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Goethe Link Observatory Director's records, 1935-1941

A Guide to its records at the Indiana University Archives

Nicole M. Mares
Electronic finding aid encoded by Beth Benda

Summary Information

Indiana University Office of University Archives and Records Management
1320 East Tenth Street
Herman B Wells Library E460
Bloomington, IN 47405-7000
Phone: 812-855-1127

Goethe Link Observatories.

Goethe Link Observatory Director's records, 1935-1941

Collection No.

.8 cubic feet (2 boxes)

Materials are in English.

Collection consists of .8 cubic feet of records from the Director of the Goethe Link Observatory, spanning 1935-1941, primarily concerning the construction of the observatory. The observatory was built by and named after, Goethe Link, who received his M.D. from IU in 1902 and who was a prominent thyroid surgeon in Indianapolis. The incumbent during this period was Victor E. Maier. Included in the collection are financial ledgers, correspondence, as well as information on construction materials and astronomy.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions
This collection is open for research.

Advance notice is required.

Acquisition Information
Accession 8006
Usage Restrictions
Copyright interests for this collection have been transferred to the Trustees of Indiana University. For more information, contact the Indiana University Archivist.
Preferred Citation
[Item], Goethe Link Observatory Director's records, Collection C216, Office of University Archives and Records Management, Indiana University, Bloomington.
Processing Information
Processed by Nicole M. Mares

Completed in 2004.

Administrative History
Dr. Goethe Link (1879-1981) was born in Pike County, Indiana in 1879. Link began his academic career at Wabash College, but later received his M.D. from Indiana University in 1902. He was a founder of the Indiana University Medical School as well as a prominent thyroid surgeon in Indianapolis.

Dr. Link had diverse interests that took him beyond the realm of medicine. In 1909 he won the National Balloon Race, he conducted studies of hummingbirds and snakes, and, in 1937 he began the construction of an observatory to aid in his study of astronomy.

Dr. Link had his observatory built at Tanager Hill, near Brooklyn, Indiana, twenty miles southwest of Indianapolis. The building housed a thirty-six inch telescope, as well as research and housing facilities. Construction took two years, and in 1939 the observatory housed one of the most accurately figured telescopic mirrors ever made at that time.

The Goethe Link Observatory was donated to Indiana University in 1948 and was used regularly by students and researchers until 1981. Today, the observatory is jointly operated by Indiana University and the Indiana Astronomical Society, an amateur astronomy group in central Indiana.

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains materials concerning the construction of Goethe Link’s observatory, from 1937 until 1939, and records from subsequent years up to and including 1941. Included in the collection are financial ledgers, correspondence, as well as information on construction materials and astronomy. Photographs have been removed and added to the photographic collections in the Indiana University Archives.

This collection is divided into three series: series one consists of correspondence, series two contains financial records and series three titled subject files contains general files pertaining to the Link Observatory. All of the series are arranged in alphabetical order.


Organized in three series: Correspondence, Financial records, and Subject files.

Separated Material

The photographs have been transferred to the Photographs Collection.

Series: Correspondence, 1938-1941 

Box 1 Anderson, J.A., 24 Apr 1938 

Carl Zeiss Inc., 17 Dec 1938 

Central Rubber Supply Co., 16 Sep 1939 

Chicago Astronomical Society, May 1940 

Crull, Elmer, 11 Apr 1940 

Cuffey, James, 1939-1941 

Esterline-Angus Company, Inc., 14 Jan 1941 

G.E. Stechert & Co., 21 Dec 1938 

Gasper, G.W., 27 May 1940 

Gauken, Will, 26 June 1959 

Gruelle, Arthur, 13 Aug 1940 

Kitchen, Dortha, 3 Oct 1940 

Link, Goethe, 1941 

Louisville Astronomical Society, 19 Jul 1940 

Mt. Wilson Observatory, Apr-Jun 1941 

Noble, Tom, undated 

Plainfield Public Schools, May 1941 

Richey, Paul, 2 May 1940 

Ross, Frank B., 1936;   1941 

Rushton, W. A., 1940 

Slaymaker, Merell & Locke, 15 Sep 1939 

United States Naval Observatory, 20 Dec 1938 

Series: Accounts-Records, 1936-1941 

Financial Ledger,

Box 1 May 1937-Apr 1939 

Aug 1937-Sep 1939 


Financial Reports, 1939-1940 

Financial Statements, 1937 

Observatory Payroll, 1937-1938;   1940 


General Receipts,

A-C, 1928-1930,   1938-1940 

D-I, 1939-1940 

J-O, 1936-1940 

P-Z, 1937-1941 

Gothe Link Observatory Miscellaneous Receipts, 1940-1941 

Bowers Coast Company, 1938-1940 

Brad Snodgrass Inc., 1939-1940 

Central Camera Company, 1940 

Central Rubber and Supply Company, 1930;   1939-1940 

Chas Drexler Company, 1939 

Crucible Steel Company of America, 1938-1939 

Duco Company, 1940 

Engineering Metal Products Corp, 1939-1940 

Farrell-Argast Electric Company, 1941 

Federal Pattern Works, 1939-1941 

G.E. Stechert and Company, 1939-1940 

Gibson Company, 1939-1941 

Guarantee Tire and Rubber Company, 1939 

H. Lieber Company, 1940-1941 

Hallemite Mfg Company, 1940-1941 

Hans Rudolph, 1941 

Herold Service Station, 1941 

Hughes Lumber and Grain Company, 1937-1940 

Box 2 Indiana Bearings Inc., 1937-1938 

Indiana Wall Paper and Paint Company, 1939-1940 

Indianapolis Plywood Company, 1939-1940 

Klaisler Machine Shop, 1936-1941 

Langsenkamp Company, 1939-1940 

Lehigh Cement, undated 

Lusty's Electric, 1937-1941 

McNamara-Koster Foundry Co., Inc., 1940-1941 

Metzger-Black Lumber Company, 1940 

Pennsylvania Railroad Company, 1937-1940 

Railway Express Agency, 1940 

Sanborn Electric Company, 1939 

Sinker-Davis Company, 1939 

Spann Company, 1937-1940 

Stewarts Inc., 1940 

Tanner and Company, 1940 

Vonnegut Hardware Company, 1938-1940 

Willard A. Schrader, 1936-1937 

Wyatt and Bishop, 1938 

Series: Subject Files, 1935-1941 

Box 2 American Astronomical Society, 1938;  1940 

Astronomy, 1935;  1941 

Cincinnati Observatory, 1940 



- Miscellany, 1937 

Contract with A.H. Lusty for Wiring of Link Observatory, 1938 

Contract with Victor E. Maier Director of Research for Link, Foundation 1937 

Contract with Carl D. Turner, 1936-1940 

Corning Glass Works, 1936-1941 

Electrical Consumption and Work, 1939 

Goethe Link Foundation, undated 

History, May 1940 

Lumber, 1937 

Miscellaneous, 1937-1941 

Morgan County Property Survey, 1937 

Site Plan, undated 

Telescopes, 1937-1941