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Historical Research


ASSA Bloemfontein has an active History Group researching various topics of historical interest, especially relating to astronomical history in Bloemfontein. People interested in the work of this group can contact us for more info.

Present Activities

The Lamont-Hussey Observatory
Research on the Lamont-Hussey Observatory, situated on Naval Hill in Bloemfontein, now a drama theatre (known as the "Observatory Theatre"). The research involves the accumulation of information and articles to assist Dr. Patrick Seitzer of the University of Michigan. The studies also aim to heighten the public's awareness in Bloemfontein on the Observatory and its history. Go to Lamont-Hussey website.

Boyden Observatory's heritage
An informal and ongoing effort to ensure the survival of historical Boyden documents, pictures and related archives. Read a summary of the Boyden history on the Physics Department's site for Boyden: Boyden History.

Roberts Archives
Assisting Boyden, Tim Cooper and Brian Fraser with the A.W. Roberts variable star archives left at Boyden Observatory many decades ago. An international effort cooperating with AAVSO in the USA. Contact the club for more information.

The 10 inch Photographic Triplet Metcalf Refractor
The Metcalf telescope has been restored together with Boyden Observatory and the Friends of Boyden to an operational state, where it is now used for amateur and sometimes public observations. Discussions with Richard R Diddick revealed his research into Rev. J.H. Metcalf, the maker of the 10 inch's mirrors. Go to the Metcalf Memorial Page.

Digitizing of the Centre minutes
Mr. Dawie van Jaarsveldt has spent countless hours to summarize all the ASSA Bloemfontein minutes from its first meeting in 1959, in order to be placed on the internet. It was officially completed in 2005, but is still ongoing for current years. Go to the archives.


Southern African Astronomical History



ASSA National Historical section:

...the most comprehensive database on Southern African astronomical history - one cannot ask for more. Maintained by Chris de Coning, director of ASSA's historical section. Go to ASSA history database.

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