University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the Frank N. Bash Papers, circa 1962-2006

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Bash, Frank N.
Title: Frank N. Bash Papers
Dates: circa 1962-2006
Abstract: Papers document Bash's career at the University of Texas, and include extensive documentation of his work as director of the McDonald Observatory and his involvement in special telescope projects.
Accession No.: 2011-326; 2013-184
Extent: 41.5 ft.
Language: Materials are written in English.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Note

Frank N. Bash, Ph.D., served from 1989-2003 as director of the University of Texas McDonald Observatory, one the world's foremost astronomical research institutions located near Fort Davis, Texas.

A native of Medford, Oregon, Bash earned his bachelor's degree from Willamette University in Salem, Oregon; his master's degree in astronomy from Harvard University; and his doctorate from the University of Virginia. A well-known and widely published specialist in radio astronomy, Bash joined the faculty of the University of Texas at Austin in 1969. He served as Chairman of the UT Department of Astronomy from 1982 through 1986. In 1985, he was named the Frank N. Edmonds Regents Professor of Astronomy. As a researcher, Bash was interested in large-scale star formation processes in spiral galaxies. He won numerous awards for the quality of his teaching, and was named to the teaching excellence Hall of Fame at UT Austin in 1984.

As the director of the McDonald Observatory, Bash led the effort for the design, funding, and construction of the 11-meter Hobby-Eberly Telescope, which has the largest primary mirror in the world.

Bash also led the effort to expand the public outreach programs of the McDonald Observatory. These programs included the observatory's Visitors' Center, the Texas Astronomy Education Center, and StarDate radio.

(from the UT Astronomy Department)

Scope and Contents

The Bash Papers reflect his career at the University of Texas at Austin, and include extensive documentation of his work as director of the McDonald Observatory and his involvement in special projects such as the Spectroscopic Survey Telescope (SST) and the Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET). Also included are his personal research files and collected data, teaching files, correspondence, budgetary files, a small component of photographs, and publications/promotional literature related to the McDonald Observatory.


Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

This collection is stored off site and requires advance notice for retrieval. Please contact repository.

Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Bash, Frank N. -- Archives.
Subjects (Organizations)
McDonald Observatory.
University of Texas at Austin. Department of Astronomy.
Astronomy -- Study and teaching.
Density wave theory.
Hobby-Eberly Telescope.
M81 (Galaxy)
Radio astronomy.
Spiral galaxies.
Telescopes -- Texas -- Fort Davis.
Austin (Tex.)
Fort Davis (Tex.)

Related Material

See also the UT McDonald Observatory Records.

Separated Material

Some material has been separated to the Library Unit.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Frank N. Bash Papers, circa 1962-2006, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by archives staff.

Subsequent revisions were made by Vanessa Attia, January 2014.

Other Finding Aid

Portions of this collection are described by a PDF checklist provided by the donor. Please contact repository.

Detailed Description of the Papers



2011-326/1 Research notes, reprints, correspondence, files on colleagues
2011-326/2 Research notes, manuscripts, files on colleagues
2011-326/3 Research notes, conferences, projects
2011-326/4 Research notes, correspondence, papers
Spectroscopic Survey Telescope project files (SST)
2011-326/5-20 Contact repository for PDF checklist
2011-326/20 ACAST meeting, 1989
Bash handwritten research notebooks
"Facts From Figures," 1951, by M.J. Moroney
2011-326/21 Project files
Spectroscopic Survey Telescope project files (SST)
2011-326/22 Project files
Class notes
Research notes
2011-326/23 McDonald Observatory publications, handouts, brochures
Astronomy transparencies
Slides and photographs
2011-326/24 Oversize photo prints
2013-184/1 NYAA Competition, 2003
SALT, 2002
SALT, 2003
Discuss with DLL
Science w/ SALT Workshop II, October 2003
HET legal agreement, 2003
Correspondence, Toni Feder, 2003
Sabbatical, 2003-2004
HET Board, 2003
Director transition, Fall 2003
Bash HVCs
LAT, 2003
Town & Gown meetings
Correspondence, Tom Sebring
Legislature/financial crisis, 2003
Article reprints, faculty minutes, reports
Globular clusters
SALT, 2003-2004
South Africa/SALT, October 24 – November 1, 2003
Fort Worth Science Museum, 2003
Director search, 2003
Correspondence, SAFIR CD, 2005
Bash mail
Correspondence, research notes, photos, 1998-2005
SALT Dedication trip
Correspondence, Jeffrey Symp
Lunar astronomy, May 2004
Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) reinvention, 2004
Astronomy Vision Plan, May 2004
SALT, 2003-2004
Jocelly and Sheila [colleague file]
Mokhele visit, April 2004
Hobby-Eberl Telescope (HET) board meeting, December 11-12, 2003
Friends of the Austin Planetarium, 2004
ISM seminar, Fall 2004
Astronomy future plan
AT-25, 2005
Spitzer, 2005
People’s Community Clinic (PCC):
PCC vision
Development committee, 2006
"Angel Society"
Board statements
Financial statements, June 2006
Executive committee, June 12, 2006
Board meeting, April 25, 2006
Luncheon, 2006
Board meeting, March 28, 2006
2013-184/2 Board meetings, 2004
Development updates and correspondence, 2004
Don Winget, Faculty Development Program, 2006
Judd Foundation, 2006
New faculty seminar, 2001
Young researcher [postdoc] symposium, 2005
CCAT, 2005
Mac software documentation (AutoMac III, etc.), circa 1988
Astronomical computing software and programming documentation [Gauss, TransSkel, TransEdit, Lightspeed Pasal, Macstronomy, others], 1987
University Travel Management Services, 1986
Cold cloud observing data log
Research data printouts, June 21, 1988
Michele Kaufman manuscript, 1987
Michele Kaufman research notes and correspondence, 1984-1985
Galactic plane survey, February 1983
Lecture outlines and notes, undated
Literature club, 1979
Perseus arm problem
M31 working group, April 24-25, 1979
PDSPIX analysis, 1979
Notes, 1979
Miscellaneous article reprints, 1976
"Density Wave Induced Star Formation: The Optical Surface Brightness of Galaxies" manuscript draft
Lecture outlines
"Density-wave Induced Star Formation" lecture outlines
Computation of mods to programs, 1979
Analysis – new stars, CSTARS, V-L, 1979
Computer notes on Leiden IBM system
Galaxy, HI, Algol oput, 1966
"Galaxy Model in Neutral Hydrogen Computer Program,"undated
2013-184/3 "Neutral Hydrogen Observations of ARP 144," proofs, 1988
CO lecture notes, undated
4-arms project, 1980
"A Study of the Galactic Rotation Curve Using Computer Generated Models,"July 1, 1966
"On the Interpretation of Galactic HI Profiles," R. Stefanik and F. Bash, May 21, 1962
Galaxy – current work
Galaxy – program
"A Study of Our Galaxy in Neutral Hydrogen Using Computer Generated Models,"March 28, 1966
Personal correspondence
UT-Austin Outreach Lecture Series, Volume 12: Origins of the Universe [CD], March 2001
McDonald Observatory at Mount Locke:
Public Information Office:
Observatory Council:
Library Committee, 1996
Crotts spectrograph
Facts for the legislature:
2013-184/4 Governor’s visit, March 13, 1992
VC and VG photos expansion
GTAG, 1996
P20 budgets
McDonald budget:
Summer 1993
LBB budgets
Director’s emergency funds
McDonald supervisors meeting:
McDonald superintendent, 1995
McDonald senior management, 1994
Resource manual for instructors of substantial writing component courses, 1995
FB seminar, Fall 1997
Teaching, Fall 1997
Teaching, Fall 1996
Astronomy League
Graduate studies:
Astronomy Department, Spring 1995
Graduate education, Fall 1996
Graduate education, Fall 1997
Blunk professorship, 1997
Review of NSF international travel grants
Trumpter Award (ASP awards), 1998
ASP Awards:
Mulhman Award, 1998
Klumpke-Roberts Award, 1998
ASP Awards Committee, 1997
ASP, 1996
ASP board meetings, 1995
Advisory Council, Robert W. Olson Memorial Fund, 1982-1983
2013-184/5 McDonald Observatory Advisory Council minutes, 1970-1982
Advisory Council Bulletins, 1982-1983
Advisory Council expansion/restructuring (suggested in Spring 1983)
McDonald Observatory Advisory Council meetings [minutes, programs, agendas, etc.]:
23rd meeting, July 8-10, 1983
22nd meeting, February 4-5, 1983
21st meeting, July 9-11, 1982
20th meeting, February 5-6, 1982
19th meeting, July 24-26, 1981
18th meeting, February 6-7, 1981
17th meeting, July 25-27, 1980
16th meeting, February 9-10, 1980
2013-184/6 15th meeting, July 27-28, 1979
14th meeting, February 9-10, 1979
13th meeting, July 29-30, 1978
12th meeting, February 4, 1978
11th meeting, July 29-31, 1977
10th meeting, February 4-5, 1977
9th meeting, July 30-August 1, 1976
8th meeting, February 28-29, 1976
7th meeting, August 30-31, 1975
6th meeting, February 1, 1975
5th meeting, September 14-15, 1974
4th meeting, May 12-13, 1973
3rd meeting, August 26-27, 1972
2nd meeting, August 21-22, 1971
1st meeting, June 6-7, 1970
Jupiter reprints, JN Douglas, August 25, 1983:
Journal article reprints, 1968, 1979
Lecture transparency slides and notes
Leisawitz open cluster catalog, 1983
Slides, 1981-1985, undated
Faculty search committee, 2005-2006
Solar eclipse cruise, 2006
Rome travel plans, 2005
Observatory/Astronomy Dept. postcards, pamphlets, stationary
ASP Advisory Council; Mokhele talk, 2000-2006
2013-184/7 VHS:
"Board of Visitors, Frank Bash, Great Lecture," original copy, February 2003
"Bash Great Lecture," McDonald Observatory, February 1996
Great Lectures in Astronomy: Professor Frank N. Bash "Can Astronomers Now See God?", February 8, 2003
Bash Great Lecture/Astronomy, February 10, 1996
Photographs, 1982-1986, undated
Bash with colleagues and students [including Neil deGrasse Tyson], circa 1982, 1986
Photographic prints of observatory/telescopes
Cibachrome prints of telescopes; negatives and slides
Prints of telescope, undated
M81C20 mapping/imaging
Telescope/observatory prints and negatives
Research polaroids, M81 and others, undated
2013-184/3 Slides, negatives, and photographs
2.325/D36g Oversize research materials, data logs, and photographic prints:
MWO/Bell Labs galactic plane survey 12CO & 13CO – final data, September 1984
D. Wills [13,554] Project AW135 observation logs:
October 12, 1985
December 8, 1985
Andromeda nebula [?] data and photos, 1979
Cluster history, 1987