algorithm ( mod(month#+day#+year#,30)), where year# was 0 in 1998 and advances by 11 each year). I use it constantly, checking to see if authors "got it right" in novels, etc., but feel it’s important to "cite the source" I couldn’t find it in Hobby Q&A or Letters, –I’m guessing it was 2006 +/- 2.

    George

  33. Michel Rebetez

    Being a subscriber since Oct 1962, the issues occupy a large closet im my collection of astronomy memorabilia! I recently compiled the 6-months indexes into one, to keep track of what these 500+ issues contain. The availability of the master index is a great bonus since I did it the "old way", by AUTHOR, by DEPARTMENT and by SUBJECT, continuing the tradition of these indexes up to volume 102 (december 2001).

  34. Massimo Gaspari

    The side effect of the availability of the DVD collection is that I’m unable to get the last three issues (I paid them as a digital subscriber) because I didn’t download them where they were "current digital issue".

    Please restore the PDF archive at least for the current year.

    Max

  35. Christa McKinney

    I have a question: Would you, or any observatory in Ohio that you are aware of, have archived photos of the night sky, as seen for Ohio, for every night that weather permitted, as far back as 1977? I know that covers an awful lot of territory, but I would really like to be able to get one for the day each of my sons were born as a unique gift.

    Thank you,
    mckinneychrista@gmail.com

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