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UAV 630.100

Harvard College Observatory. Records of Boyden Station, Arequipa, Peru, 1888-1927 : an inventory

Harvard University Archives


Harvard University

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: UAV 630.100
Repository: Harvard University Archives
Creator: Harvard College Observatory
Title: Records of the Harvard College Observatory : the Boyden Station, Arequipa, Peru, 1888-1927.
Date(s): 1888-1927.
Quantity: 4.2 cubic feet (12 document boxes, 1 portfolio box)
Abstract: Harvard's first astronomical observatory was established in 1839 in Cambridge, Massachusetts and became the Harvard College Observatory. Boyden Station was established to allow for observations from the Southern Hemisphere and was located in Arequipa, Peru. The Station was moved to a spot near Bloemfontien in the Orange Free State, South Africa in 1927. These records document the establishment and administration of the Boyden Station observatory in Arequipa, Peru, and the astronomical and meteorological research undertaken at the Station, as well as life and travel in late nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century Peru.

Acquisition Information:

Records transferred to the Harvard University Archives from the Harvard College Observatory.

Processing Information:

The Records of the Harvard College Observatory were first classified and described in the Harvard University Archives shelflist prior to 1990. In April 2008, records pertaining to Boyden Station in Arequipa, Peru, were gathered together and re-processed by Dominic P. Grandinetti. Re-processing included reorganizing the Boyden Station material, establishing series and subseries, re-housing materials in the appropriate containers, including acid-free folders, and preparing this inventory.
Call numbers were simplified and reassigned. A list of obsolete call numbers is included in this finding aid.

Researcher Access:

Open for research.

Existence and Location of Copies:

Some of the records have been digitized and are available online. Links to digital content accompany descriptions.

Preferred Citation:

Harvard College Observatory. Records of Boyden Station,Arequipa, Peru, 1888-1927. UAV 630.100, Harvard University Archives.

Related Material

Archival Materials

Library Materials

Historical Note

In 1891, the Harvard College Observatory (HCO) established the Boyden Station, a high-altitude astronomical observatory in Arequipa, Peru. It was named for Uriah A. Boyden, whose gift of $250,000 funded its construction and operation. In active service for thirty six years, the Boyden Station enabled astronomers at the HCO to extend their survey of the skies to the southern hemisphere.
Under the direction of Edward C. Pickering, William H. Pickering, Solon I. Bailey,John S. Paraskevopoulos, and others, the Boyden Station staff took extensive measurements and thousands of photographs of stars,meteors,comets, novae,clusters, nebulae,planets, and the Milky Way. The glass plate negatives were shipped to the Harvard College Observatory in Cambridge for analysis. Eventually, severe weather conditions rendered observations at Arequipa increasingly difficult and in 1927 the Station was moved to Bloemfontein, South Africa.



List of supervisors at the Boyden Station, Arequipa, Peru from 1889-1927


Scope of the Collection

The Records of the Harvard College Observatory: the Boyden Station, Arequipa, Peru, document the establishment and administration of the Boyden Station, astronomical and meteorological research activities undertaken at the station, and travel and life in late nineteenth and early twentieth century Peru. The weekly correspondence in this collection between the director of the Harvard College Observatory in Cambridge and the director of the Boyden Station in Arequipa, Peru, documents virtually every reportable aspect of research and study carried out at the Station. In addition, this collection contains Solon I. Bailey's journals and notebooks describing his expeditions to establish an observatory in both South America and later in South Africa. The records contain letterpress books, journals, notebooks, invoices, postcards, telegrams, lists, sketches, and photographs.

Inventory update

This document last updated 2016 November 3.

Obsolete Call Numbers

The following list provides a map to call numbers that were made obsolete by the archivist during the 2008 re-processing. All the materials for the Records of the Harvard College Observatory: the Boyden Station, Arequipa, Peru, now fall under the single call number UAV 630.100.

UAV 630.109

UAV 630.109.2

UAV 630.109.4

UAV 630.109.6

UAV 630.388.5

UAV 630.388.7

UAV 630.389

UAV 630.390

UAV 630.393

UAV 630.393.2

UAV 630.393.5

Container List