Guide to the Charles Donald and Mary Lea Shane papers MS.270

Alix Norton
University of California, Santa Cruz
2016
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz 95064
speccoll@library.ucsc.edu


Language of Material: English
Contributing Institution: University of California, Santa Cruz
Title: Charles Donald and Mary Lea Shane papers
creator: Shane, Charles Donald
creator: Shane, Mary Lea
Identifier/Call Number: MS.270
Physical Description: 11.2 Linear Feet 17 boxes, 5 oversize boxes
Date (inclusive): 1895-1983

Access

Collection is open for research.

Arrangement

This collection is organized into eight series, with the first seven series containing C. Donald Shane's papers:
  • 1. Alphabetical files
  • 2. Personal and biographical
  • 3. Foreign trips
  • 4. Research
  • 5. Speeches
  • 6. Photographs and illustrations
  • 7. Diplomas, certificates, and regalia
  • 8. Mary Lea Shane papers
Materials within each series are arranged in their original order.

Biographical / Historical

Charles Donald Shane and Mary Lea Heger Shane were key figures at the Lick Observatory during the 20th century. Both were trained in astronomy and were married in 1920, and lived on Mount Hamilton for several years. Donald served as the director of the Lick Observatory from 1945 to 1958, and was integral in the planning and development of the 120-inch reflector telescope, which was named after him in 1978. He is also known in the field of astronomy for his work supporting the existence of aggregated clusters of galaxies, now known as superclusters. Donald married Mary Lea Heger in 1920, who had been working at Lick Observatory since 1919 and went on to earn her Ph.D. in astronomy in 1924. Mary did not pursue a career as an astronomer, but was very involved in the Mount Hamilton community and welcomed visitors from all over the world to the Lick Observatory. She later initiated the preservation and organization of the archives of the Lick Observatory.
Charles Donald Shane was born on September 6, 1895 in Auburn, California. He began his career in astronomy by attending the University of California, Berkeley, and graduating in 1915 with a bachelor’s degree. He subsequently accepted a teaching position in mathematics and began his graduate work in astronomy, mathematics, and physics. In 1916, he began a two-year residential fellowship at the Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton, taught in Oregon and Washington during World War I, then returned for another Lick Observatory Fellowship from 1919-1920. In 1920, Shane earned his Ph.D. degree in astronomy and married Mary Lea Heger, and was also appointed as a professor of mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley. Later he moved to teaching astronomy, and by 1941 he was the chair of the astronomy department at Berkeley. From 1942 to 1945, Shane worked on the Manhattan Project as assistant director for scientific personnel of the Radiation Laboratory in Berkeley and in Los Alamos, New Mexico. After World War II, in 1945, Shane became the director of the Lick Observatory and served for 13 years until 1958. In the 1950s, Shane worked with his assistant Carl Wirtanen to photograph approximately 70% of the night sky with the Lick Observatory’s 20-inch Carnegie astrograph. Shane and Wirtanen counted galaxies on each of the 1,246 photographic plates, and showed the existence of aggregates of galaxy clusters. Shane referred to these aggregated clusters as "clouds", and they are now known as superclusters. After he resigned as director, Shane stayed at Lick as an astronomer until his retirement in 1963. On March 19, 1983, Shane passed away at the age of 87.
Mary Lea Heger was born on July 13, 1897 in Wilmington, Delaware. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley in 1919, then moved to Mount Hamilton to perform her thesis research at the Lick Observatory. During her time there, she made a discovery of the presence of sodium atoms in interstellar space. She married C. Donald Shane in 1920, and earned her Ph.D. degree at Berkeley in 1924. On Mount Hamilton, Mary enjoyed hosting visitors to the Lick Observatory as the director’s wife, and she spent much of her time doing research on the history of the Lick Observatory and its key historical figures. Later she began collecting and preserving materials related to the Lick Observatory, and in 1966 these documents were moved to the UC Santa Cruz Library as a research collection. In 1982, a ceremony was held at the library to name this collection the Mary Lea Shane Archives of the Lick Observatory (now available as the Lick Observatory Records, collection UA.036). Mary passed away in 1983 at the age of 86.

Preferred Citation

Charles Donald and Mary Lea Shane Papers. MS 270. Special Collections and Archives, University Library, University of California, Santa Cruz.

Related Materials

Related materials can be found in the following series of Lick Observatory records:
To access the full-text PDFs of the oral histories of Charles Donald and Mary Lea Shane on eScholarship, click the links below:

Scope and Contents

This collection contains the papers of Charles Donald Shane, director of the Lick Observatory from 1945-1958, and his wife, Mary Lea Shane. Most of the materials are from Charles Donald Shane's professional work at the Lick Observatory and with the University of California, and include professional and personal correspondence, subject and research files, his autobiography, biographical materials on other astronomers, speeches and essays, site reports from Chile and other foreign trips, photographs of family members and travels, and some of his original research materials. The series of Mary Lea Shane papers contain her research on the Lick Observatory, and correspondence related to her work as the curator of the Lick Observatory Archives throughout the last half of the 20th century.

Publication Rights

Property rights for this collection reside with the University of California. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. The publication or use of any work protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use for research or educational purposes requires written permission from the copyright owner. Responsibility for obtaining permissions, and for any use rests exclusively with the user. For more information on copyright or to order a reproduction, please visit guides.library.ucsc.edu/speccoll/reproduction-publication .

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Astronomy
Shane, Charles Donald
Shane, Charles Donald
Lick Observatory
Shane, Mary Lea
Shane, Mary Lea

 

Alphabetical files 1901-1983

Scope and Contents

This series contains Charles Donald Shane's personal and professional correspondence, subject files, reports, and notes. Materials were arranged alphabetically by last name or topic by Charles Donald Shane. Descriptions have been derived from notes on original folders.
box 1

A 1962-1975

box 1

Project Able 1966-1967

Scope and Contents

Contains correspondence related to Project Able, "a proposal for a large sunlight reflecting surface in span to illuminate at night a portion of the earth. Would be harmful to Astronomy. MacVittie Secretary of the AAS and Charles Donald Shane, Chem USA Nat Committee for Astronomy worked to prevent it. The project was abandoned."
box 1

Abrams, John 1945

box 1

Abt, Helmut 1971-1973

box 1

Aitken biography 1951-1976

box 1

American Institute of Physics (AIP) 1971-1982

Scope and Contents

Contains mostly material on committees on History of Physics, and Shane's review of Man Discovers the Universe by Berendzen et al.
box 1

Allee 1969-1976

box 1

American Philosophical Society (APS) 1959-1982

Scope and Contents

Contains proposals of Whitford and Mayall for membership, proposals of Noack for paper on Hunza, Nicholson papers, correspondence on microfilm of Fraser diary, proposal of membership for Babcock, material on Condon-Birge dispute, matter of the Battlefield of Hastings, and proposed bicentennial program.
box 1

Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) 1970-1975

box 1

Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) 1958-1963

Physical Description: 3 folders

Scope and Contents

Includes Articles of Incorporation, by-laws, contract, Shane's meeting notes; and lists of officers, directors, and committees.
box 1

Australia Site Survey 1961-1962

box 1

B 1962-1982

box 2

Baum 1954-1955

box 2

Bidwell 1975-1982

box 2

Blanco 1970-1980

Scope and Contents

Includes 1974 report on political conditions in Chile.
box 2

Bok 1967-1974

box 2

C 1964-1980

box 2

CAMP 1965-1968

box 2

CARSO 1963-1964

box 2

Cerro Tololo 1963-1976

box 2

Chile - Copiapo 1961

Scope and Contents

Includes photos by Carlos Torres of first trip to top of Chico de Plata.
box 2

Chit Chat Club 1943-1978

box 2

Cloudcroft 1962

box 2

Compendium chapter 1964-1978

box 2

Condon 1948-1969

box 3

Cooperative Program on Galaxies (Shane, Mayall, Kron) undated

box 3

Curtis, H.D. 1968-1971

box 3

D 1962-1980

box 3

Dennes, W.R. 1958-1981

box 3

de Vaucouleurs 1959-1976

box 3

E 1962-1980

box 3

European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1959-1963

box 3

Edmondson 1969-1980

box 3

Edmondson - Chile 1961-1980

box 3

Ehrmann, Charlie 1976

Scope and Contents

Correspondence with Mary Lea Shane.
box 3

Einarsson 1974-1979

box 3

F 1962-1980

box 3

G 1968-1979

box 3

H 1963-1980

box 3

Hale Symposium 1969-1982

box 3

Handwriting specimens 1901-1974

box 3

Haro, G. 1960-1963

box 3

Hedy 1969-1979

box 4

History of Astronomy 1964-1967

box 4

Hoag 1969

box 4

Hussey 1969-1971

box 4

International Astronomical Union (IAU) 1964

box 4

Iceland 1966-1978

box 4

Inter-American Astronomy Committee 1959-1974

box 4

Irwin, John 1975-1979

box 4

J 1965-1977

box 4

Jeffers 1973-1979

box 4

K 1961-1982

box 4-5

Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO) 1960-1980

Physical Description: 5 folders

Scope and Contents

Includes material on reorganizations, Carlos Torres reports and correspondence from Chile, Harrell & Harrell committee, dedication ceremony, brochures, information on New Technology Telescope, photographs, maps, and Stock's technical reports from Chile.
box 5

Kron, G.E. 1968-1969

box 5

Kron, Richard 1974-1981

box 5

L 1950-1976

box 5

Lee, Gil 1973-1977

box 5

Leuschner 1972-1974

box 5

Lick, Charles 1966-1974

box 5

Lick Observatory 1959-1982

box 5

Lick Observatory - 75th Anniversary 1963

box 17

Lick Observatory - Budget suggestions 1947

box 5

Lick Observatory - Focus newsletter 1975-1978

box 5

Lick Observatory - Reorganization and southern telescope 1962-1965

box 6

M 1962-1983

box 6

Machris 1967-1968

box 6

Maxwell, Allen 1968

box 6

Mayall 1940-1982

Physical Description: 6 folders
box 7

Mayall/Stock 1963-1965

Scope and Contents

Includes correspondence on construction of road to Cerro Tololo.
box 7

Menzel, D. 1963-1977

box 7

Monterey Institute for Research in Astronomy (MIRA) 1977-1982

box 7

Miscellaneous 1961-1982

box 7

Moore, J.H. 1973-1974

box 7

N 1974-1979

box 7

National Academy of Sciences (NAS) 1976-1982

Scope and Contents

Includes Shane's biographical and bibliographical information and information on a statue of Albert Einstein.
box 7

National Science Foundation (NSF) - Committee proposals for support circa 1948

box 7

New Zealand correspondence 1964-1972

Physical Description: 2 folders
box 7, box 17

New Zealand site survey 1961-1964

box 7

Neyman and Scott 1955-1981

box 7

Noack 1967-1980

box 7

O 1958-1964

box 8

Omer, Guy 1967

box 8

Oort, Jan 1960-1971

box 8

Oppenheimer, F 1969

box 8

Organization of Lick Observatory and relation to the University of California - Brode Report 1963

box 8

Orders - miscellaneous 1938-1947

box 8

Osterbrock 1972-1983

box 8

Other observatories 1960-1961

box 8

P 1955-1981

box 8

Peebles 1973-1977

Physical Description: 2 folders
box 8

Peebles reprints 1973-1978

box 8

Publicity 1960

box 8

R 1967-1979

box 8

Radio Astronomy Laboratory committee 1959-1962

box 8

Radio frequencies 1959-1962

box 8

Rafanelli 1954

box 9

Rowan-Robinson 1972

box 9

Rubin, Vera 1973

box 9

Ryerson, Knowles 1967-1979

box 9

S 1961-1979

box 9

Sandage, Allan 1977

box 9

Santa Cruz campus 1964-1970

box 9

Scurfield 1973

box 9

Seattle 1975

box 9

Sheridan, Mary 1963

box 9

Slack, Lew 1967-1969

box 9

Smith, Robert W. 1977

box 9

Southern Atlas 1966-1970

box 9

Soviet interest 1962

box 9

Space Science Board - Committee on International Relations 1965-1968

box 9

Steinlin, Uli 1966

box 9

Stock 1971-1978

box 9

Struve estate 1963-1967

box 9

Svolopoulos 1963-1971

box 9

T 1965-1975

box 9

Tekapo 1966

box 9

Telescope, 150-inch 1961

box 9

Thimann 1973-1982

box 9

Thomsen, Ivan 1963

box 9

Torres 1979-1980

box 9

UFOs 1967-1975

box 10

University problems 1975-1980

box 10

Unsold, Albrecht 1970

box 10

Vanderbilt 1963-1978

box 10

Vaughan 1972

box 10

Venezuela 1961-1976

Scope and Contents

Includes material on instruments, reports and recommendations, Sky & Telescope 1978 magazine issue with report on progress, and Shane journal of 1961 and 1962 visits.
box 10

Walker 1973

box 10

Wood, Harley 1967

box 10

Z 1956-1957

box 10

Zwicky 1963-1971

 

Personal and biographical 1920-1983

Scope and Contents

This series contains Charles Donald Shane's biographical materials, including interviews, his autobiography, and bibliography. Also included are handwritten reports on his time with AURA and ESO, biographical information he wrote on other astronomers, planning materials from his 80th birthday, and some personal correspondence.
 

Autobiography 1979-1982

Scope and Contents

Contains handwritten drafts of "Chapters in the life of C.D. Shane" in their original order. Listed dates refer to the date of writing.
box 10

Table of Contents 1980-1982

box 10

Childhood and Early Years 1982

box 10

Grammar and High School 1980

box 10

Student Years in Berkeley 1982

box 10

World War I 1982

box 10

Life on Mount Hamilton and Personalities 1980

box 10

The University Years 1980

box 11

Years of World War II 1980

box 11

After 1945 - Foreign Trips with Mary, Lick Observatory, Personalities 1981

box 11

Shane and Neubauer 1916 Sierra Trip 1979

box 11

Shane and Futhey Families 1979-1980

 

Interviews of Charles Donald Shane 1967-1982

Scope and Contents

Contains transcripts of interviews of Charles Donald Shane. Folder titles are named for the interviewer, or the name of the project for which Shane was interviewed.
box 12

Helen Wright Greuter; Elizabeth Calciano 1967-1968

box 12

AURA; Bert Shapiro; David DeVorkin 1977-1980

box 12

Conversations with Scientists (Carla Reiter) 1982

box 12

Robert Dale Hall 1981 September 11

Scope and Contents

Topics include reception of relativity/quantum theories by astronomers and teaching of astrophysics at UC Berkeley.
box 11

Bibliography 1963, 1980

box 11

Personal correspondence 1920-1983

Scope and Contents

Labeled "of personal interest"
box 11

80th birthday 1975

box 11

European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1980

box 11

My Last Year with AURA 1979

box 11

Jurgen Stock; A.E. Whitford 1980

box 11

Miscellaneous comments 1966-1981

 

Foreign trips 1916-1980

Scope and Contents

This series contains handwritten and typed reports of Charles Donald Shane's foreign travels, which mostly centered around visiting observatories, planning and advising, and attending conferences. Included are site reports, correspondence, and notes from Shane's role as an advisor for the development of the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile.
box 12

Trip reports (various) 1916-1962

 

Chile 1959-1980

box 12

Trip accounts 1960-1961

box 12

Kuiper Mathais - 1961 trip to Chile

box 12

Dr. J. Stock 1963

box 12

Conferences and meetings; Kuiper's general report no.1 1959-1961

box 12

Chile Observatory - History of beginning; Chile legislation correspondence 1961-1980

box 12

Venezuela 1962-1963

box 17

Venezuela - Meeting of Astronomers, Caracas 1961-1962

box 13

New Zealand 1966

box 13

Iceland; Prague 1967-1968

box 13

South America 1970

 

Research 1920-1946 and undated

box 13

Thesis tables 1920

box 13

Echelle spectrograph material 1946

box 13

Galaxy counts by C.D. Shane and C.A. Wirtanen circa 1954

Physical Description: 2 microfilm reels
box 13

Unidentified undated

 

Speeches 1950-1973 and undated

box 13

Nebulae, etc. circa 1950

box 13

Tom Fraser and the building of the Lick Observatory 1954

box 14

Lick Observatory 75th anniversary talk 1963

box 14

Chit Chat Club - Mars Experience 1973

box 14

Herschel undated

box 14

Interferometer Theory undated

box 14

Miscellaneous essays undated

 

Photographs and illustrations 1901-1970

Scope and Contents

This series contains photograph albums, loose photographs, and some illustrations collected by the Shanes. Subjects include members of the Shane family, astronomers and their families at Lick Observatory, and travels to Chile and other parts of South America.
 

Albums

box 16

Brazil undated

box 16

Unidentified album undated

box 18

Lick Observatory views and personnel, and other views (Jeffers) 1919-1920

box 19

Lick Observatory, Mount Hamilton 1919-1955

Scope and Contents

Includes early photographs of life on Mount Hamilton including Lick astronomers and families.
box 19

Lick Observatory Astronomers, etc. circa 1950

Scope and Contents

Includes photographs of astronomers visiting and working at Lick Observatory.
box 20

Chile, South America circa 1960

Scope and Contents

Includes photographs of Shane and others, landscapes, and observatory.
box 14

Chile circa 1960-1970

Scope and Contents

Includes photographs of La Peineta.
box 14, box 22

Family, travel, and unidentified 1901 and undated

Scope and Contents

Includes photographs of Dean Shane, early school photographs of C.D. Shane and Ethel Haskett Shane (first wife of C.D. Shane), group travel photographs in Europe and Canada, and some negatives.
box 14

Mount Stromlo Observatory undated

box 14

Illustrations undated

Scope and Contents

Includes 1951 Christmas card from F.G. Gustafsson with watercolor illustration of Lick Observatory and Mount Hamilton.
 

Diplomas, certificates, and regalia 1895-1978

box 14, box 17

Diplomas and certificates 1895-1957

Physical Description: 3 folders

Scope and Contents

Includes birth certificate, Oakland High School diploma, Naval Institute certificate, California Academy of Sciences Fellow certificate, and University of California Senior Alumnus certificate.
box 22

Oversized diplomas and certificates 1915-1978

Scope and Contents

Includes honorary degree of doctor of laws, Ph.D., and bachelor's diplomas from UC Berkeley, as well as certificates from the National Academy of Sciences, Royal Astronomical Society, and the American Philosophical Society. Also includes certificates commemorating the naming of the Shane Telescope at Lick Observatory in 1977.
box 21

Regalia undated

Scope and Contents

Commencement regalia includes two hoods and a cap.
 

Mary Lea Shane papers 1949-1986

Related Materials

More materials created by and related to Mary Lea Shane can be found in the "Astronomers and key figures" section of the Lick History series of the Lick Observatory Records:

Scope and Contents

This series includes Mary Lea Shane's research notes on the history of Lick Observatory and its prominent figures, drafts of writings, personal correspondence, and correspondence pertaining to the archives of the Lick Observatory and her role as curator.
box 14

American Institute of Physics - Joan Warnow 1969-1972

box 14

Hall, John S. 1977

box 14

Harvard College Observatory history 1972

box 14

Lick, Rosemary 1961-1965

box 14

Moore, Cora Keeler 1949-1971

box 14

Royal Astronomical Society 1977

box 14

Stirling, Josie (Mrs. James) 1956

box 16

Tucker, Jane S. 1949-1986

box 14

Notes on reflectors and refractors 1968

box 14

Notes on Henry Mathews 1949-1971

box 14

Lecture notes on history of Lick Observatory circa 1978

box 14

Research notes for history of Lick Observatory circa 1980

box 14

Research notes for talks and historical writings 1950-1966

box 14

Miscellaneous correspondence 1971-1980

box 15

Personal letters 1932

box 15

History of Lick Observatory, draft 1976 June

box 15

Notes on scrapbooks undated

box 15

Notes on W.H. Wright and R.G. Aitken undated

box 15

Notes on Floyd undated

box 15

Correspondence with Winnie Heron 1974-1981

box 15

Kono Tayee, Clear Lake, and Floyd family history 1972-1981

box 15

Dart/Wright correspondence 1976-1977

box 15

Floyd/Lyons history 1976

box 15

Gopcevic 1956-1982

Physical Description: 2 folders

Scope and Contents

Includes correspondence with Helen Wright Greuter.
box 15

Greuter correspondence 1976

box 15

Goeble, Marion 1971-1979

Scope and Contents

Lake County Chamber of Commerce, Clear Lake
box 15

Clagett, Brice M. 1971-1972

Scope and Contents

Descendant of Richard Floyd and William McAdoo
box 15

Keane, Augustin 1959-1968

Scope and Contents

Attorney for Marian Gopcevic estate
box 16

Miscellaneous notes 1955

box 16

Index card notes undated

Scope and Contents

Contains information on letters of historic interest in Mary Lea Shane's research.