This Introduction to the Hubble Space Telescope Data Handbooks is intended to provide an introductory-level understanding of topics general to the data from all of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) instruments. It introduces methods for: retrieving HST observational data from data archives; understanding the data file structure including how to find important information stored within the data files and observation logs; and software tools and methods for working with data from different types of HST instruments.

Users new to working with HST data are encouraged to review this document before proceeding to the data handbook for the relevant instrument(s). In addition, users already familiar with HST data may find it useful to consult the chapters about data retrieval and analysis for current best practices recommended by STScI.

This version (9.0) of the Introduction to the Hubble Space Telescope Data Handbooks contains numerous updates from the previous version, and it is the first version available via the HST User Documentation (HDox) website. Updated information in this version includes data archive access, file format descriptions, data analysis software, and additional information regarding observation log files. Beginning in late 2019, STScI no longer supports the use of IRAF/PyRAF for HST analysis. In light of this change, descriptions of IRAF/PyRAF tools have been removed. Users requiring information about IRAF/PyRAF or GEIS file formats should consult version 8.0 of this document.