Andrew Ellicott Douglass papers

AZ 072
Andrew Ellicott Douglass at his desk in his lab office

Photograph of Andrew Ellicott Douglass working at his desk in the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, beneath the University of Arizona Football stadium.

Collection area: History of Science

Collection dates: 1867-1962

About this collection

Chiefly materials related to A.E. Douglass' astronomical and tree-ring research, and administration, at the Harvard College Observatory, Lowell Observatories, Steward Observatory, Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, and University of Arizona. Includes scientific records; clippings; photographs of astronomical images, observatories, and tree-rings; typescripts of speeches and manuscripts; his published articles; reprints of articles by others; and lecture notes. Correspondence with other scientists includes William Henry Pickering, Percival Lowell, Godfrey Sykes, and Edmund Schulman. Personal correspondence is with his wife Ida Whittington Douglass, and other family members and friends. Drafts, proofs, and final editions, (1919-1936) from of his book Climatic Cycles and Tree Growth.

Involvement with scientific organizations such as the Carnegie Institution, 1918-1938, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1919-1950, is documented; as are his scholarly contributions to conferences. Personal items cover his childhood and his student days at Trinity College, Hartford, 1885-1889; travels to other countries; and participation in numerous civic and Masonic groups. An unpublished biography of Douglass by David Brinegar is present. Photographs, mainly black-and-white, some cyanotype, depict professional and social activities, personal life, and travels. The South American photographs from the 1890s include Inca ruins in Bolivia, topical views of Chile, and the Harvard College Observatory in Arequipa, Peru. Over ninety 16mm and 35mm silent films, shot by Andrew Ellicott Douglass from 1929 to 1950, document Douglass’s research activities, as well as personal activities and travel. Films in box 182 have been placed in cold storage due to fragile condition.

Historical background

American astronomer and educator, founder of the science of dendrochronology. Associated with the Harvard College Observatory, 1889-1894, and its expedition to Peru; as well as the Lowell Observatories in Flagstaff, Arizona, 1894-1901, and Mexico, 1896-1897. At the University of Arizona, Tucson, 1906-1962; served as professor, dean and acting president, first director of the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, and also the Steward Observatory.

Access this collection

Visit us in person to access materials from this collection. Our materials are one-of-a-kind and require special care, so they can’t be checked out or taken home.

How to cite

Learn how to cite and use materials from Special Collections in your research.