The History of the Mt. Hamilton Lick Observatory (Campbell Museums)

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Join the Campbell Museums on August 9 as we welcome Dr. Paul Lynam from the Lick Observatory Historical Collections, as he presents the History of the James Lick Observatory.

James Lick (August 25, 1796 – October 1, 1876) was the wealthiest man in California at the time of his death. Lick bequeathed the majority of his fortune to the establishment of a mountaintop observatory. In 1888, Lick Observatory was completed and given to the University of California as the Lick Astronomical Department. The Observatory was the first permanently staffed mountain top observatory in the world and housed the largest refracting telescope in the world at that time.

Today, the Lick Observatory is an active astronomical research observatory. Over the last two centuries, a wealth of material about the development of astronomy since the observatory's founding was gathered on Mount Hamilton. Many of the items are important artifacts pertaining to the observatory's scientific life and they remain on the mountain. In 2008, the James Lick Observatory Historical Collections Project started to preserve the artifacts and make them accessible to the public for research.

For more information on the Historical Collections Project, please visit:

This event is an online event held via Zoom conferencing. This event is free for Campbell Museum and $10 to the general public. Please support your local museums!

Event Details

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51 N Central Ave (zoom lectures)
Campbell, CA 95008
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