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Sundial Biography



Sara J. Schechner, Ph.D. is the David P. Wheatland Curator of the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments, Harvard University. She is a world authority on sundials and their history.


Schechner long served as the Secretary of the North American Sundial Society, and has been an officer of several professional societies devoted to astronomy and historical scientific instruments.


She is currently completing a two-volume, interpretive catalogue of the sundials and time finding instruments at the Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum in Chicago—the finest collection of sundials in North America. The largest collection is at Harvard, and she is also cataloguing it. Harvard’s sundials were featured in her 2013 exhibition, Time and Time Again. A catalogue of that exhibition will be available as an ebook in 2014.


She has been deeply engaged in museum education through not only exhibitions but also object-based teaching. She has devised innovative hands-on activities that incorporate replica astronomical instruments—especially sundials—in order to teach cultural history and astronomy. Other projects have included interactive and monumental sundials for outdoor learning centers, the Smithsonian Institution, and most recently, the 2013 Summer Solstice Festival of the Harvard Museums of Science and Culture.


Please visit here for Schechner’s academic profile, including a list of publications, exhibitions, sundial kits, and astronomy outreach activities.


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