Woolley, Richard van der Riet

Identity area

Type of entity


Authorized form of name

Woolley, Richard van der Riet

Parallel form(s) of name

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules

Other form(s) of name

  • Sir Richard van der Riet Woolley OBE, FAA, FRS, Astronomer Royal
  • Professor Richard Woolley

Identifiers for corporate bodies

Description area

Dates of existence

1906 - 1986


Sir Richard van der Riet Woolley was born at Weymouth, Dorset, England on 24 April 1906. He was educated at the Universities of Cape Town (MSc) and Cambridge (BA 1928, PhD 1931, ScD 1951). He held a Commonwealth Fund Fellowship, Mt Wilson Observatory, California 1929-1931; Isaac Newton Student, Cambridge 1931-1933; and appointed to Chief Assistant, Royal Observatory, Greenwich 1933-1937; John Couch Adams Astronomer, University of Cambridge 1937-1939. Woolley was Director, Commonwealth Solar Observatory at Mount Stromlo (later renamed Mount Stromlo Observatory) from December 1939 to December 1955, and appointed Professor of Astronomy, Australian National University from 5 July 1950 to 31 December 1955. In 1957 the Commonwealth Observatory was renamed the Mount Stromlo Observatory and joined the ANU as a department within the Research School of Physical Sciences. From 1 January 1957, Woolley was appointed Honorary Professor. His fellowships and awards included President, Royal Astronomical Society 1963-1965; President, ANZAAS 1955; Fellow, Royal Society 1953; and Foundation Fellow, Australian Academy of Science 1954. Woolley was appointed as Astronomer Royal, United Kingdom 1956-1971 and Director of the South African Astronomical Observatory 1972-1976. He died on 24 December 1986.


Legal status

Functions, occupations and activities

academic; astronomer

Mandates/sources of authority

Internal structures/genealogy

General context

Relationships area

Related entity

ANU Department of Astronomy (1957 - 1998)

Identifier of the related entity

Category of the relationship

Associated with

Dates of the relationship

1950 - 1955

Description of relationship

Professor of Astronomy

Access points area


Control area

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Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Entered from deposit description on 5 June 2012




Australian National University, http://heritage.anu.edu.au/site1/_includes/Files/425_RSAA.pdf (accessed on 1 December 2011)
Encyclopedia of Australian Science, http://www.eoas.info/biogs/P000915b.htm (accessed on 1 December 2011)

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