Yerkes Glass Plates Collection

Bd-267
Taken at Mount Wilson, 1905. #6 of Plate 51 in E. E. Barnard, A Photographic Atlas of Selected Regions of the Milky Way (1927).

The Yerkes Glass Plate Collection consists of more than 175,000 photographic glass plates negatives and their associated logbooks, located at the University of Chicago and Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay, WI. Representing images from the 1890s to the 1990s, the collection includes sky surveys, objective prism observations, and spectroscopic images, among other types of plates.

This collection shares digitized glass plates and logbooks as well as the research of University staff, faculty, and students regarding:

  • Digitization methods of astronomical photographic glass plates for contemporary scientific research
  • Metadata collection
  • Transcription of logbooks
  • Work of the women of Yerkes


Black and white image of woman wearing a jacket with her dark hair pulled back. She is seated on a bench attached to a staircase, and is looking through the eyepiece of a large telescope. Her left hand is on one of the adjusting knobs of the telescope.
Mary Calvert at the Kenwood Refractor

University of Chicago Photographic Archive, apf6-01280, Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library.

Mary Ross Calvert observing at the Kenwood Refractor at Yerkes Observatory, 1926.

A woman in a black jacket and blue jeans bends her knees to look through the eyepiece of a large, blue telescope.  A man in a gray coat wearing a black beanie hat stands to her right. He has one hand on the telescope and is pointing to it with the other. There is a person in the background whose legs show behind the telescope.
Liz Medina at the 40" Refractor

Personal photograph

Student Liz Medina observing at the 40" Refractor at Yerkes Observatory, 2019.