Browse Collections (6 total)



This collection contains photographs of the Observatory from a variety of sources. Included are postcards, images from publications, and photographs…

Contributors: Department of Astronomy, Personal collection of Michael Svec

Physical apparatus

Selenium cell in wooden box

In addition to equipment attached to the telescope, astronomers, especially in the "new astronomy," often had laboratory equipment that could be found…

Contributors: Department of Astronomy



One of the oldest responsibilities of an astronomer was the measurement of time. Before telegraph and radios, each observatory had special equipment…

Contributors: Department of Astronomy

Sextants and accessories

Bausch, Lomb, Saegmuller Company sextant

The "old astronomy" was dominated by the precise measurement of the positions of the stars and the determination of time. At Illinois, astronomy was…

Contributors: Department of Astronomy


P & R Wittstock transit

Telescopes are the eyes on the universe and an observatory typically has a variety of telescopes, some permanently mounted other portable. Telescopes…

Contributors: Department of Astronomy

Instrument collection

filar micrometer

For most of human history, our eyes served as the recording device for our observations of the night sky. Later, developments in photography began to…

Contributors: Department of Astronomy