Life of E.E. Barnard

Born in Nashville in 1857, Edward Emerson Barnard worked as a young boy for local photographer John H. Van Stavoren to support his family. It was there that Barnard first discovered his love of astronomy.  Even though he had little formal education, Barnard’s experience with astrophotography led to a Vanderbilt scholarship, which launched his formal career in astronomy.  Barnard went on to work at Lick Observatory and the University of Chicago. While he did not complete his studies at Vanderbilt, the University later awarded him an honorary degree.

A Complaint and a Suggestion

"A Complaint and a Suggestion" by E.E. Barnard
Poem and drawing, circa late 1800s
Edward Emerson Barnard Papers,
Vanderbilt University Special Collections

Barnard had many interests beyond astronomy, inculding poetry, art, and the study of foreign languages. This poem and drawing come from one of Barnard's personal journals, which included bits of French and German homework in addition to mathematical studies.

The Jupiter Enlarging Camera

[The Jupiter Enlarging Camera]
Photograph, 1866
Edward Emerson Barnard Papers,
Vanderbilt University Special Collections

A photograph of the first telescope (enlarging camera) Barnard used, which he affectionately called "Jupiter." As a child, Barnard was a photographer's apprentice and used this telescope to track the motions of the sun across the sky.

[Portrait of E. E. Barnard, circa 1866]

[Portrait of E.E. Barnard, circa 1866]
Photograph
Edward Emerson Barnard Papers,
Vanderbilt University Special Collections

Photograph of a young E. E. Barnard, most likely taken when he was working as an apprentice at the so-called "Jupiter" telescope, tracking the motions of the sun.

[Portrait of E.E. Barnard, circa 1877-1880]

[Portrait of E.E. Barnard, circa 1877-1880]
Photograph
Edward Emerson Barnard Papers,
Vanderbilt University Special Collections

Photograph of E.E. Barnard as a young astronomer. (combined with previous description)

Ad Astra

"Ad Astra"
Pamphlet, 1975
Dyer Observatory Archives,
Vanderbilt University Special Collections

Barnard's influence is still felt on Vanderbilt's campus. This pamplet, published over fifty years after Barnard's death details his continued presence on campus and his major contributions to the field of astronomy as a whole.

[Portrait of E.E. Barnard, circa 1900]

[Portrait of E.E. Barnard, circa 1900]
Photograph
Edward Emerson Barnard Papers,
Vanderbilt University Special Collections

E.E. Barnard in his later years as a professor at the University of Chicago. (combined with previous description)

Some Experiences as an Astronomer

"Some Experiences as an Astronomer" in The Christian Advocate by E.E. Barnard
Typescript, July 5, 1907
Edward Emerson Barnard Papers,
Vanderbilt University Special Collections

Excerpt of an article written by E.E. Barnard about some of his experiences as an astronomer. Like many astronomers Barnard found his passion as a child, observing changes in the stars' motions across the sky through the seasons

Honorary Diploma from Vanderbilt University: Presented to E. E. Barnard

"Honorary Diploma from Vanderbilt University: Presented to E.E. Barnard"
Edward Emerson Barnard Papers,
Vanderbilt University Special Collections

Barnard's influence is still felt on Vanderbilt's campus. This pamplet, published over fifty years after Barnard's death details his continued presence on campus and his major contributions to the field of astronomy as a whole.