row of astrolabes

Biennial History of Astronomy Workshops

Announcement (03/15/22): Due to the ongoing challenges that COVID-19 has posed to in-person gatherings and international travel, the organizing committee for NDXV, the Fifteenth Biennial History of Astronomy Workshop at Notre Dame planned for June 2022, has made the difficult decision to postpone our in-person workshop for another year.

While we are eager to welcome everyone in-person again, we strongly value this workshop’s tradition of providing rich opportunities for discussion and scholarly collaboration with others in the history of astronomy community. In consultation with our speaker, our support at Notre Dame, and our partners at the Adler Planetarium, we have decided that postponing a year provides the best prospects for ensuring that we can deliver a workshop that fulfills these goals for all those attending.

To enable ongoing connections within our community this year, we will instead hold a smaller scale virtual-only event within the same dates as we had planned (June 8 - 10, 2022), featuring a small selection of the submitted panel and paper proposals. Details are still being sorted out, but when finalized, will be posted to this website and sent out via announcements to HASTRO mailing list and other outlets.

Update: Program details and the registration page for the upcoming June virtual workshop are now online. Registration is free.


In 1993 the first Biennial History of Astronomy Workshop took place at the University of Notre Dame and launched what has become a stimulating forum for scholars of all levels and interests in the history of astronomy. Notable has been the workshop's attention to the teaching of the history of astronomy as well as the warm welcome given to graduate students and independent scholars.

A workshop typically attracts 60-65 scholars who take part in a thematic program of talks, panel discussions, and, in some years, hands-on demonstrations. All aspects of the history of astronomy receive attention and across all time periods. Furthermore, the workshop's residential format ensures ample time outside of the scheduled meetings for participants to converse. When the weather allows, a visit to the Notre Dame Observatory is usually planned.

An evening banquet with a well-known speaker tops off the workshop and helps to make this biennial gathering much anticipated among historians of astronomy.

2023 NDXV In-Person Workshop

The Fifteenth Biennial History of Astronomy Workshop will be held June 21-25, 2023, at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, and will include a one-day trip to the Adler Planetarium in Chicago.

We are also pleased to announce our invited speaker is Charlotte Bigg, a permanent research fellow with the French CNRS, Centre Alexandre Koyré. She was educated in history and history of science at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge and has previously worked at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin and ETH Zurich. Her work focuses on the material and visual dimensions of science, in particular astronomy and astrophysics. She studies the circulations of instruments, images, and people between disciplines, and between scientific and public settings including theaters, planetaria, museums, and exhibitions.

Further details, including the call for papers, sessions, and posters, will be provided towards the end of 2022.

Acknowledgments: Generous support for the workshop is provided by the Graduate Program in the History and Philosophy of Science, the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts (ISLA), the College of Science’s Nieuwland Lecture Series, the College of Arts and Letters, the Department of Physics of the University of Notre Dame, and the Program of Liberal Studies of the University of Notre Dame, as well as the Vatican Observatory Foundation and the Adler Planetarium.
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