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Capturing the Stars: The Untold History of Women at Yerkes Observatory
Women contributed to the advancement of astronomy and astrophysics at Yerkes Observatory in the early twentieth century. They were not only calculators or assistants. They earned degrees, conducted their own research, collaborated on projects with peers of both sexes, worked on publications, and went on to have a variety of careers both within and beyond the sciences. Yet their stories have remained untold—until now.
Drawing from letters, books, journals, photographs, astronomical glass plates, and scientific tools from the University of Chicago Library’s Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center, as well as materials borrowed from Yerkes Observatory, Lowell Observatory, and the Adler Planetarium, this exhibition explores the astronomical work and lived experiences of the women who contributed to astronomical research at the Yerkes Observatory. In so doing, it also foregrounds the ways in which Yerkes Observatory was a uniquely welcoming place for women and the role communities play in the advancement of both science and individual careers.
Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday: 9 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.; Wednesday: 10 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.