Department of Astronomy records, 1880-1917.


Department of Astronomy records, 1880-1917.

This collection contains the records generated by the founding members of the modern astronomy department at Columbia University. The bulk of the collection is comprised of the correspondence of Professor John K. Rees along with the correspondence and writings of Professor Harold Jacoby. The records also include financial reports, departmental reports, curriculum outlines, student reports, and observatory ledgers. A few photographs and technical drawings of telescopes are included with the correspondence. The collection provides insight into many aspects of the department including: procuring donor support to build the observatories, the growth of the department as it went from the School of Mines to the School of Pure Sciences, the central role of the observatory within the department, contemporary astronomical events of interest to the scholarly community, and the professional input sought in regard to the construction of the observatories. Furthermore, the collection highlights public interest in the observatory and in the field of astronomy in New York City at the turn of the century.

5 linear ft. (4 record storage cartons, 2 document boxes)





Related Entities

There are 7 Entities related to this resource.

Columbia University (corporateBody)

The Columbia University community and administration mobilized to the fullest extent in answer to the entry of the United States into World War I. Summed up by President Nicholas Murray Butler in the 1918 Annual Report, the effects of the war on the University were far-reaching: "Students by the hundred and prospective students by the thousand entered the military, naval, or civil service of the United States; teachers and administrative officers to the number of nearly four hundred...

Rees, John Krom, 1851-1907 (person)

Poor, Charles Lane, 1866- (person)

Charles Lane Poor was an alumnus, The Johns Hopkins University and a professor of astronomy and celestial mechanics at Columbia. He was born in Hackensack, NJ, Jan. 18, 1866 and received the Ph. D. from Hopkins in 1892. Poor was an associate professor at Hopkins until 1903. He was appointed to Columbia where he taught until his retirement as professor emeritus in 1944. Poor was the inventor of several navigation devices and was the author of books on navigation, racing y...

Columbia University. Observatory. (corporateBody)

Mitchell, S. A. 1874-1960, (person)

Jacoby, Harold, 1865-1932 (person)

Columbia University. Dept. of Astronomy. (corporateBody)

The records within this collection begin with the recruitment of J.K Rees to Columbia College as Director of the Observatory in 1881. A graduate of Columbia in 1875, Rees left his position at Washington University in St. Louis as Professor of Math and Astronomy and joined the faculty of the School of Mines at Columbia. He took charge of the newly founded Summer School of Geodesy and taught courses in astronomy and geodesy throughout the academic year. At the urging of his fellow pro...