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Cambridge University Observatory

 Organization

Dates and places

The University Observatory was built at a site off Madingley Road in 1823 to house telescopes, including that donated by the Duke of Northumberland. The Solar Physics Observatory moved to the same site from South Kensington in 1913. Until 1947 they operated alongside but independently of each other. In that year they were combined as the 'Cambridge Observatories'. The Institute of Theoretical Astronomy was established in 1967 and housed on the site. The Observatories were amalgamated with it to form the Institute of Astronomy in 1972.
Geographical areas Madingley Road, Cambridge
Legal status / Nationality Constituent part of the University of Cambridge
Sphere of activity Astronomical observations, teaching and research
Admin / Family structure Plumian Professor ex officio Observatory Director
Other information Much useful background information by F.J.M. Stratton 'The history of the Cambridge Observatories' in 'Annals of the Solar Physics Observatory, Cambridge' vol.1, 1949

Found in 5 Collections and/or Records:

 Fonds — Container: Obsy

Archives of the University Observatory, its sister body the Solar Physics Observatory, and their successors, the combined Observatories and Institute of Theoretical Astronomy, 1818 - 1999

Reference Code: GBR/0265/UA/Obsy
Scope and Contents The archives comprise the records of internal governance, finance, building and equipment development and astronomical observation, together with several small assortments of personal papers of individuals associated with the University Observatory, its sister and successor bodies, such as G.B. Airy, H.F. Newall and R.O. Redman.
Dates: 1818 - 1999
Conditions Governing Access: From the Management Group: The University Archives are generally freely available to the holder of a reader's ticket for the Department of Archives and Modern Manuscripts, Cambridge University Library, West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DR. Restrictions on access are imposed on certain categories of sensitive record: financial, governmental and personal, by order of the originating body or under data protection legislation. Access information, including opening hours and how to obtain a reader's ticket, appears as part of the Library's web site (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 Sub-Series

Plans and sketches of Solar Physics building, Spectroheliograph House and Siderostat House, at Cambridge University Observatory; with related papers, 1912 - 1913

Reference Code: GBR/0265/UA/P.XXVI
Scope and Contents The engineers were T. Cooke and Sons, and the contractor was William Sindall.
Dates: 1912 - 1913
Conditions Governing Access: From the Management Group: The University Archives are generally freely available to the holder of a reader's ticket for the Department of Archives and Modern Manuscripts, Cambridge University Library, West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DR. Restrictions on access are imposed on certain categories of sensitive record: financial, governmental and personal, by order of the originating body or under data protection legislation. Access information, including opening hours and how to obtain a reader's ticket, appears as part of the Library's web site (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 Sub-Series

Plans of Cambridge University Observatory; with related papers, 1821 - 1822

Reference Code: GBR/0265/UA/P.XXXVII
Scope and Contents The contractors were Munday and Bushell. All plans are unsigned. The scale is inferred as tentatively 1 inch to 5 feet, unless otherwise specified.
Dates: 1821 - 1822
Conditions Governing Access: From the Management Group: The University Archives are generally freely available to the holder of a reader's ticket for the Department of Archives and Modern Manuscripts, Cambridge University Library, West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DR. Restrictions on access are imposed on certain categories of sensitive record: financial, governmental and personal, by order of the originating body or under data protection legislation. Access information, including opening hours and how to obtain a reader's ticket, appears as part of the Library's web site (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 Sub-Series

Plans of details of Huggins and McClean Building at Cambridge University Observatory, 1908 - 1909

Reference Code: GBR/0265/UA/P.XXVIII
Scope and Contents From the Management Group: The category - Assets records - comprises records relating to property and personnel. Accounting material is in this category, alongside records of endowments, charitable trusts, buildings and employees.
Dates: 1908 - 1909
Conditions Governing Access: From the Management Group: The University Archives are generally freely available to the holder of a reader's ticket for the Department of Archives and Modern Manuscripts, Cambridge University Library, West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DR. Restrictions on access are imposed on certain categories of sensitive record: financial, governmental and personal, by order of the originating body or under data protection legislation. Access information, including opening hours and how to obtain a reader's ticket, appears as part of the Library's web site (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 Sub-Series

Plans of the details of the New Equatorial Building at Cambridge University Observatory, 1896 - 1898

Reference Code: GBR/0265/UA/P.XXVII
Scope and Contents The contractors were Rattee and Kett, Cambridge.
Dates: 1896 - 1898
Conditions Governing Access: From the Management Group: The University Archives are generally freely available to the holder of a reader's ticket for the Department of Archives and Modern Manuscripts, Cambridge University Library, West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DR. Restrictions on access are imposed on certain categories of sensitive record: financial, governmental and personal, by order of the originating body or under data protection legislation. Access information, including opening hours and how to obtain a reader's ticket, appears as part of the Library's web site (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).

The UK Archival Thesaurus has been integrated with our catalogue, thanks to Kings College London and the AIM25 project for their support with this.