Agency history, 1968-

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  • Whipple, Fred L (Fred Lawrence) 1906-2004
  • Multiple Mirror Telescope Observatory
  • Mt. Hopkins Observatory
  • Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory
  • Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Optical and Infrared Astronomy Division


Agency History


  • This is an agency history. It does not describe actual records. The Smithsonian Institution Archives uses these histories as brief accounts of the origin, development, and functions of an office or administrative unit to set that unit in its historical context. To find information on record holdings, please double-click the highlighted field "Creator/Author", which will open on a brief view of relevant records.
  • Guide to the Smithsonian Archives, 1996
  • Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory, The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. 2001
  • Center for Astrophysics, Harvard and Smithsonian, Facilities and Technology, CfA Facilities, Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory,, accessed January 14, 2022
  • The Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory was opened in 1968 and is located on Mt. Hopkins in southern Arizona. Initially called the Mt. Hopkins Department, then the Mount Hopkins Observatory (from 1969), the Observatory was renamed in 1982 to honor Fred Lawrence Whipple. Initially, the Observatory was best known for its principal instrument, the Multiple Mirror Telescope. This instrument was replaced in 1999 by a new and larger single-mirror telescope. The observatory also includes the Very Energetic Radiation Imaging Telescope Array System (VERITAS) gamma-ray observatory (opened in 2007), telescope arrays designed to find Earth-like exoplanets, and a number of other telescopes used for a wide range of astronomical observations. The Observatory also conducts research in gamma ray and infrared radiation astronomy. It is an operating unit of the Optical and Infrared Astronomy Division, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory.
  • For a history of the larger creating unit, refer to "Forms part of" above.

Repository Loc.

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Capital Gallery, Suite 3000, MRC 507; 600 Maryland Avenue, SW; Washington, DC 20024-2520


  • 1968
  • 1968-


  • Astrophysics
  • Astrophysical observatories


Mixed archival materials

Local number

SIA AH00347

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