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The Harvard College Observatory and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (founded in 1890) were merged in 1973 to form The Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. The collection consists of award certificates presented chiefly by international exhibitions showcasing national achievements to the Harvard College Observatory in recognition of its contributions to the study of astronomy from 1893 to 1933.
The Harvard College Observatory was founded in 1839 in Cambridge, MA. During the 20th century research expanded with observatories in New Mexico, Peru, and South Africa using telescopes ranging from 1” to 61” in diameter. This collection contains technical drawings collected at Oak Ridge Observatory relating to many of the observatory buildings and telescopes.
A total solar eclipse occurred on August 7, 1869 and was visible from parts of the northeastern United States. The Harvard College Observatory sent a team, led by director Joseph Winlock, to Shelbyville, Kentucky to observe and make recordings of the eclipse. The Harvard College Observatory records related to the solar eclipse of 1869 include reports, notes, data booklets, notebooks, and photographs of the Observatory staff members at their campsite in Kentucky.
A total solar eclipse occurred on August 31, 1932 and was visible in its totality across parts of Canada and New England. The Harvard College Observatory records related to the solar eclipse of 1932 include correspondence, clippings, drawings, notes, and photographs of the eclipse taken by amateur astronomers.
The Harvard College Observatory records relating to the meteor showers of 1898 and 1899 contain correspondence and related materials, including lists of observers, an annotated map, and a chart of "Observations of November Meteors," mostly documenting the meteor shower of 1898. The majority of the series contains incoming correspondence to the Harvard College Observatory from observers located across the United States and around the world, describing the meteor shower of 1898.
The Harvard College Observatory reports written by William Cranch Bond and Joseph Winlock contain various types of reports written by nineteenth century Observatory directors Bond and Winlock, dating from 1844 to 1874. The series contains full Harvard College Observatory annual reports and extracts, as well as documents appended to those reports on a variety of astronomical topics.
The Harvard College Observatory's Phillips Library was founded in 1848. The Records of the Harvard College Observatory Phillips Library contain eight bound volumes, mostly dating from 1858 to approximately 1932, which document the published works obtained by the library.