The SAAO’s research library dates back to the arrival of the first Royal Astronomer in the 1820s and is now the national library for astronomy and space science. The main collection is located in the historic Main Building at SAAO Cape Town, with a smaller collection at the Sutherland facility. The library boasts an extensive collection of pre-twentieth-century journals, with many of the core astronomical journals starting at volume 1. Library material can be checked out by SAAO researchers but library staff must have access to borrowed items at any time.

Go to the Library Portal

Virtual Observatory Tools

The SAAO has collected an extensive list of Virtual Observatory (VO) tools and services from around the globe. Search our list of VO-compatible applications, tools and data archives for astronomy – mostly web-based services and/or downloadable Java applications.

Explore Tools

Academic Resources and Digital Libraries

Springer Link Online Journals

arXiv Open Source Astrophysics Repository

SPIE Digital Optics and Photonics Research Library

SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System

Electronic Journals

Please note that electronic journals must be used in accordance with copyright law in general, and the terms and conditions of the individual journal’s license agreement in particular. Copies of the Terms and Conditions are on file in the library at the South African Astronomical Observatory.

Remember to login first for off-site access to these journals.