History of the Madison Astronomical Society

The Madison Astronomical Society (MAS) has continuously operated as a club for nearly 90 years. But, like many amateur organizations, MAS has paid only scant attention to documenting its own history. Over the years founders have died, long time members have moved away or moved on, documents have been collected and then lost, and memories have faded.

Over the past two years MAS has finally taken on the task of learning and telling its own story. During that period, a dedicated group has sought out and interviewed many of MAS’s oldest members and those in the best position to speak to its history. We have collected documents from present and past members, contacted spouses and children of late members, conducted extensive online searching of newspaper and university archives, and spent endless hours organizing and collating the data. The links below are the results of that effort. While it’s not a quick read, we think you’ll appreciate the richness of the group’s history and the personalities that have made the story worth telling in detail.

History of the Madison Astronomical Society (1935-1988)

History of the Madison Astronomical Society (1988-present day)

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