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A list of key readings about Telescope.
Please sort and annotate in a user-friendly manner. For formatting, consider using automated reference wikification.


  • Barker, P. and Goldstein, B. "Realism and instrumentalism in 16th century astronomy: a reappraisal." Perspectives on Science. 1998. v 6 #3: 232-257.
  • Bedini, S. A. "The instruments of Galileo Galilei." Pp. 257-292 in R. McMullin, ed. Galileo Man of Science. (1967)
  • Bedini, Silvio A. Science and Instruments in Seventeenth-Century Italy (1994)
  • Biagioli, Mario. Galileo's Instruments of Credit: Telescopes, Images, Secrecy. U. of Chicago Press, 2006. 302 pp.
  • Chapman, A. Astronomical Instruments and Their Use: Tycho Brahe to William Lassel. (19960
  • Dupré, Sven. "Galileo's Telescope and Celestial Light." Journal for the History of Astronomy 2003 34(4): 369-399. Issn: 0021-8286
  • King, Henry C. The History of the Telescope (2003) 480pp
  • Mccray, W. Patrick. "What Makes a Failure? Designing a New National Telescope, 1975-1984." Technology and Culture 2001 42(2): 265-291. Issn: 0040-165x. on New National Technology Telescope that was NOT built at Kitt Peak, Arizona, but did set design standards for the future. Fulltext: Project Muse
  • Osterbrock, Donald E. Yerkes Observatory, 1892-1950: The Birth, near Death, and Resurrection of a Scientific Research Institution (1997) online edition
  • Osterbrock, Donald E. Pauper and Prince: Ritchey, Hale, and Big American Telescopes. (1993). 359 pp.
  • Smith, R. W. "Engines of Discovery: Scientific instruments and the history of astronomy and planetary science in the US in the 20th century." Journal of the History of Astronomy 1997. 28: 49-77
  • Smith, Robert W. The Space Telescope: A Study of NASA, Science, Technology, and Politics. (1989). 478 pp
  • Van Helden, A. "Telescope and Authority From Galileo to Cassini." Osiris 1994. Vol. 9:9-29 in JSTOR
  • Van Helden, Albert. "Galileo and Scheiner on Sunspots: A Case Study in the Visual Language of Astronomy," Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, Vol. 140, No. 3 (Sep., 1996), pp. 358-396 in JSTOR
  • Verschuur, Gerrit L. The Invisible Universe: The Story of Radio Astronomy, (2006) excerpt and text search
  • Zik, Yaakov. "Science and Instruments: the Telescope as a Scientific Instrument at the Beginning of the Seventeenth Century." Perspectives on Science 2001 9(3): 259-284. Issn: 1063-6145 Fulltext: Project Muse
  • Zimmerman, Robert. "More Light!" American Heritage of Invention & Technology 2002 18(2): 14-23. Issn: 8756-7296, on 1970s Fulltext: online
  • Zirker, J. B. An Acre of Glass: A History and Forecast of the Telescope Johns Hopkins U. Press, 2005. 343 pp. excerpt and text search


  • Brunier, Serge, and Anne-Marie Lagrange. Great Observatories of the World (2005) 240pp; covers 56 observatories excerpt and text search
  • Kerrod, Robin, and Carole Stott. Hubble: The Mirror on the Universe (2nd ed. 2007) excerpt and text search
  • McCray, W. Patrick Giant Telescopes: Astronomical Ambition and the Promise of Technology (2nd ed. 2006) excerpt and text search
  • Zirker, J. B. An Acre of Glass: A History and Forecast of the Telescope Johns Hopkins U. Press, 2005. 343 pp. excerpt and text search