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   Department of Astronomy Records, 1880-1917.

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Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Department of Astronomy Records; Box and Folder; University Archives, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

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Series I: Correspondence of John K. Rees, 1880-1902

This first series contains extensive correspondence between Rees and his colleagues from across the country and abroad. Beginning in 1880 as the newly appointed "Director of the Observatory," Rees seeks and gives advice as plans are made to construct an observatory for the department on the mid-town Columbia College campus, and later on the Morningside Heights campus. Most carbon copies of Rees' letters are preserved along with original letters from a variety of senders including Columbia faculty members, contractors, astronomical instrument makers, and scholars.

1880-1882

Box 1
Folder 1
1883-1891
(9 Folders)
Box 1
Folder 2 to 10
1892 January-May
Box 1
Folder 11
1892 June-December
Box 1
Folder 12
1893 January-May
Box 1
Folder 13
1893 June-December
Box 1
Folder 14
1894 January-May
Box 1
Folder 15
1894 June-December
Box 1
Folder 16
1895
Box 1
Folder 17
1895
Box 1
Folder 18
1896
(3 Folders)
Box 1
Folder 19 to 21
1897

Box 2
Folder 1
1899
Box 2
Folder 2
1900
(3 Folders)
Box 2
Folder 3 to 5
1901
(4 Folders)
Box 2
Folder 6 to 9
1902
(4 Folders)
Box 2
Folder 10 to 13
Undated
Box 2
Folder 14

Series II: Correspondence of Harold Jacoby, 1888-1913

Like his mentor John K. Rees, Harold Jacoby's written correspondence demonstrates an extensive communication with colleagues within the Columbia community and beyond.

Subseries II.1: General, 1907-1913

This subseries includes the bulk of Jacoby's professional correspondence with publishers, manufacturers of astronomical instruments and colleagues. Communication with Carl Zeiss, an astronomical instrument maker in Germany, contains some photographs and technical drawings of telescopes and is predominantly in German. Jacoby's carbon copy responses are in English. Of additional interest is correspondence between Jacoby and the general public regarding inquiries and appointments to visit the observatory, and a folder of letters pertaining to the 1908 meeting of the Astronomical Society of America at Put-in-Bay, Ohio.

1907 October-1908 June

Box 3
Folder 1
1908 August-October Regarding Meeting at Put-in-Bay
Box 3
Folder 2
1908 September
Box 3
Folder 3
1908 October
Box 3
Folder 4
1908 November 1-12
Box 3
Folder 5
1908 November 13-30
Box 3
Folder 6
1908 December
Box 3
Folder 7
1908-1910 Regarding Visitors to the Observatory
Box 3
Folder 8
1908-1911 With Carl Zeiss
Box 3
Folder 9
1909 January
Box 3
Folder 10
1909 February
Box 3
Folder 11
1909 March-April
Box 3
Folder 12
1909 May
Box 3
Folder 13
1909 June-September
Box 3
Folder 14
1909 October
Box 3
Folder 15
1909 November-December
Box 3
Folder 16
1910 January-February
Box 3
Folder 17
1910 March
Box 3
Folder 18
1910 April
Box 3
Folder 19
1910 May
Box 3
Folder 20
1910 June-December
Box 3
Folder 21
1911
Box 3
Folder 22
1912
Box 3
Folder 23
1913
Box 3
Folder 24

Subseries II.2: Jacoby’s Letter File, approximately 1888-1891

This subseries is arranged alphabetically according to Jacoby's personal letter file and contains both professional and personal correspondence with colleagues, friends and family members. Many carbon copies of Jacoby's original letters are included and of special interest is correspondence regarding Jacoby's involvement in an expedition to Cape Hope, South Africa to observe an eclipse in 1887.

A-G
(7 Folders)
Box 3
Folder 25 to 31
H

Box 4
Folder 1
J
Box 4
Folder 2
K-L
Box 4
Folder 3
M-N
Box 4
Folder 4
O-P
Box 4
Folder 5
R-S
Box 4
Folder 6
V-Z
Box 4
Folder 7

Series III: Other Faculty Correspondence, 1908-1910

This small series is comprised of two folders: One containing the correspondence of Professor Charles Lane Poor, and the other the correspondence of Professor S.A Mitchell. Poor's letters document the establishment of a course in Nautical Science as he communicates extensively with naval officers, interested attendees and other colleagues. The correspondence of S.A Mitchell provides further insight into the general departmental activity of a founding faculty member.

Charles Lane Poor, 1908-1909
Box 4
Folder 8
S.A. Mitchell, 1909-1910
Box 4
Folder 9

Series IV: Writings of Harold Jacoby, approximately 1908-1911, undated

Series IV consists of Harold Jacoby's manuscript and typewritten lectures as well as articles for publication. Jacoby's writings cover a wide range of astronomical topics and contemporary events.

Approximately
1908
“American Astronomers to the Fore”
Box 4
Folder 10
“A Catechetical Grotesque”
Box 4
Folder 10
“Astronomical Research”
Box 4
Folder 10
“Attainder”
Box 4
Folder 10
“Gravity”
Box 4
Folder 10
“How far North is ‘Farthest North’”
Box 4
Folder 10
“Long Range Weather Prediction”
Box 4
Folder 10
“Measuring the Earth by Wireless”
Box 4
Folder 10
Approximately
1908
“Poesy and Paleo-Zoology”
Box 4
Folder 11
“Professor Migrans”
Box 4
Folder 11
“The Fourth Dimension”
Box 4
Folder 11
“Faith and the Fourth Dimension”
Box 4
Folder 11
“The Case Against Mars”
Box 4
Folder 11
“History of Astronomy”
Box 4
Folder 11
“Formulas for the Comparison of Astronomical Photographs,”
undated
Box 4
Folder 12
“Opening Address to the Summer School of Geodesy, Camp Columbia,”
1908
Box 4
Folder 12
“Announcement to Precede Calendar Lecture,”
November 24, 1908
Box 4
Folder 12
Approximately
1909
"The Distance of the Sun"
Box 4
Folder 13
"Foucault's Pendulum"
Box 4
Folder 13
"Planets, the Wandering Stars"
Box 4
Folder 13
"The Planets Magnitudes, Masses, etc."
Box 4
Folder 13
"The Planets Again"
Box 4
Folder 14
"Moonshine"
Box 4
Folder 14
"More Moonshine"
Box 4
Folder 14
"The Seasons"
Box 4
Folder 14
"Weighing the Earth"
Box 4
Folder 14
"Sun-Dials"
Box 4
Folder 14
Approximately 1909-1910
"North Polar Astronomy"
Box 4
Folder 15
"Halley's Comet"
Box 4
Folder 15
"The Great Comet of Halley"
Box 4
Folder 15
"Is Mars Inhabited"
Box 4
Folder 15
"The Planet Mars and Saturn in Conjunction"
Box 4
Folder 15
"The Planets One by One"
Box 4
Folder 15
"Eclipses"
Box 4
Folder 15
"Long Haired Stars"
Box 4
Folder 16
"Meteors and Shooting Stars"
Box 4
Folder 16
"Sunshine"
Box 4
Folder 16
"Star-Shine"
Box 4
Folder 16
"Making Plans"
Box 4
Folder 16
"The Runge Dinner"
Box 4
Folder 16
"The Universe Once More"
Box 4
Folder 16
"The Universe,"
undated
Box 4
Folder 17
"Star Catalogues,"
undated
Box 4
Folder 17
"Astronomy,"
undated
Box 4
Folder 17
"Astronomical Research,"
undated
Box 4
Folder 17
"The Coming Re-appearance of Halley's Great Comet,"
undated
Box 4
Folder 17
"How the Worlds Were Made,"
undated
Box 4
Folder 18
"Mother Earth,"
undated
Box 4
Folder 18
"George William Hill,"
undated
Box 4
Folder 18
"Time,"
undated
Box 4
Folder 18
"Precision,"
undated
Box 4
Folder 18
"The Case Against Halley's Comet,"
undated
Box 4
Folder 18
"The Heavens,"
undated
Box 4
Folder 19
"A Short Course in Astronomy,"
undated
Box 4
Folder 19
"Equations Occurring in Lectures on Geodesy,"
undated
Box 4
Folder 19
"A Lecture on the Method of Least Squares Applied to Conditioned Observations,"
undated
Box 4
Folder 19
"The Tides,"
undated
Box 4
Folder 19
"Abraham Lincoln,"
undated
Box 4
Folder 20
Scattered manuscript pages
Box 4
Folder 20

Series V: Observatory Ledgers and Astronomical Reports, 1896-1917

The final series of the collection is comprised of notes, observations and computations on graph paper as well as two hard-cover bound student project reports. About half of the graph paper records are marked as the charts of the "Lick Eros Plates" and represent a collaborative effort with the Lick Observatory in California. Some correspondence regarding this collaboration can be found in Box 2 Folder 7.

1896
Box 4
Folder 21
1896,
undated
Box 4
Folder 22
1896-1897
Box 4
Folder 23
1897

Box 5
Folder 1
1899
Box 5
Folder 2
1899
Box 5
Folder 3
1903
Box 5
Folder 4
"Lick Eros Plates," 1900-1901
Box 5
Folder 5
"Lick Eros Plates," 1900-1901
Box 5
Folder 6
"Lick Eros Plates,"
1901
Box 5
Folder 7
"Lick Eros Plates,"
1901
Box 5
Folder 8
"Lick Eros Plates,"
1901,
undated
Box 5
Folder 9
"Lick Eros Plates," approximately 1901-1903
Box 5
Folder 10
"Lick Eros Plates," approximately 1901-1903
Box 5
Folder 11
"Lick Eros Plates," 1902-1903
Box 5
Folder 12
"Lick Eros Plates,"
1903
Box 5
Folder 13
Camp Columbia, Scattered Reports and Charts, 1908-1911

Box 6
Folder 1
"Detailed Report on Geodetic Surveying," Camp Columbia,
1912
Box 6
Folder 2
"Detailed Report: Geodesy and Astronomy," Camp Columbia,
1917
Folder 3

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