1922 lens Lick Observatory Historical Collections Project
The Lick Observatory Historical Collections Project is pleased to anounce the publication of a new manuscript database on its website. The database was created to catalogue unique written and drawn materials (as distinct from published texts and pictures) kept on Mt.Hamilton, and as a natural complement to the ongoing cataloguing of scientific objects that has been the Project’s primary focus.
Lick logbooks As of this writing the database comprises a complete catalogue of the nearly 2,000 handwritten notebooks in the collection, including individual observers’ logbooks, telescope, instrument, and program logs, reduction books, meteorological and seismographic records, and others, dating from 1879 to the end of the twentieth century. Cataloguing helps to protect and preserve this valuable collection, and makes its contents accessible to scholars and students of the history of astronomy.
To date, about 80 of the notebooks have been digitized and made available on the site for download as PDFs. This work is slow and exacting, but we hope eventually to be able to offer digital copies of all the most interesting and historically important notebooks.

The database is searchable by author, title word(s), or notebook type. A help file, linked from the search page, tells more about the database and offers search tips.

Page of E. S. Holden's observing log

Two of the Historical Collections Project’s volunteers deserve special thanks for their indispensable help in creating the database: Andrew Macica spent many hours in the plate vault, taking each of the nearly 2,000 volumes in hand, and patiently entering its particulars in the database. Paul Bricmont brought his keen eye, photographic skill, and attention to detail to digitizing selected notebooks and assembling them into PDFs.