James E. Keeler Papers

M. Carey
The University Library
Special Collections and Archives
University Library
University of California, Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz, California, 95064
Email: specoll@library.ucsc.edu
URL: http://library.ucsc.edu/speccoll/
© 2013
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

James E. Keeler Papers

Collection number: MS 271

The University Library

Special Collections and Archives

University of California, Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz, California
Processed by:
M. Carey
Date Completed:
Encoded by:
M. Carey
© 2013 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: James E. Keeler papers
Dates: 1868-1944
Collection number: MS 271
Creator: Keeler, James E.
Collection Size: 2 document boxes
Repository: University of California, Santa Cruz. University Library. Special Collections and Archives
Santa Cruz, California 95064
Abstract: Contains correspondence, family photographs, school papers, drawings, diary and notebooks, academic papers, articles & lectures. Also contains William F. Keeler's Mayport diaries, from 1878-1886.
Physical location: Stored in Special Collections & Archives: Advance notice is required for access to the papers.
Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English


Collection open for research.

Publication Rights

Property rights reside with the University of California. Literary rights are retained by the creators of the records and their heirs. For permission to publish or to reproduce the material, please contact the Head of Special Collections and Archives.

Preferred Citation

James E. Keeler papers. MS 271. Special Collections and Archives, University Library, University of California, Santa Cruz.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Cora Keeler and Mrs. Elizabeth Breneiser in 1978.


James Edward Keeler (September 10, 1857 - August 12, 1900) was born in La Salle, IL to William F. and Anna Dutton Keeler. He married Miss Cora S. Matthews at Oakley Plantation, Louisiana, on June 16, 1881.
Keeler worked at Lick Observatory beginning in 1888 but left after being appointed director of the University of Pittsburgh's Alleghenny Observatory in 1891. He returned to Lick Observatory as its director in 1898.
James Keeler died unexpectedly on August 12, 1900 leaving his widow and two children.

Accomplishments and Honors

  • Director of Allegheny Observatory, Allegheny City, Pennsylvania(1891)
  • Director of Lick Observatory, Mount Hamilton, California(1898)
  • Co-Founder(in 1895) and Co-Editor, with George Ellery Hale, of the Astrophysical Journal.
  • Served as President of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
  • One of the Founders of the American Astronomical Society(1899)
  • Astronomical and Physical Society of Toronto: Corresponding(Foreign) Member(1894).
  • With discovery of particle nature of Saturn's rings, elevated to Honorary Member(1895) National Academy of Sciences(member)
  • Royal Astronomical Society(Fellow)
  • Rumford Medal of the American Academy
  • Scope and Content of Collection

    Contains correspondence, family photographs, school papers, drawings, diaries, academic papers, articles & lectures. Also contains Mayport diaries, 1878-1886 from Wm. F Keeler, father of James Keeler.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Keeler, James E. (Edward)--Archives
    Astronomy--United States--History
    Keeler, William F. (Frederick)
    Astrophysics--United States--History

    Other Finding Aids

    UA 36 Lick Observatory Archive

    Related Material

    James E. Keeler, pioneer American astrophysicist, and the early development of American astrophysics by Donald E. Osterbrock. QB36.K37 O88 1985

    box-folder 1:1

    Correspondence, ca. 1885-1944

    box-folder 1:2

    Family photographs, 1890-1919

    box-folder 1:3-4

    William F. Keeler 1878-1886

    Scope and Content Note

    Wm. F. Keeler was customs collector, elections inspector, and railroad paymaster in Mayport, FL after the Civil War.
    box-folder 1:3

    Mayport Diaries, v.1-2, 1/1/1878-12/31/1884 1/1/1885-10/26/1886

    box-folder 1:4

    Mounted news clippings from "The Monitor" & "Merrimac" ca. 1862

    box-folder 1:5

    News clippings ca. 1894-1898

    box-folder 1:6

    JEK Mayport diary - written at age 18 [photocopy], 1875

    box-folder 1:6

    Denver Eclipse [photocopy], 1878

    box-folder 1:6

    School drawings, 1868

    box-folder 2:1-6


    box-folder 2:1

    University Extension lectures [manuscripts & notes], ca. 1880-1890

    box-folder 2:2

    Prospectus for University Extension Lectures "General Astronomy" & Text, captions for lantern slides ca. 1880-1890

    box-folder 2:3

    Calibrieren eines Thermometer & other papers from University of Berlin & Heildelberg, ca. 1880-1900

    box-folder 2:4

    A Spectroscopic Proof of the Meteroic Construction of Saturnis Rings ca. 1880-1900

    box-folder 2:4

    Computational Relating to a Lens for Adapting a visually Corrected Refracting Telescope . . . ca. 1880-1900

    box-folder 2:4

    Abstract of a Lecture at Stanford University . . . ca. 1880-1900

    box-folder 2:4

    Modern Views of the Nebulae Nypothesis ca. 1880-1900

    box-folder 2:4

    Evolution of the Earth ca. 1880-1900

    box-folder 2:4

    Great Telescopes ca. 1880-1900

    box-folder 2:5

    Computations relating to the Occulation of Mars 3/17/1880

    box-folder 2:5

    The Lick Observatory, ca. 1880

    box-folder 2:5

    Anmeldungs-Buch University of Berlin, ca. 1885

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    Anmeldungs-Buch University of Heildeberg, ca. 1883-1885

    box-folder 2:6

    First Observations of Saturn with 36" Equatorial of the Lick Observatory, 1888

    box-folder 2:6

    The SPrial Nebula H I, 55 PEGASI, ca. 1900

    box-folder 2:7

    Articles by Others

    box-folder 2:7

    J. E. Keeler's Discovery of a Gap in the Outer Part of the A Ring by D. E. Osterbrock & Dale P. Cruikshank, 1982

    box-folder 2:7

    James E. Keeler; Pioneer astrophysicist by D.E. Osterbrock, 1979

    box-folder 2:7

    Early Days at Lick Observatory by D.E.Osterbrock, Mercury, March/April 1986