• Thomas Edison, W. W. Campbell, and Phoebe Hearst at Lick Observatory in 1915.

Mary Lea Shane Archives

This archive was established in honor of astronomers Dr. Charles Donald Shane, former Director of the University of California’s Lick Observatory, and Dr. Mary Lea Shane, whose effort to preserve and organize the early records of the Lick Observatory was critical to documenting the history of the world’s first mountain-top observatory. The endowment provides ongoing support for the archives as well as essential indexes and finding aides.

The Mary Lea Shane Archives of the Lick Observatory consists of correspondence, letterpress copybooks, photographs, portraits, diaries, and logs related to the planning, construction, personnel, and activities of the Lick Observatory. Endowment income is used to maintain and enrich the archives, including support for acquisitions, copying, facilities, supplies, and equipment, and staffing for processing, indexing, and public service.

View Lick Observatory Records Digital Archive

Lick Observatory Records at UC Santa Cruz

Special Collections at the University Library of the University of California, Santa Cruz, hosts 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 includes records from about 1870 to the mid-twentieth century describing the founding construction and operation of the observatory and documenting all aspects of the early astronomical ambitions and achievements of its founders. The following Lick Observatory Records can be viewed:

  • Series 1: Correspondence
  • Series 2: Business records
  • Series 3: Directors' files
  • Series 4: Expeditions
  • Series 5: Research and Publication files
  • Series 6: Glass negatives
  • Series 7: Photographs
  • Series 8: Lick History

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.


View Lick Observatory Records