Robert B. Ariail Collection of Historical Astronomy

Irvin Department of Special Collections


Adams, Dudley, 1762-1830 Alvan Clark & Sons Ariail, Robert Auerbach, Felix, 1856-1933 Bevis, John, 1693-1771 Brashear, John Browning, John, 1835-1925 Byrne, John Carl Zeiss Jena Clark, Alvan Graham, 1832-1897 Cox & McElveen Dolland Dollond, John, 1706-1761 Dollond, P. (Peter), 1730-1820 Fisher, William J. Fitz, Henry, 1808-1863 Fitz, Henry Giles (Harry), 184? -1939 Martin, Benjamin, 1705-1782 Mr. and Mrs. Robert Grant Aitken Nairne, Edward, 1726-1806 Passemant, Claude Simeon, 1702-1769 Pearson, W. (William), 1767-1847 Piccolomini, Alessandro, 1508-1578 Questar Stukeley, William, 1687-1765 Thomas Cook and Sons LTD Troughton & Simms, London Tulley & Sons Warner & Swasey William Mogey & Sons Zeiss, Carl, 1816-1888 books manuscripts postcards instruments

In 2011 Robert B. Ariail donated an extraordinary collection of historical astronomy to the University of South Carolina and the South Carolina State Museum. Over the past half-century, Mr. Ariail built a collection that encompassed both historic telescopes and astronomical instruments, now at the State Museum, and more than 5,000 rare books and other published items, now housed in the University’s Irvin Department of Rare Books & Special Collections.
This digital project was completed by Kayla Burns (MLIS 2011), Kristen Amsden (MLIS 2011), Michael Weisenburg, and John Knox. Burns scanned the postcards on an Epson 10000 XL flatbed scanner and created metadata following Dublin Core Metadata Best Practices. Other materials in the collection were scanned on the Avision bookedge scanner and Zeutschel overhead scanner. This work could not have been done without the help of Tom Falvey, director of education at the SC State Museum, Elizabeth Sudduth, director of Rare Books Dept, and Tony Branch, systems administrator for the CONTENTdm database.

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