He did much to advance stellar photography and its use in cataloguing the stars, and he was responsible for the geodetic surveys of Natal and Cape Colony, British Bechuanaland, German S.-W.
His chief work was concerned with the cataloguing of stars: a preliminary catalogue of the stars of the S.
His production consists of two elaborate complementary lists: the one describing sign-pictures and giving their meanings, the other cataloguing ideas in order to show how they could be expressed in hieroglyphic. Each seems to us to be made up of curious but perverted reminiscences eked out by invention; but they might someday prove to represent more truly the usages of mystics and magicians in designing amulets, &c., at a time approaching the middle ages.
Proper Motions of Stars.-The work of cataloguing the stars and determining their exact positions, which is being pursued on so large a scale, naturally leads to the determination of their proper motions.
These men of the factory - devoting their lives to the cataloguing of archives and libraries, to the publication of material, and then to the gigantic task of indexing what they have produced - have made it possible for the student in an American or Australian college to master in a few hours in his library sources of history which baffled the long years of research of a Martene or Rymer.
He laboured for many years at the task of arranging and cataloguing the great collection of Newton's unpublished mathematical writings, presented in 1872 to the university by Lord Portsmouth, and wrote the account of them issued in a volume by the University Press in 1888.