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Table of Contents

Institutional History

AbstractPast PresidentsImportant DatesPlacesSubjectsCitations

Relationships

PeopleInstitutions

Resources

Archival as AuthorArchival as SubjectPublished as Author

American Astronomical Society

Photo

Dates

1899 – present

Authorized Form of Name

American Astronomical Society

Additional Forms of Names

AAS

American Astronomy Society

Astronomical and Astrophysical Society of America

Institutional History

Abstract

The American Astronomical Society was founded in 1899 as the Astronomical and Astrophysical Society of America. The name was changed in 1914. Its purpose is the advancement of astronomy and closely related branches of science. The Society became an Associate Member of the American Institute of Physics in 1958 and has been a full Member Society since 1966. It is also affiliated with the International Astronomical Union.

Past Presidents

1899-1905, Simon Newcomb.

1905-19, Edward C. Pickering.

1919-22, Frank Schlesinger.

1922-25, W. W. Campbell.

1925-28, G. C. Comstock.

1928-31, Ernest W. Brown.

1931-34, Walter S. Adams.

1934-37, Henry Norris Russell.

1937-40, Robert G. Aitken.

1940-43, Joel Stebbins.

1943-46, Harlow Shapley.

1946-49, Otto Struve.

1949-52, Alfred H. Joy.

1952-54, Robert R. McMath.

1954-56, Donald H. Menzel.

1956-58, Paul Merrill.

1958-60, G. M. Clemence.

1960-62, Lyman Spitzer, Jr.

1962-64, C. S. Beals.

1964-66, Leo Goldberg.

1966-67, Bengt Stromgren.

1967-70, Albert E. Whitford.

1970-72, Martin Schwarzschild.

1972-74, Bart J. Bok.

1974-76, Robert P. Kraft.

1976-78, E. Margaret Burbidge.

1978-80, Ivan R. King.

1980-82, David Heeschen.

1982-84, Arthur D. Code.

1984-86, Maarten Schmidt.

1986-88, Bernard F. Burke.

1988-90, Donald E. Osterbrock.

1990-92, John N. Bahcall.

1992-94, Sidney Wolff.

1994-96, Frank Shu.

1996-98, Andrea K. Dupree.

1998-2000, Robert D. Gehrz.

2000-02, Anneila I. Sargent.

2002-04, Catherine A. Pilachowski.

2004-06, Robert P. Kirshner.

2006-08, J. Craig Wheeler.

2008-10, John P. Huchra.

2010-12, Debra M. Elmegreen.

2012-14, David J. Helfand.

2014-16, C. Megan Urry.

Important Dates

1899Society founded as the Astronomical and Astrophysical Society of America.

September 1899First meeting of the society at Yerkes Observatory, Williams Bay (Wis.).

1914Name changed to the American Astronomical Society (AAS).

1934Annie Jump Cannon Award established for outstanding research and promise for future research by a postdoctoral woman researcher.

1946Henry Norris Russell Lectureship established and chose on the basis of a lifetime of eminence in astronomical research.

1954Helen B. Warner Prize for Astronomy established for a significant contribution to observational or theoretical astronomy during the five years preceding the award and the recipient is under 36 years of age.

1962 – 1969Paul M. Routly, Executive Officer.

1968Division for Planetary Sciences created.

1969Solar Physics Division created.

1969 – 1979Hank M. Gurin, Executive Officer.

1970High Energy Astrophysics Division created.

1970Division of Dynamical Astronomy created.

1974Newton Lacy Pierce Prize in Astronomy established for oustanding achievement, over the past five years, in observational astronomical research based on measurements of radiation from an astronomical object.

1979Dannie Heineman Prize for Astrophysics established and awarded jointly with the American Institute of Physics to recognize outstanding mid-career work in the field of astrophysics.

1979 – 1995Peter B. Boyce, Executive Officer.

1980Historical Astronomy Division created.

1982Chretien International Research Grants established.

1986Beatrice M. Tinsley Prize established for an outstanding research contribution to astronomy or astrophysics, of an exceptionally creative or innovative character.

1995 – 2006Robert W. Milkey, Executive Officer.

1996The Astrophysical Journal (ApJ) first published.

1997AAS assumed responsibility for the George Van Biesbroeck Prize to honor a living individual for long-term extraordinary or unselfish service to astronomy.

2000Education Prize established for outstanding contributions to the education of the public, students, and/or the next generation of professional astronomers.

2001 – 2013Astronomy Education Review published.

2002Joseph Weber Award for Astronomical Instrumentation established for the design, invention, or significant improvement of instrumentation leading to advances in astronomy.

2006Chambliss Amateur Achievement Award established for an achievement in astronomical research made by an amateur astronomer.

2006Chambliss Astronomical Writing Award established for astronomy writing for an academic audience, specifically textbooks at either the upper-division undergraduate or the graduate level.

2006Chamblissh Astronomy Achievement Student Awards established to recognize exemplary research by undergraduate and graduate students who present at one of the poster sessions at the meetings of the AAS.

2006 – presentKevin B. Marvel, Executive Officer.

2011Lancelot M. Berkeley New York Community Trust Prize for Meritorious Work in Astronomy established for highly meritorious work in advancing the science of astronomy during the previous year.

2012Laboratory Astrophysics Division created.

Places

Meeting

Williams Bay (Wis.)

Headquarters

Washington (D.C.)

Subjects

Astronomers.

Astronomical observatories.

Astronomy -- Societies, etc.

Astronomy -- Study and teaching.

Astronomy.

Science -- International cooperation.

Telescopes.

Citations

From the American Astronomical Society (AAS) website.

Relationships

People

Employees & Officers

Adams, Walter S. (Walter Sydney), 1876-1956

President.

Aitken, Robert Grant, 1864-1951

President.

Bahcall, John N.

President; Committee Member, Division of High Energy Astrophysics; and Member, Council.

Beals, Carlyle Smith, 1899-

President.

Bok, Bart J. (Bart Jan), 1906-1983

President.

Boyce, Peter B.

Executive Officer.

Brown, Ernest W. (Ernest William), 1866-1938

President.

Burbidge, E. Margaret

President.

Burke, Bernard F., 1928-

President.

Campbell, William Wallace, 1862-1938

President.

Chandrasekhar, S. (Subrahmanyan), 1910-1995

Member, Council.

Clemence, Gerald M. (Gerald Maurice), 1908-

President and Editor, Astronomical Journal.

Code, Arthur D.

President.

Comstock, George C. (George Cary), 1855-1934

President.

Dupree, Andrea K.

President.

Elmegreen, Debra Meloy, 1952-

President.

Friedman, Herbert, 1916-2000

Member, Council.

Gehrz, Robert D.

President.

Geller, Margaret J.

Member, Committee on the Status of Women and Member, Council.

Giacconi, Riccardo

Member, Council.

Goldberg, Leo

President.

Gurin, Herman Meyer

Executive Officer.

Heeschen, David S.

President.

Helfand, D. J. (David J.), 1950-

President.

Huchra, John P.

President.

Joy, Alfred H. (Alfred Harrison), 1882-1973

President.

Kaspi, Victoria Michelle, 1967-

Member, Executive Committee, High Energy Astrophysics Division.

King, Ivan R.

President.

Kirshner, Robert P., 1949-

President.

Kraft, Robert P. (Robert Paul), 1927-

President.

Marvel, Kevin

Executive Officer.

McMath, Robert R. (Robert Raynolds), 1891-1962

President.

Menzel, Donald H. (Donald Howard), 1901-1976

President.

Merrill, Paul W. (Paul Willard), 1887-1961

President.

Milkey, Robert W.

Executive Officer.

Morrison, Philip

Council Member.

Newcomb, Simon, 1835-1909

President.

Osterbrock, Donald E.

President.

Pickering, Edward C. (Edward Charles), 1846-1919

President.

Pilachowski, Catherine A.

President.

Routly, Paul McRae

Executive Officer.

Russell, Henry Norris, 1877-1957

President.

Sargent, Anneila Isabel, 1942-

President.

Schlesinger, Frank, 1871-1943

President.

Schmidt, Maarten, 1929-

President.

Schwarzschild, Martin

President.

Shapley, Harlow, 1885-1972

President.

Shu, Frank H.

President.

Spitzer, Lyman, 1914-1997

President.

Stebbins, Joel, 1878-1966

President.

Stromgren, Bengt, 1908-1987

President.

Struve, Otto, 1819-1905

President.

Taylor, Joseph H. (Joseph Hooton)

Councilor, High Energy Astrophysics Division.

Thorne, Kip S.

Member, Governing Committee, High Energy Astrophysics Division.

Urry, Claudia Megan

President.

Wheeler, J. Craig

President.

Whitford, Albert E. (Albert Edward), 1905-2002

President.

Wolff, Sidney C.

President.

Woosley, Stanford E.

Member, Council.

Associates & Members

Abell, George O. (George Ogden), 1927-1983

Aitken, Malcolm

Babcock, Horace W.

Brunk, William Edward, 1928-

Burbidge, Geoffrey R.

DeVorkin, David H., 1944-

Dieke, Sally H. (Sally Harrison), 1913-1989

Druyan, Ann, 1949-

Edmondson, Frank K. (Frank Kelley), 1912-

Ford, Kenneth William, 1926-

Hale, George Ellery, 1868-1938

Harwood, Margaret, 1885-1979

Hoag, Arthur A. (Arthur Allen), 1921-1999

Hoffleit, Dorrit

Johnson, Hugh M.

Koch, Herman William, 1920-

Latham, David W.

Maran, Stephen P.

Meggers, William F. (William Frederick), 1888-1966

Michelson, Albert A. (Albert Abraham), 1852-1931

Nassau, Jason John, 1893-1965

Oertel, Goetz Kuno Heinrich, 1934-

Ramaty, R.

Rubin, Vera C., 1928-2016

Sagan, Carl, 1934-1996

Slack, L. (Lewis), 1924-

Smarr, Larry L.

Townes, Charles H.

Van de Kamp, Peter, 1901-1995

Walker, Richard L., 1938-

Weaver, Harold F.

Willson, L. A. (Lee Anne)

Wilson, Robert Woodrow, 1936-

Institutions

Collaborators

American Association for the Advancement of Science

Have held joint meetings.

American Institute of Physics

Member Society.

Yerkes Observatory

Site of first meeting.

Associates

Harvard College Observatory

Sproul Observatory

Van Biesbroeck Award, Inc.

Resources

Archival Resources

Author

A radio view of the universe [motion picture].

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

American Astronomical Society centennial [sound recording]: 194th meeting of the American Astronomical Society, 1999 May 30 - June 3.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

American Astronomical Society correspondence, 1981-2004.

University Archives

University of Washington

Mailstop #0-10. Seattle, WA 98195, USA

American Astronomical Society Division on Dynamical Astronomy addition to records, 1967-2004.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

American Astronomical Society Division on Dynamical Astronomy records, 1969-2000.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

American Astronomical Society Education Office records, 1959-1984.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

American Astronomical Society Harlow Shapley Visiting Lectureship Program records, 1980-1999.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

American Astronomical Society Historical Astronomy Division addition to records, 1898-1998 (bulk 1996-1998).

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

American Astronomical Society Historical Astronomy Division addition to records: obituary files, 1995-1998.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

American Astronomical Society Historical Astronomy Division addition to the records of the Secretary/Treasurer, 1974-2000.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

American Astronomical Society Historical Astronomy Division Preservation Committee records, 1981-1984.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

American Astronomical Society Historical Astronomy Division records of Chairman Thomas R. Williams, 1979-2005.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

American Astronomical Society Historical Astronomy Division records of the Secretary/Treasurer, 1980-1994, (bulk 1985-1992).

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

American Astronomical Society minutes, 1897-1962.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

American Astronomical Society miscellaneous publications, 1918-2013.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

American Astronomical Society Office of the Secretary addition to records, circa 1990-2000.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

American Astronomical Society Office of the Secretary records of Arlo Landolt, 1961-2001.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

American Astronomical Society Office of the Treasurer records of Frank K. Edmondson, 1898-1979.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

American Astronomical Society records, 1897-1988 (bulk 1920-1980).

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

American Astronomical Society Solar Physics Division records, 1966-1996.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Conference on astronomy and the state [sound recording], 1994.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Exploring the Milky Way [motion picture].

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Invited papers regarding the 75th anniversary of the American Astronomical Society [sound recording], 1974 August 22.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Papers appearing in The Astronomical Journal and The Astrophysical Journal presenting research ultimately recognized by the awarding of the 2011 Nobel Prize in physics, 2011 December 1.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Personal histories of x-ray astronomy records, 1967-2013.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Recollections prepared for the 75th anniversary of the American Astronomical Society [sound recording], 1974.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Science and engineering television journal: observatories in space [motion picture], presented by the American Astronomical Society ; produced by John K. Mackenzie ; directed by Bud Myers ; 1965 January 13.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Selected presentations from the AAS centennial meeting [sound recording], 1999 May 30-June 3.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Subject

AIP Office of the Director records of H. William Koch and Kenneth W. Ford, 1966-1992.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

AIP Office of the Director records of H. William Koch, 1932-1988 (bulk 1966-1987).

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

AIP Office of the Secretary addition to records, 1931-2007.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

AIP Physics Programs Division records of Lewis Slack, 1968-1988.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Arthur A. Hoag papers, 1918-1999.

Lowell Observatory

1400 West Mars Road, Flagstaff, Arizona 86001, USA

Arthur D. Code papers, 1958-1984.

University Archives

University of Wisconsin -- Madison

Steenbock Library, Madison, WI 53706, USA

David H. DeVorkin papers, circa 1979-2002.

Archives

Smithsonian Institution

Capital Gallery, Suite 3000, MRC 507, 600 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20024-2520, USA

Dorrit Hoffleit papers, 1906-2005.

Schlesinger Library

Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study

Cambridge, MA 02138, USA

George C. Comstock papers, 1909-1915.

University Archives

University of Wisconsin -- Madison

Steenbock Library, Madison, WI 53706, USA

George Ellery Hale papers [microform], 1882-1938.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

George Van Biesbroeck Award records, 1963-2003.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Harvard College Observatory Office of the Director records of Edward C. Pickering, 1864-1926.

Archives. Pusey Library

Harvard University

Cambridge, MA 02138, USA

Harvard College Observatory records from scientific conferences and meetings, 1910-1975.

Archives. Pusey Library

Harvard University

Cambridge, MA 02138, USA

Harvard College Observatory records, 1843-1978.

Archives. Pusey Library

Harvard University

Cambridge, MA 02138, USA

Henry N. Russell correspondence [microform], 1890-1950.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Hugh M. Johnson papers, 1946-1999.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

J. Craig Wheeler papers, 2005-2010.

Center for American History. University Archives

University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX 78713, USA

Jason John Nassau papers, 1919-1977.

Archives

Case Western Reserve University

10900 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44106-7229, USA

L. A. Willson papers, 1974-2009, undated.

parks Library. Archives of Women in Science and Engineering

Iowa State University

Ames, IA 50011, USA

Larry Smarr papers, 1956-2000.

University Archives

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

1408 West Gregory Drive, Urbana, IL 61801, USA

Lyman Spitzer papers, 1936-1997.

Department of Rare Books and Special Collections

Princeton University

1 Washington Road, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA

Margaret Harwood papers, 1902-1974.

Schlesinger Library

Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study

Cambridge, MA 02138, USA

Oral history interview with Andrea Dupree, 2007 October 29.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Bart Jan Bok, 1978 May 15, 17, 19 and 1978 June 14.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with David W. Latham, 2006 October 8.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Donald E. Osterbrock, 1982 January 21.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Frank K. Edmondson, 1977 April 21 and 1978 February 2.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Geoffrey Burbidge, 1975 June 4.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with George Ogden Abell, 1977 November 14.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Goetz Kuno Heinrich Oertel, 1978 April 25.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Harlow Shapley, 1966 June 8 and August 25.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Harold F. Weaver, 1991 September 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Horace W. Babcock, 1975 June 9.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Maarten Schmidt, 1996 April 11 and May 2, 15.

Institute Archives

California Institute of Technology

1201 East California Blvd. (Mail Code 015A-74), Pasadena, CA 91125, USA

Oral history interview with Malcolm Aitken, 1977 July 17.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Margaret Burbidge, 1978 July 13.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Peter B. Boyce, 1997 February 19.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral History interview with Richard Walker, 1997 January 13.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with S. Chandrasekhar, 1977 May 17, 18 and October 31.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Stephen P. Maran, 2005 August 5.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Vera C. Rubin, 1989 April 3.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral History interview with William E. Brunk, 1983 July 21 and August 9.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Reuven Ramaty papers, 1963-1999.

Mandeville Special Collections Library

University of California, San Diego

9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA

Sally H. Dieke papers, 1886-1989.

Special Collections, Milton S. Eisenhower Library

Johns Hopkins University

3400 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21218, USA

Seth MacFarlane collection on Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan, 1860-2004 (bulk 1962-1997).

Manuscript Division

Library of Congress

James Madison Memorial Building, First Street and Independence Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20540, USA

Sproul Observatory astronomer photoprints, 1916-1975.

Archives Center

Smithsonian Institution. National Museum of American History

MRC 601, 12th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20560, USA

Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar papers, 1928-1995.

The Joseph Regenstein Library. Department of Special Collections

University of Chicago

1100 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL 60637, USA

Symposium on the galaxy [motion picture] / taken by Peter Van de Kamp, 1950.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

William F. Meggers addition to papers, 1870-1973 (bulk 1906-1966).

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Published Resources

Author

AAS newsletter

Bulletin - American Astronomical Society

Education in and history of modern astronomy

HAD news

Publications of the Astronomical and Astrophysical Society of America

Sir Isaac Newton, 1727-1927 : a bicentenary evaluation of his work : a series of papers

Stars and galaxies: birth, ageing, and death in the universe

The Astronomical journal

The Astrophysical Journal