Fonds - Rothney astrophysical observatory fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

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Rothney astrophysical observatory fonds

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Also known as RAO.

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Dates of creation area


  • 1961-2005 (gaps exist) (Creation)
    Rothney Astrophysical Observatory

Physical description area

Physical description

.98 m of textual records. – ca. 1,000 photographs

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Archival description area

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Scope and content

The fonds consists of records primarily created or collected by Dr. Milone and Dr. Clark during their multi-decade tenure as co-Directors of the RAO. The records chart the early visions for the observatory and the gradual accumulation of equipment and infrastructure to support teaching and research. Records include correspondence on the acquisition of the land, the purchase of the first telescope (.4 m), subsequent telescopes and mirrors (1.5 m and 1.8 m), the photometry system, and the construction of the domes and the Visitor Centre. The records also include grant applications, budgets and financial materials, and administrative records including meeting notes, agendas and correspondence. Graphic materials document celebrations and ceremonies, and also the various milestones achieved by the acquisition of equipment and construction of various building components as well as teaching activities and outreach including Open Houses.

The fonds is arranged into five series: (1) History and Development; (2) Administration and Operations; (3) Technology and Infrastructure; (4) Teaching and Research; and (5) Graphic Materials.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

The records were deposited in the University Archives in 2006 by Dr. Eugene F. Milone, then, co-Director of the RAO and member of the Department of Physics. A small accrual was received in 2011.


For the most part, records were found in file folders or placed in envelopes or other temporary enclosures. Chronological order has either been maintained or artificially created by the arranging archivist in accordance with the majority of the records. Where no file titles were apparent, these have been created according to the content of the records, or transcribed from notes accompanying the records. Duplicates of records and financial administrative records have been destroyed.

Dr. Milone attached many explanatory notes to the records; these notes have been copied and appended to the appropriate records. Dr. Milone has also annotated many of the graphic materials with explanatory notes and names of individuals.

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Language and script note

Records are primarily in English; a small number are in German and Spanish.

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Restrictions on access

All personal information found in the grant applications is restricted.

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Finding aids

File list available.

Associated materials

For records of the Cross family, see the A.E. Cross family fonds at the Glenbow Archives.

For records related to the development and construction of the RAO, see also the Department of Facilities Management fonds, the Board of Governors fonds, and the Executive Suite fonds. For records relating to the bestowing of an Honorary Degree on Mr. Alexander Cross, see Honorary Degree Recipient Collection.

Related materials


No further accruals are expected.

General note

Record No. UARC 2006.025 and 2011.043

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