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Northern Hemisphere Observatory Project: the Keith Tritton Interviews, 1985 - 2007

Reference Code: GBR/0180/RGO 86/2

Scope and Contents

A series of interviews made by Dr Keith Tritton, officer in charge of the La Palma Observatory, between 1985-1986, to present a personal and human view of the Northern Hemisphere Observatory Project. The interviewees describe the search for a site for what was then called the 'Northern Hemisphere Observatory', the eventual selection of the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos on La Palma, the construction of the ING telescopes and the setting up of the ING organisation.

Note that a digital copy of these interviews (RGO 86/2/6) can be accessed in the Manuscripts Reading Room along with accompanying transcripst (RGO 86/2/7-8).


  • Creation: 1985 - 2007


Conditions Governing Access

Please request digital access copy catalogued at RGO 86/2/6. The provisions of the Data Protection Act 2018 and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) apply to access.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright Keith Tritton. Extracts from the interviews may be used but users must acknowledge Keith Tritton.

Biographical / Historical

Dr. Keith Tritton (b.1944) is an astronomer and observatory manager. He joined the Royal Greenwich Observatory as a research astronomer in 1967 and later worked at the Radcliffe Observatory in South Africa and the Royal Observatory Edinburgh. Tritton was head of the UK Schmidt Telescope in Australia and of the Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes in the Canary Islands before his return to the Royal Greenwich Observatory where he was head of the Astronomy Division until his retirement in 1997. On La Palma, Tritton was Joe Gietzen’s successor as officer in charge of the Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes, taking over in May 1984 and staying till 1987, a period that coincided with the first operational years of the Isaac Newton and Jacobus Kapteyn telescopes. In 1985 and 1986 he carried out and recorded interviews with a number of the British scientists and engineers who had played various roles in the events that led up to the establishment of the Isaac Newton Group.


10 cassette(s) (10 compact cassette tapes) : audio tape, cd & paper

9 disc(s) (9 CD ROMs)

9 folder(s)

Language of Materials


Date information

DateText: original interviews are dated 1985-1986.


Keith P. Tritton

Finding aid date

2015-03-18 12:26:55+00:00

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
West Road
Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom