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Photograph (Albumen Print) of the University Observatory at the University Museum, Oxford, c.1860

Inventory Number: 12874
Object Type:
Accession Number:
Brief Description: Albumen print. A small stone-built observatory building consisting of a single-storey rectangular transit room with hipped slit roof and a low tower with conical slit roof; set on a lawn, with gravel or roadway in foreground. Horizontal format. Foxed.
This is the only known photograph of the original University Observatory in Oxford, built as a component of the University Museum (opened 1860) and replaced by the better-known and much larger University Observatory of 1875. It was situated immediately behind the University Museum, the site now occupied by the Pitt Rivers Museum. The building and its environs look pristine in the photograph, suggesting it was taken immediately on completion. It was designed to fulfil the very modest requirements of the then professor of astronomy W. F. Donkin, but was considered inadequate by his successor in 1870, Charles Pritchard.
Primary Inscriptions:
Provenance: From the University Observatory, Oxford. Part of MS Museum 117, one of several groups of papers of the Observatory received either from H. H. Turner or from F. A. Bellamy.
Collection Group:
Material(s): Paper
Height Width Depth Diameter Unit
91 110 mm

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