The Papers of Jan Schilt
Collection Description

Date Range: 1931-1963.
Size of Collection: 23.5 linear ft (ca.13,500 items in 27 boxes).
Date of Acquisition: Transfer from the Physics Department, 1992.


Astronomer and administrator. Schilt was Rutherford Professor Emeritus at Columbia, invented the Schilt photometer, and helped clarify the motions of stars in the Milky Way. He was director of the Yale-Columbia Southern Station in Johannesburg and Canberra, Australia. He served as chairperson of Columbia's department of astronomy from 1936 until 1962.


Collection consists of Schilt's correspondence as chairperson of Columbia's department of astronomy and director of the Yale-Columbia Southern Station as well as the Rutherford Observatory at Columbia. The majority of arranged office files are comprised of memoranda, documents, some departmental correspondence, committee reports, course material including material for student laboratory exercises. Thers is also a small sampling of Schilt's early notes as a student and reports of oo-site testing done under the auspices of the National Science Foundation.


Permission to quote or publish must be obtained in writing from the Director of The Rare Book and Manuscript Library.

Arranged correspondence

Boxes 1-9

1930 - 1960

Boxes 10-11


Arranged files

Boxes 12-20

Committees & course materials

Boxes 12-13

Some 1930s, mostly early 1960s

Boxes 14-20

Early 1960's

Boxes 21-24

Lab materials (graphs, maps, tables and materials for lab exercises)

Box 25

Early notes of Schilt

Boxes 26-27

Off-site testing, National Science Foundation