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Harvard University


In the period from about 1875 to 1920 (the dates are only intended to be approximate) more than 164 women held astronomical jobs in the United States, and a few became famous for important scientific contributions. This seems surprising at first, because it is not a period in which many opportunities were open to women, particularly for intellectual pursuits. This thesis will examine the development of a role for women in astronomy and the reasons for the acceptance of women into this field. The goal is to show how the scientific work done by the women astronomers was affected by the limitations of the opportunities open to them.