This asteroid is dedicated to Edward Singleton Holden, first director of Lick Observatory from 1888 to 1897. (2974) Holden  is also named for Professor Holden, but the archaic style of (872) Holda is an implicit nod to him, in the same way as (695) Bella honours Alexander Graham Bell.
Between the discovery of Asteroid (1) Ceres in 1801 and the development of the Minor Planet Center in Cincinnati in 1947 by Paul Herget, the standard citation form supporting dedications of asteroids did not exist.
Holden was named an Honorary Member of the Astronomical and Physical Society of Toronto on 1891-11-03.
Orbit type: Main Belt Asteroid