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Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy Records, 1953-1974

16 linear feet

Records of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Tucson, Arizona. Correspondence files of Robert R. McMath, Leo Goldberg, and Orren C. Mohler, reports, minutes, financial and budgetary materials, and technical reports relating to the development of AURA and its predecessor organization, the Advisory Panel for the National Astronomical Observatory, and concerning observatories at Kitt Peak, Arizona, and Cerro Tololo, Chile; also material concerning political developments in Chile; and photographs.

The AURA record group provides a record of an important aspect of the development of modern science, the growth of cooperative scientific associations, and the beginnings of government support for basic research in the post-war period. In addition, the records include much information related to the University of Michigan Astronomy Department and observatories, since several faculty members, including Robert R. McMath, Leo Goldberg, and Orren C. Mohler, have been involved in the growth of AURA. The record group also provides a detailed history of the development of AURA itself, and the observatories at Kitt Peak and at Cerro Tololo, where it touches on scientific and political developments in Chile during the 1960s and 1970s.

The AURA record group includes files collected by three University of Michigan Astronomy Department faculty members who were active in the organization. Robert R. McMath, chairman of the Advisory Panel for the National Astronomical Observatory, first President of AURA, and Chairman of the Board of AURA, was responsible for most of the material dated before his death in 1962. Leo Goldberg, a consultant to the Advisory Panel, is responsible for a correspondence file related to the work of the panel. This file partially duplicates McMath's correspondence file. On the death of McMath, Orren C. Mohler assumed the duties of University of Michigan representative on the AURA Board of Directors and continued to add to the record group. Some of the material dated before McMath's death and all material after that date was collected by Mohler.

The collection includes seven major types of records: historical/informational materials; correspondence; minutes/reports; governance records including papers of the board of directors and the executive committee; committee and subcommittee files; financial/funding records; files about the Kitt Peak and Cerro Tololo observatories; and miscellaneous which includes a few folders of photographs. Correspondence is divided into three groups according to the originators of the files. Within each group some correspondence is arranged chronologically and some by correspondent, but there is considerable overlap between the two sequences. Reports, minutes, and financial records are arranged chronologically.


Franklin H. Bailey papers [microform], 1861-1912

2 microfilms


The Franklin H. Bailey collection contains correspondence, diaries, a scrapbook, photographs, and other materials (including military discharge papers, Civil War songbooks, and scientific papers). 56 letters written to his parents in Adrian, Michigan from 1861-1865 detail his time in the military, with references to camp life, religion, sickness, concern over money matters, and skirmishes in which he was engaged, including a graphic account of the battle of Pittsburg Landing. An additional undated Civil War letter from Minerva Bailey's first husband, Levi Greenfield, reports on rumors of victories at Richmond and Vicksburg. Later correspondence includes letters he wrote to his wife while on a trip abroad in 1873 and a scrapbook of letters, 1880-1901, primarily concerning educational matters. Diaries (1865-1883) at least partially written in Pitman shorthand provide additional information on his war service, student life at Hillsdale College, finances, and teaching and scientific interests. A poem titled "Big Yank" refers to the Peninsula Campaign in 1862.


Fred Hammond collection, 1957-1992 (majority within 1950s-1960s)

0.5 linear feet (in 3 boxes; boxes 2 and 3 are oversize)

Collection consists of photographs taken by photographer Fred Hammond for use by the Michigan Department of Transportation and personal photos.

Mostly black-and-white photographs depict road construction, transportation, astronomy, buildings and structures, scenes of nature, severe weather, tourist scenes, portraits, photographs of the highway patrol photo shop, and photographs of the Faith Lutheran Church in Okemos, Michigan. Collection includes oversize photos of President John F. Kennedy, Governor G. Mennen Williams, and John C. Mackie who served as the Michigan State Highway Commissioner in 1957-1964. Some Michigan Department of Transportation publications, advertisements, and newspaper clippings are also included within the collection. Photographs are all in relation to the state of Michigan.


Heber Doust Curtis papers, 1889-1890, 1900-1908, 1921-1942

1.3 linear feet

Professor of astronomy at University of Michigan. Personal correspondence, mainly with family, describing his various astronomical expeditions to Chile and Sumatra; also speeches and photographs.

The collection consists mainly of copies of letters to family describing his work in astronomy, trips to Mexico, Sumatra and Europe and comments on current events with frequent references to personal family matters. There is one letter, July 19, 1925, concerning the teaching of evolution in the schools with comments about Clarence Darrow, William Jennings Bryan, and the Scopes trial.


Observatory (University of Michigan) records, 1855-1985

18 linear feet — 1 oversize volume — 350 architectural drawings

Records of astronomical observatories operated by the University of Michigan including the Detroit Observatory on the Ann Arbor campus (1855-), the Lamont-Hussey Observatory (Bloemfontein, South Africa, 1928-), the McMath-Hulbert Observatory (Portage Lake, Michigan, 1935-1979), the Portage Lake/Peach Mountain Observatory (Dexter, Michigan, 1948-. Records include correspondence files, administrative files, observation notebooks, photographs and architectural drawings.

The University of Michigan Observatory records include those of the Lamont-Hussey Observatory, the McMath-Hulbert Observatory, the Peach Mountain Observatory, the Angell Hall Laboratory, the Department of Astronomy, and records of faculty members. Documentation consists of correspondence, astronomical and meteorological observation records, financial records, reports, scrapbooks and blueprints. The collection is divided into seven series: Correspondence, Observatories, Department of Astronomy, Scrapbooks and Clippings, Observation Charts and Notebooks, Photographs, and Blueprints.


William A. Hiltner papers, 1942-1991

11 linear feet

Astronomer, professor of astronomy at the University of Chicago, later at the University of Michigan. Biographical material, correspondence, topical files, teaching materials, research files, and photographs relating to professional interests, including his interest in photoelectric photometry leading to the discovery of interstellar polarization; also files relating to various observatories.

The papers of William A. Hiltner cover his active role both in the Department of Astronomy at the University of Michigan and in the field of astronomy in general. The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence and topical files. Also included are some teaching and research materials and files relating to his professional associations.