One of the IAU’s key activities is the organisation of scientific meetings. Every year the IAU sponsors nine international IAU Symposia, each of which leads to an IAU Proceedings book; the IAU Proceedings Series is the flagship IAU publication. In addition to the IAU Symposia, the IAU holds a General Assembly every three years. After each General Assembly, the Proceedings of the Joint Discussions, Special Sessions, and — since the XXIX General Assembly — the Focus Meetings, are published in two series: Highlights of Astronomy and Astronomy in Focus. In addition the IAU Transactions (A and B) provide an overview of the work undertaken by each Division and Commission since the last General Assembly and a report on the non-scientific and administrative activities of the General Assemblies.
This series of proceedings, covering nearly 100 years of the existence of the IAU, represents an invaluable historical record of the evolution of IAU science. It forms a mine of information that increases in value as time goes on, even if the older scientific content may gradually be overtaken by more recent results.
Recently, the desire to consult electronic copies of scientific papers has become widespread, and the IAU Proceedings Series is no exception. The IAU recognises the value of the complete IAU Proceedings Series, as well as the difficulty in finding and consulting old volumes. For this reason, in February 2015 the IAU signed a contract with Cambridge University Press for the digitisation of all paper Proceedings from past Symposia, and for free access to them in electronic form. Since 2017 the paper copy has no longer been included in the registration package of the Symposia.
We are pleased to announce that the digitisation process is now complete, and the Series is now freely available online. Inevitably there are some gaps in the Series, because some of the very oldest volumes could not be found. If any astronomer or librarian finds a copy of the missing Proceedings, we would be most grateful if they could lend it to us to help us complete the archive.
The online archive of the IAU Proceedings Series is available here, and will soon be cross-linked from the IAU Publications archive.
The IAU and CUP wish to express their gratitude to the Librarians of the INAF (Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica) Antonella Gasperini and Claudia Toniolo, to the Librarians of the Observatoire de Paris Amélia Laurenceau and Cécile Veneau and to Ginette Rude, the IAU Archivist, for their invaluable help in retrieving the old volumes.
The IAU is the international astronomical organisation that brings together more than 10 000 professional astronomers from almost 100 countries. Its mission is to promote and safeguard the science of astronomy in all its aspects through international cooperation. The IAU also serves as the internationally recognised authority for assigning designations to celestial bodies and the surface features on them. Founded in 1919, the IAU is the world's largest professional body for astronomers.
General Secretary, International Astronomical Union
Tel: +33 1 43 25 83 58
Lars Lindberg Christensen
IAU Press Officer
Garching bei München, Germany
Tel: +49 89 320 06 761
Cell: +49 173 38 72 621