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Vanderbilt University

When Vanderbilt University opened its doors in 1875, a small astronomical observatory was constructed for use by the faculty and students. In 1883, Bishop Holland McTyeire offered Barnard a fellowship which placed him in charge of the Observatory. Barnard remained at Vanderbilt until 1887, when he accepted a position at Lick Observatory on Mt. Hamilton, near San Jose, California. Years after his death, the old Observatory was renamed in Barnard's honor. Barnard's presence is still evident on the current Vanderbilt campus - a sundial marks the original location of the Barnard Observatory, and a student dormitory still bears his name.


letter, March 6th, 1883

 


March 6, 1883

Letter from Bishop Holland McTyeire to Barnard, offering him a fellowship at Vanderbilt University and placing him in charge of the Vanderbilt Observatory.

 


Barnard's residence

 

 

Barnard’s residence on campus.

 


Barnard Observatory

 

Barnard Observatory

Built in 1875, the Observatory was renamed in Barnard’s honor in 1942.  Razed in 1952, bricks from the building were used for the director’s house and swimming pool at Dyer Observatory as well as for Barnard Hall, a campus dormitory.

 


letter, July 21, 1885

 


July 21, 1885

Letter from Chancellor Landon C. Garland to Barnard congratulating him on a comet discovery on July 4th.

 


Meridian Circle Telescope

 



Meridian Circle Telescope

Barnard Observatory, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee. Currently located at the Dyer Observatory.

 


letter, August 6, 1886

 


August 6, 1886

Letter from Bishop Holland McTyeire to Barnard, pleading with him to take a vacation.  Barnard’s devotion to his work often resulted in physical exhaustion.

 


letter, July 15, 1887

 

July 15, 1887

Letter from Chancellor Landon C. Garland giving Barnard permission to make any changes he desired to the Observatory to facilitate his comet seeking.

 


Equatorial Room Telescope

 

Equatorial Room Telescope

Barnard Observatory, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN.

 


letter, September 8, 1887

 

September 8, 1887

Barnard’s letter of resignation from the Vanderbilt Observatory.  He left Nashville soon afterward for the Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton, near San Jose, California.

 


letter, September 9, 1887

 

September 9, 1887

Letter from Bishop Holland McTyeire to Barnard, accepting his resignation from the Vanderbilt Observatory.

 


The Comet, 1887

 

The Comet, 1887

“The Comet” – Vanderbilt University’s first student yearbook – was named in honor of Barnard and his comet discoveries.

 


January 20, 1942

 

January 20, 1942

Petition by Vanderbilt University’s Barnard Astronomy Club to rename the Vanderbilt Observatory in honor of E. E. Barnard

 


Barnard Hall, 1952
Barnard Hall, 1952

Built in 1952, this dormitory was named in honor of Barnard.  Bricks from the razed Barnard Observatory were used in the construction.

 


Sundial

Sundial

This sundial, located near Rand Hall, marks the site of the original Barnard Observatory.  The base of the sundial is made of bricks from the original observatory.