This series contains biographical and historical information on James Lick and the Lick family, as well as realia, scrapbooks,
diaries, and other historical materials from the construction and early operations of the Lick Observatory. Most of the materials
in this series are not records directly created by the Lick Observatory, but is content associated with the history of the
institution and its key figures. Information on the astronomers, funders, foremen, and families involved in the construction
of the observatory is included, as well as subject files on the topics studied at the observatory, such as particular comets
and astronomical phenomena. Clippings and publicity regarding the Lick Observatory and other observatories are also included.
The Lick Observatory was completed in 1888 and continues to be an active astronomy research facility at the summit of Mount
Hamilton, near San Jose, California. It is named after James Lick (1796-1876), who left $700,000 in 1875 to purchase land
and build a facility that would be home to “a powerful telescope, superior to and more powerful than any telescope yet made”.
The completion of the Great Lick Refractor in 1888 made the observatory home to the largest refracting telescope in the world
for 9 years, until the completion of the 40-inch refractor at Yerkes Observatory in 1897. Since its founding in 1887, the
Lick Observatory facility has provided on-site housing on Mount Hamilton for researchers, their families, and staff, making
it the world’s oldest residential observatory.
46.2 Linear Feet
44 boxes, 35 oversize boxes, 6 framed items, 2 flat file drawers
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Collection is open for research.