Fleischmann Planetarium and Science Center Records

 Collection
Identifier: AC 0454
The Fleischmann Planetarium and Science Center Records primarily consists of materials created by the Planetarium that document programs, events, fundraising efforts, and interactions with the larger Reno community as well as the campus. Also included is information on the founding of the Planetarium in 1963 represented by dedication ceremony remarks and invitations and the original bid completed by Reno architect, Raymond Hellman. Of interest is a small amount of material regarding the 50th anniversary of the Planetarium, which took place in 2013.

Dates

  • 1953-2017

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Materials used on-site; advance notice suggested. Access to parts of collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.

Extent

1.3 Linear Feet (2 box, 1 microfilm reel, 1 oversize folder)

Overview

Located on the University of Nevada, Reno campus, Fleischmann Planetarium was constructed as a community educational and cultural facility with a mission to present astronomical displays, meteorological displays, and educational programs to the northern Nevada community. Completed in 1963, it was billed as the world's first atmospherium. Collection primarily consists of materials created by the Planetarium that document programs, events, fundraising efforts, and interactions with the larger Reno community as well as the campus. Also included is information on the founding of the Planetarium in 1963 and the 50th anniversary of the Planetarium, which took place in 2013.

Historical Note

Located on the campus of the University of Nevada, Reno, the Fleischmann Planetarium was constructed with a $330,000 grant from the Max C. Fleischmann Foundation as a community educational and cultural facility with a mission to present astronomical and meteorological displays and educational programs to the Northern Nevada community. Completed in 1963, the building incorporates a unique hyperbolic paraboloid roof design covering an elliptical interior and was billed as the world's first atmospherium. O. Richard Norton (1937-2009) became the first director of the planetarium in 1963 and designed the first 35 mm fisheye motion picture system, called the Atmospherium, while at the University.

The Fleischmann Foundation's financial subsidy for operating costs ended in 1970, and having to rely primarily on its ticket and sales revenue the planetarium curtailed its activities during the early to mid 1970s. By the fall of 1975 it was forced to close for several months. In 1976 a major fundraising drive was undertaken to meet a $450,000 challenge grant offered by the foundation. The conditions of the grant were met by the end of that year and a permanent maintenance fund for the operation of the planetarium was established. Originally a unit of the university's Desert Research Institute and called the Charles and Henriette Fleischmann Atmospherium and Planetarium, later name changes have included the Fleischmann Atmospherium/Planetarium, the Fleischmann Planetarium, and the Fleischmann Planetarium and Science Center. The facility was one of the first three theaters in the United States to be equipped with Cinema-360 motion picture format for its hemispheric dome.

The Fleischmann Foundation's financial subsidy for operating costs ended in 1970. Unlike other planetariums in the country, it then had to rely primarily on its ticket and sales revenue. As a result, the planetarium curtailed its activities during the early to mid 1970s. By the fall of 1975, it was forced to close for several months. In 1976, a major fundraising drive was undertaken to meet a $450,000 challenge grant offered by the Max C. Fleischmann Foundation. The conditions of the grant were met by the end of that year, and a permanent maintenance fund for the operation of the planetarium was established. Since 1994, an auxiliary IMAX theater has scheduled documentary films on a variety of science topics for the general public. A wind turbine and a solar panel were installed in 2009 with a grant from the NV Energy Foundation.

Arrangement

Arranged into the following series: 1) General; 2) Administrative; 3) Newsletters

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Fleischmann Planetarium and Science Center, Periodic transfers: 2005, 2013, 2014.

The Office of University Events transferred material about the 2006 fundraising luncheon in 2012.

The NUB 22/13 Fleischmann Atmospherium-Planetarium records were merged into AC 0454 in November 2014.

Related Materials

Related archival materials held by University Archives:

OnOrbit magazine (University Archives book: QB44.2 .O57) Max C. Fleischmann Foundation Annual Report (NUB 23/05/15) University of Nevada, Reno Architectural Drawings Collection (AC 0416, MAD-49)

Related archival materials held by Special Collections Department:

Raymond Hellman Architectural Drawing Collection (NAA4) Raymond Hellman Papers (95-72)

Separated Materials

Photographs transferred to the University Archives photo archive as collection number UNRA-P2040.
Title
Guide to the Fleischmann Planetarium and Science Center Records
Status
completed
Author
Betty Glass
Date
March 2012
Description rules
dacs

Repository Details

Part of the University of Nevada, Reno. University Archives Repository

Contact:
Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center
1664 N. Virginia St.
University of Nevada, Reno
Reno NV 89557-0322 USA
775-682-5665
775-682-5724 (Fax)