"Which literature ?" is an often heard question. I don't have the answer, but I can tell you how I like my books.

Amateur Telescope Making (ATM), a set of three books.

By : Albert G. Ingalls

Published by : Willmann-Bell Inc.

ISBN : Book 1 : 0-943396-48-4, Book 2 : 0-943396-49-2, Book 3 :0-943396-50-6

The new revised edition from 1996 still has the same name, (nearly ?) the same contents, but is reorganized so that older references to these books are no longer correct. The books are now organized by subject. They are however a loose collection of subjects, that can each be read on itself. The first book deals mainly with mirror making and testing, and I consider it a must-have for people who grind their own mirror. The second and third book deal with other aspects of ATM-ing. Although not a must-have, I would strongly recommend them. Together these three books are considered the 'bible' of ATM-ing.

Advanced Telescope Making Techniques (ATMT), a set of two books.

By : Allan Mackintosh

Published by : Willmann-Bell Inc.

ISBN : Book 1 : 0-943396-11-5, Book 2 : 0-943396-12-3

The first book deals with optics, the second with mechanics. As with ATM, a loose collection of subjects that can each be read on its own. Very interesting, but more for the advanced ATMer.

Telescope Optics, evaluation and design

By : Harrie Rutten and Martin van Venrooij

Published by : Willmann-Bell Inc.

ISBN : 0-943396-18-2

A first class book on telescope optics. Compares the most used telescopes and eyepieces. Shows how design and analysis (raytracing) is done. Not only interesting for ATM-ing, but also for the astronomer who wants to know how his telescope works. Recommended, but only to those who like a bit of theory.

How to make a Telescope

By : Jean Texereau

Published by : Willmann-Bell Inc.

ISBN : 0-943396-04-2

The standard work for every ATMer. Talks you trough building your telescope. It is not simply written, but very thorough. Covers mirror making, testing and telescope building. The later part is a bit dated, but still very useful. Absolutely a must-have for every ATMer.

Star Testing Astronomical Telescopes

Subtitle : A manual for optical evaluation and adjustment

By : Harold Richard Suiter

Published by : Willmann-Bell Inc.

ISBN : 0-943396-44-1

The best description/analysis of the star test available. For advanced ATM-ing and astronomers who just want to know how good (or bad!) their scope really is. The star test is the most unforgiving test available, it will thus probably tell you how bad your scope is (:-). The analysis of the different aberration contributions allow the advanced ATMer to better balance his efforts in making his scope.

The Dobsonian Telescope

Subtitle : A practical manual for building large aperture telescopes.

By : David Kriege & Richard Berry

Published by : Willmann-Bell Inc.

ISBN : 0-943396-55-7

The subtitle really says it all; don't expect long theoretical optical evaluations, this book tells you how to build that (>= 14") scope. Construction details, tips & tricks, when and how, you name it, this book has it. It talks you in detail through all stages, and not content with just making a good scope, it also tells you how to make a good looking scope!. It is probably intended for the observing astronomer who wants to build just that one (large) scope. However I expect that even long term ATMers will find (lots of?) useful tips. If you want to build a large scope, this book is a must-have.

Telescope Control

By : Mark Trueblood & Russel Merle Genet

Published by : Willmann-Bell Inc.

ISBN : 0-943396-53-0

This is one of the books that offer more than expected. In fact so much that it was more than I wanted. Although in parts very interesting this is not a book for me. It seems above all to address the (semi-) professional telescope builder who wants to computerize or robotize a scope. If you have to control a large scope for professional needs, or one that must be used remotely then this book is just right for you. If you just want to computerize your own scope because of the fun, then you probably are better of by copying an existing design ("Bartelize" it, see "Links-> Mel Bartels Homepage").

Burnhams Celestial Handbook, a set of three books.

By : Robert Burnham Jr.

Published by : Dover Publications Inc.

ISBN : Book 1 : 0-486-23567-X, Book 2 : 0-486-23568-8, Book 3 : 0-486-23673-0

Three books that cover the whole night sky, almost every object that might of interest to amateurs is covered. Originally printed in 1966, revised in 1978, it is a bit dated, but I still find it extremely useful for planning my observations. I also find it an excellent value for money (it is still in B/W on non-glossy paper, and feels like a pile of notations)