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Abrams Planetarium records

 Record Group
Identifier: UA-3.3.7

Scope and Contents

The records of the Abrams Planetarium include proposals for its construction and operation, brochures from its dedication ceremony, and correspondence. Show scripts for programs on Stonehenge, UFOs, the moon, and a variety of other topics are included in the collection, along with other educational materials. Additionally, there are weekly schedules and publicity for the planetarium shows. The Slides series contains thousands of 35 mm slides, which were used for the planetariums shows. The collection also features planning materials, lectures, and photographs from the Conference of American Planetarium Educators (CAPE) held at MSU in October 1970. NASA astronaut Alan Bean and Nobel Prize winning chemist Harold Urey were featured speakers at CAPE.


  • Creation: 1960 - 2001


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.

Historical Note

Since its opening in 1964, Abrams Planetarium has been a marvel of scientific and astronomical innovation. Talbert “Ted” Abrams, a local leader in the field of aerial photography, and his wife Leota donated funds to Michigan State University, “to build a center of space science education,” that has since taught thousands of students.

The building, designed by Ralph Calder Associates of Detroit, features a 60 foot copper dome surrounded by a brick building, which houses three sections: an Exhibit Hall, Blacklight Gallery, and Sky Theater. Each part has been renovated since the original construction, to reflect improvements in technology and scientific knowledge. The planetarium features 3,500 stars, 18 colored stars, rainbows, auroras, meteors, sunrises, eclipses, phases of the moon, and can simulate rotations of the earth and moon.

Over the years, Abrams Planetarium has been under the administration of University Services (1963-1967), the Provost (1967-1968), Continuing Education Service (1968-1975), Academic Services (1975-1980), and the College of Natural Science, Department of Physics and Astronomy (1980-present ).


34.5 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Legal Status

Donor(s) have transferred any applicable copyright to Michigan State University but the collection may contain third-party materials for which copyright was not transferred. Copyright restrictions may apply. Property Rights: Michigan State University.

Abrams Planetarium Records
4 Published And Cataloged
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives and Historical Collections Repository

Conrad Hall
943 Conrad Road, Room 101
East Lansing MI 48824 US