Harvard College Observatory History in Images

This is a personal project collecting and documenting early images of Harvard College Observatory, focusing on the site at Observatory Hill (previously Summer House Hill). Buildings, instruments, people, and observations. The current focus is through about 1920, and filling out the history of the Cambridge location, and buildings. After this more emphasis will go to the people, followed by more details on instruments, and eventually, on the scientific results.

Because I'm also interested in the history of printing and image reproduction, some of the information here will emphasize that viewpoint. Basically this is my singular and ever-changing view of history, but of course this is true of every history ever written.

Disclaimer: any opinions expressed here are my own, and in no way represents the views of my employer, or anyone else. Also, I'm documenting things as I learn about them, so expect frequent errors. Corrections will occur without notice and without a changelog at this point. In many cases, what I'm writing here is basic note-taking for myself.

database of collected images

All images plus additional timeline notes (138)
All images (but no notes) (138)
buildings (86) people (36) instruments (22) observations (0) events (7)
  • interiors (0)
  • construction (34)
  • plans (12)
  • exteriors (42)
  • neighborhood (1)
  • computers (21)
  • directors (9)
  • donors (5)
  • men (17)
  • women (24)
  • radcliffe (12)
  • optical (17)
  • miscellaneous (0)
  • chrono (1)
  • transit (1)
  • magnetic (0)
  • photography (0)
  • sketches (0)
  • spectra (0)
  • transits (0)
  • meetings (7)
  • eclipses (0)
  • Astrophotographic Library (7)
  • Director's Residence (18)
  • New Plate Stacks (0)
  • Astrophotographic Library Addition (22)
  • Original Observatory building (15)
  • Sears Tower (17)
  • West Wing (1)
  • Étienne Léopold Trouvelot (0)
  • Edward C. Pickering (1)
  • Alvan Clark & Sons (2)
  • Mary Anna Palmer Draper (2)
  • Arthur Searle (0)
  • Harlow Shapley (1)
  • Antonia Maury (6)
  • Selina Bond (0)
  • Florence Cushman (7)
  • Jenka Mohr (0)
  • Williamina Fleming (11)
  • Mabel Gill (4)
  • L. Winlock (0)
  • Rhoda Saunders (0)
  • Ida Woods (3)
  • Edith Gill (3)
  • John Lovering (0)
  • Edward Skinner King (1)
  • Nettie A. Farrar (0)
  • Evelyn Leland (8)
  • Adelaide Ames (6)
  • William Cranch Bond (5)
  • Henrietta Swan Leavitt (1)
  • Margaret Harwood (4)
  • Arville Walker (5)
  • William Cranch Bond Jr. (0)
  • George Phillip Bond (1)
  • Annie Jump Cannon (5)
  • Leon Campbell (6)
  • Lilian Lydia Hodgdon (2)
  • Henrietta Swope (5)
  • Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin (10)
  • Anna Winlock (0)
  • Joseph Winlock (1)
  • David Sears (1)
  • Helen Sawyer (5)
  • Thomas Hollis (1)
  • Draper 28-inch Reflector (12)
  • Great Refractor Chair (1)
  • Great Refractor (5)
  • Observatory Pinafore (7)
  • all images, newest additions to the collection first (138)
    untagged images (10)

    List of references


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