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Solar Eclipses: A Reference Guide

Materials for General or Scientific Audiences

Side by side images, taken from a book, show from the beginning and end of an 1860 eclipse show the dark outline of the moon covering the sun. Each image has a ring where the diffuse glow of the solar corona and the brighter spots of solar prominences extend beyond the coverage of the moon.

Brooks, Vincent, lith. Appearance of phenomena immediately after the beginning of totality; Appearance of phenomena immediately previous to the end of totality. 1862. Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division

The materials listed among the general resources in this guide are divided into several sections by subject in the tabs below:

This guide is an overview of the resources available on the subject of solar eclipses. If you have additional questions about this topic, please Ask a Librarian.

The following titles link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional online content, including full digitized books, are included when available. Specific chapters focusing on this topic are noted in the citations.


Observations from both expeditions to distant lands and those astronomers fortunate enough to view an eclipse closer to home have been compiled in observation reports, detailing what was seen. The Library of Congress collections include many of these reports. The following are examples from the larger collection:

The 2017 edition of Totality: eclipses of the sun is listed under the Eclipse tab. However, the first edition of the guide was produced by Mark Littman and Ken Willcox for a July 1991 eclipse where the path of totality passed directly over the Big Island of Hawaii, then crossed Mexico, continued down Central America through Colombia and into Brazil. Fred Espenak was added as a contributer for the second edition, which was released in conjunction with a 1999 eclipse that crossed Europe, the Middle East and India. The third edition, out in 2008, added new chapters on eclipses between 2008 and 2010 as well as a chapter on the 2017 “All-American” eclipse. It was followed, in 2009, by an “updated” third edition which pulled the chapter on a now-passed 2008 eclipse for one covering 2012 to 2016. If one is curious to trace the modern practice of eclipse chasing, examining these evolving versions of Totality may prove interesting.

Bibliographies focused on Solar Eclipses