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Born into extreme poverty prior to the Civil War, Edward Emerson Barnard rose to prominence as an astronomer. Credited as the world's greatest observer of his time, Barnard began his career at the Vanderbilt University Observatory in 1883 before moving on to larger observatories at the University of California and the University of Chicago. This exhibit, titled “Edward Emerson Barnard: Star Gazer,” features photographs, letters, publications and ephemera from the Edward Emerson Barnard Papers manuscript collection.

Best known for discovering Amalthea, the fifth moon of Jupiter, Barnard was also famous for his comet discoveries and is credited with discovering sixteen comets during his career, ten of which were found during his residence in Nashville. 

To view the Timeline at left, you will need Adobe Flash Player. You will also need Adobe Acrobat Reader for some of the text documents included in the exhibit.

Special Collections would like to thank Dr. Arnold Heiser, Emeritus Professor of Astronomy, for his advice and contributions to this exhibit.