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W. M. Keck Observatory, 1991-1992


Scope and Contents

A series of 7 oral histories conducted by the Caltech Archives between 1991 and 1992 to document the early history and development of the W. M. Keck Observatory at Mauna Kea, Hawaii. They capture the observations and perspectives of administrators, astronomers, designers, and managers representing both Caltech and the University of California, who would jointly manage the project.

Thanks to the support of Howard B. Keck, in 1985 the W. M. Keck Foundation donated $70 million for what would become known as Keck I. Construction began in September 1985 to build a telescope equipped with a 10-meter mirror consisting of 36 hexagonal segments that would work together to form one single reflective surface. Using only 9 of the segments, first light occurred in November 1990. By 1991, a further Keck Foundation donation made it possible to begin construction of Keck II—also with a 10-meter segmented mirror—with first light occurring in October 1996.


  • 1991-1992

Conditions Governing Access

Most edited transcripts are available to researchers on the web at Audio recordings and additional transcripts are available in the reading room at the Caltech Archives. When additional restrictions apply to specific interviews, they are noted in the finding aid.


From the Collection: 546 unspecified containers

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English

Repository Details

Part of the California Institute of Technology Archives and Special Collections Repository

1200 East California Blvd.
MC B215-74
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