Women at the Harvard College Observatory, 1877-1919: "Women's Work," The "new" sociality of astronomy and scientific labor
Edward C. Pickering hired approximately eighty women as assistants during his directorship of the Harvard College Observatory (1877 — 1919). This thesis provides a history of that group of women. The history is written from three vantage points. The first is a view that places Pickering’s assistants alongside other women among the first to pursue higher education and “women’s work” in the sciences. The second puts Pickering’s assistants at the center of a broad shift toward a “new,” more collective, and more collaborative sociality of astronomy that was inspired, in part, by the methods of industry. The third views the women as laborers in a workplace that had its own distinct culture. Together, these three parts are preliminary steps toward a cultural study of the Harvard College Observatory that places both the women and the men who worked there under a common, gendered framework.
Lafortune, K. R. (2001). Women at the Harvard College Observatory, 1877-1919: "Women's Work," The "new" sociality of astronomy and scientific labor. Masters Thesis. University of Notre Dame