Through the Telescope
The Observatories of Middlebury College

Middlebury is committed to immersive learning that prepares students to lead engaged, consequential, and creative lives, contribute to their communities, and address the world’s most challenging problems; the history of the institution’s observation of the night sky embodies this mission. Since the 19th century, students have gazed at the sky, even before a formal observatory existed. For more than two centuries, the study of astronomy has flourished, and has held a central place in Middlebury’s history; from astronomy’s presence as a required course upon the College’s founding in 1800, to the use of the cupola of Old Chapel as the College’s first observatory, to the opening of the observatory north of Pearsons Hall in 1937, and finally to today’s Mittelman Observatory, the largest and best equipped facility of any institution in Vermont.

This continuing evolution illustrates Middlebury’s commitment to scientific exploration. Join this exploration in Through the Telescope: The Observatories of Middlebury College, an exhibition beginning on the 6th floor of McCardell Bicentennial Hall, and winding up to the 7th floor where today’s observatory stands. This exhibition explores the evolution of observational astronomy at Middlebury in the context of institutional history and scientific discovery.

QR Codes

As you travel through the exhibition, you can use the QR codes associated with each panel to access sources and other information on your phone. Additionally, the entire exhibition is available online at .