Instruction in astronomy commenced in 1892 as an offering of the Mathematics Department.1 In August 1921, the Board of Trustees authorized that the Division of Astronomy in the Department of Mathematics be organized as a separate Department of Astronomy.2 In 1957, the Department began a program of cooperative investigation with the United States Office of Naval Research3 and, in 1962, the radio telescope site at Vermilion River Observatory was completed.4 The courses offered range from descriptive astronomy to aeronomy,5 with B.S.,6 M.S. and Ph.D. degrees offered.7
1. Catalogs and Registers, 1892-93, p. 57.
2. Board of Trustees Transactions, 34th Report, August 1, 1921, p. 17.
3. Board of Trustees Transactions, 49th Report, April 15, 1957, p. 372.
4. Board of Trustees Transactions, 52nd Report, November 9, 1962, p. 261.
5. Undergraduate Course Catalog, 1972/74, pp. 61-62.
Description: A history of "The Astronomical Observatory of the University of Illinois" by Michael T. Svec, describing the development of astronomy; construction of observatories; purchase and development of telescopes, photometers and related equipment; faculty research of George W. Myers, Joel Stebbins, Jakob Kunz, Robert H. Baker, George C. McVittie and others; and the nomination and listing of the observatory on the National Register of Historic Sites (1986), Astronomy and Astrophysics, A National Historic Landmark Theme Study (Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Washington, DC, 1989), of which the University of Illinois Section was based on Michael Svec's work, and University of Illinois Astronomical Observatory: Inventory and Description of Equipment (2012), and ARCH 419 class report on the history of the observatory on CD (2012).