This collection includes the professional files of the following directors of the Lick
Observatory: Edward S. Holden, William Wallace Campbell, Robert G. Aitken, Albert E.
Whitford, Robert P. Kraft, and George Herbig. Materials mostly include correspondence, as
well as reports, meeting minutes, subject and topical files, notes, publication reviews, and
some research materials.
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.
20.42 Linear Feet
34 boxes, 6 oversize boxes, 1 flat file drawer
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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
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Collection is open for research.