This summer the AAVSO acquired the entire collection of paper variable star observation reports from the Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand (RASNZ). The idea for permanently archiving the paper reports of the RASNZ at AAVSO Headquarters came about through conversations between Arne Henden, VSS Director Tom Richardson, and Grant Christie of the RASNZ.
The collection comprises 12.5 linear feet. The reports have not yet been evaluated, so the total number of observations in the collection is unknown, but certainly it is in the tens of thousands if not in the hundreds of thousands of observations.
The reports were orignally sent by RASNZ observers to Frank Bateson, Director of the RASNZ Variable Star Section. The stars in this collection may or may not have been digitized by Bateson as they came in, depending on whether or not they were a part of his observing program at the time. After Bateson's death the reports were safeguarded by Grant Christie at Auckland Observatory.
It will be quite an involved project to determine which observations are accounted for and which are not, but of course, this is the sort of job that is routine at AAVSO Headquarters! Once we know which data has not been accounted for, they will be digitized and included in the AAVSO International Database. The addition of these data, along with the RASNZ archival data already digitized, will certainly enhance the light curves of many of the southern-hemisphere stars. We thank all of the RASNZ variable star observers!
The AAVSO thanks the Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand and AAVSO Member Frank Schorr for their generous donations that allowed shipment of these materials to Cambridge!