Astronomy

Sextant

This sextant, made by Troughton & Simms, London, dates from the mid-19th century.

The astronomy collection consists of around 200 artifacts, most of which were used for teaching and research at the University of Toronto Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics, which was founded as a separate department in 1905 under Professor Clarence Augustus Chant. Objects range from locally-made celestial globes, to instruments connected to teaching undergraduate students, to a small selection of 18th century collectable antiques.

Other collections of interest include astronomical equipment designed and used during WWII for training pilots and others in astronomical navigation techniques, and some personal memorabilia connected with Toronto astronomers and their families.

Many of the items, particularly those connected with research, were used at the Department’s main observatory, the David Dunlap Observatory in Richmond Hill, Ontario.

Only a small portion of the objects in the Astronomy collection are catalogued.

Access: Interested researchers should apply to Lee Robbins, Head Librarian at the Astronomy & Astrophysics Library. This collection is not open to the public.