In 1843 he became doctor of philosophy at Munich Observatory, where he was made professor in 1859.
In 1888 the Smith Observatory was built at Geneva, being maintained by William Smith, and placed in charge of Dr William Robert Brooks, professor of astronomy in Hobart College.
In the south-eastern portion of the Tatar city used to stand the observatory, which was built by order of Kublai Khan in 1296.
Nach., 3377, for an illustrated account of the original Repsolds instrument and to the History and Description of the Cape Observatory for a complete description of the most modern form of its application to the Cape transit circle, with and without clockwork.
It contains a valuable library with many incunabula and old manuscripts, amongst which is one of the Nibelungenlied, an astronomical observatory, a collection of antiquities, and a mineral collection.