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Observations collected with telescopes of the Isaac Newton Group (ING) at the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos on the Spanish island of La Palma, are archived at the Royal Greenwich Observatory, Cambridge, England. The Group consists of the 1.0-m Jacobus Kapteyn Telecope (JKT), the 2.5-m Isaac Newton Telescope (INT), and the 4.2-m William Herschel Telescope (WHT). These telescopes are operated by the Royal Greenwich Observatory on behalf of the UK Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC) and the Nederlandse organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO).
The La Palma Data Archive is part of the Dutch contribution to the joint operation of the ING telescopes. It consists of a comprehensive set of computer programmes which enable efficient storage, housekeeping and management of the collected observations. A detailed description of the archive operation is given by Zuiderwijk et al. (1994, PASP, 106, 515).
A catalogue of archived observations is kept on-line on a VAX computer at RGO (node GXVG). It contains several entries, and holds information about the instrument, detector(s), telescope, etc. at the time the data was obtained. The catalogue can be searched by means of an elaborate and versatile piece of query software. An archive user wanting to retrieve data can compose a table of observations of interest, and send it as a request for data to the archive manager for granting, processing and subsequent release. There is, however, a proprietary period of one year (from the date of observation), during which data can only be released with explicit consent of the original owner, i.e. the principal investigator on the PATT or CAT proposal under which the observations were obtained. After the one year period the data are in the free domain.
Data are released on magnetic tape in FITS format, and can be read by a standard FITS reader. However, early INT and JKT data headers may contain some additional unusual FITS descriptors for part of the ( e.g. instrument-specific) information; if such information has to be accessed by data-reduction software, the usage of an extended FITS reading programme (`INGFITS', which runs in the FIGARO data reduction software environment) may be usefull. Usually, however, a standard FITS reader will do.
A recipient of data from the archive is asked to acknowledge the archive in (possible) ensueing publication(s), and further may consider to send us an empty tape in return. We would appreciate receiving preprints or reprints of publications which contain La Palma Archive data.