UCSC Special Collections & Archives is the home of the Lick Observatory Records, as well as the papers of several astronomers associated with the Observatory. These collections form the Archives of Lick Observatory, which include records from about 1870 to the mid-twentieth century. The Lick Archives describe the founding, construction, and operation of the observatory, and document the early astronomical ambitions and achievements of its founders. View the collection guides for the following series of the Lick Observatory Records:
The Archives' extensive collection of historical photographs includes portraits of astronomers, telescope and lens makers and other prominent scientists, scenes of life at the observatory on Mount Hamilton, instruments, and documentation of expeditions. See many of these photographs in the Lick Observatory Records Digital Archive.
Image: 36-inch refractor, the "Great Lick Refractor", undated. Lick Observatory Records: Photographs. UA 36: Series 7, Box 27. University Archives, University Library, University of California, Santa Cruz.
Our collections include the papers of many Lick astronomers as part of the Archives of Lick Observatory, including:
Also available in our holdings are the papers of Elizabeth Ballard Campbell and family. Elizabeth was the wife of Lick Observatory director William Wallace Campbell, and accompanied him and other Lick astronomers on several of their expeditions to study solar eclipses around the world. Included in this collection are her diary entries recounting the trips, as well as photographs of the expeditions to India (1898), Spain (1905), Flint Island (1908), Russia (1914), Washington (1918), and Australia (1922).
Image (top): Ensenada Eclipse Expedition, September 1923: observers at eclipse camp, led by W. H. Wright. Seated, left to right: Ambrose Swasey, Mrs. Elizabeth Campbell, W.W. Campbell, Mrs. Edna Leib Wright, W.H. Wright, Joseph H. Moore. Standing: Joseph Pearce, Hamilton Jeffers, Z.A. Merfield, Robert Trumpler, Grace Leib (later Grace Hubble), Willem Luyten, William F. Meyer, Allen H. Babcock, E. Percival Lewis. Lick Observatory Records: Glass negatives. UA 36: Series 6. University Archives, University Library, University of California, Santa Cruz.
Image (bottom): Page from Elizabeth Ballard Campbell's photograph scrapbook of Russian eclipse expedition, circa 1914. Elizabeth Ballard Campbell family papers. MS 268. Special Collections and Archives, University Library, University of California, Santa Cruz.
Several publications made by and about Lick Observatory are cataloged separately in our holdings in Special Collections & Archives, and may be found by searching our Library holdings. Notable titles include:
For more information on the history of Lick Observatory, consult the Lick History series of the Lick Observatory Records collection.
The Lick Observatory Archives hold a selection of materials from the original library at Lick Observatory (pictured at right), including many early printed works on the history of astronomy. Notable titles include:
To find more titles, search "Lick Observatory Archive" among the Library's holdings.
Image: Lick Observatory, Main Building: interior view of the south end of the library. Lick Observatory Records: Glass negatives. UA 36: Series 6. University Archives, University Library, University of California, Santa Cruz.