Treasures from the Archive: Photographs, Logbooks, and Artifacts from Lick Observatory
September 22 - December 30, 2018
Curated by Tony Misch
Lick Observatory began operation in 1888, just as the game-changing transformation from classical astronomy to the new science of astrophysics was gaining momentum. Lick astronomers were among the pioneers of this “new astronomy,” while at the same time the centuries-old practice of drawing at the eyepiece persisted, especially in the observation of planets.
Treasures from the Archive includes early glass-plate photographs of the Moon, comets, and the Milky Way, logbooks filled with observers’ drawings, and examples of the instruments of the time. These artifacts are both records of a seminal time in the history of astronomy and objects of intrinsic beauty and interest.
As the first great West Coast observatory and the first permanent mountaintop observatory in the world, Lick continues today as an active research facility with a uniquely rich history. Operated by the University of California Observatories (UCO), which includes the 10-meter Keck Telescopes in Hawai’i and the international 30-meter Telescope project, Lick is located on the summit of Mount Hamilton in the Diablo Range east of San Jose, California.