Dozens of boxes hold decades of history and artifacts of the old Hansen Planetarium at the Salt Lake County Archives building. Photos, correspondence with famous scientists and science fiction writers and old star show scripts are just some of what you can find wandering down the aisle marked for the planetarium.
When Hansen Planetarium left its home at 15 South State Street in 2002 to move to The Gateway and reopen as Clark Planetarium, planetarium director Seth Jarvis coordinated with Salt Lake County Records & Archives to preserve the history of Hansen Planetarium for historians, students, and anyone who wants to know more about Salt Lake City’s Hansen Planetarium.
Karri Krattley, Salt Lake County’s Archives Program Manager for this project, said when she was digging through the material she was amazed to see what was put in the clipping collection. It took over a year and half to organize several loads of boxes containing video
tapes,audio tapes, slides, photos, old movie films and scripts. In her in-depth organization of the files she did find some surprising pieces. “I was going through an old dusty, dirty box and right in the middle like someone had forgotten it, was a black and white autographed 8×10 photo of Werner von Braun.” (von Braun was a leading figure in the development of rocket technology.)
In addition to 38 years of records and correspondence, thousands of pieces of original artwork used in the creation of Hansen Planetarium programs from 1965 to 2002 had to be digitally scanned and cataloged as part of this archiving process.