Observing the Heavens from Omaha A History of the Creighton Observatory, 1886-1940
This thesis examines the dual purposes of the Creighton University Observatory as stated by its most prominent director, Father William Rigge. The observatory served as both an educational and research platform throughout its active use. Furthermore, this thesis explores how this small observatory with a lone astronomer interacted with the larger astronomical and public communities to which it belonged. This interaction brought prestige and positive popular attention to the university and its director, on the local, state, national, and international levels. In addition, the work done at the observatory and by its director garnered national and international attention from the astronomical community. This thesis argues that the benefits to the university stemming from the significant outlay of cash, manpower and space to build, equip and man the observatory went well beyond the intended purpose and benefited the university by drawing positive attention to Creighton as a center of scientific studies in the West.