This collection documents the work of Hamilton Moore Jeffers, an astronomer who spent much of his career at the Lick Observatory.
Materials include his professional and personal correspondence, some research notes, personal and family photographs, class
notes from his student work at the University of California at Berkeley, and reports and correspondence from his time as an
operations analyst in the Air Force during World War II.
Hamilton Moore Jeffers was an astronomer and astrometrist born in 1893 in Sewickley, Pennsylvania. He earned both his A.B.
degree in 1917 and his Ph.D. degree in astronomy in 1921 from the University of California, Berkeley. After earning his Ph.D.,
Jeffers was appointed as an instructor of astronomy at the State University of Iowa, and stayed there for almost three years.
In 1924 he accepted an offer as Assistant Astronomer at the Lick Observatory, where he had completed much of his graduate
work while a student at Berkeley. Jeffers became a full astronomer in 1938, and remained at Lick until his retirement in 1961.
He is known for his work in positional astronomy and for his use of the meridian circle, and was mainly interested in observations
of minor planets, comets, and double stars. Jeffers contributed to the observatory’s Index Catalogue of Visual Double Stars,
published in 1963, collaborating with W.H. van den Bos to list over 64,000 instances of double stars. During World War II,
Jeffers left the Lick Observatory to serve in the war, first at the radiation laboratory at MIT, then as operations analyst
for the Army Air Forces in Alaska and India. In 1950, Jeffers married Bobbe de Vore, a secretary at the Lick Observatory.
He lived in Carmel, California, near his brother, poet Robinson Jeffers, and photographer Ansel Adams. Jeffers retired in
1961, and died in 1976 in Carmel, California.
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