206P/Barnard–Boattini was the first comet to be discovered by photographic means. The American astronomer Edward Emerson Barnard did so on the night of October 13, 1892.
After this apparition this comet was lost and was thus designated D/1892 T1.
Ľuboš Neslušan (Astronomical Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences) suggests that 14P/Wolf and this comet are siblings which stem from a common parent comet.
This comet was rediscovered on October 7, 2008 by Andrea Boattini in the course of the Mt. Lemmon Survey. It was initially credited to Boattini before it was identified as Comet Barnard 3. The comet passed 0.1904 AU (28,480,000 km; 17,700,000 mi) from Earth on October 21, 2008. The comet has made 20 revolutions since 1892 and passed within 0.3–0.4 AU of Jupiter in 1922, 1934 and 2005.
It was not seen during the 2014 perihelion passage because when the faint comet was at the brightest it was only 75 degrees from the Sun. It has not been seen since January 2009. The comet will pass 0.1303 AU (19,490,000 km; 12,110,000 mi) from Jupiter on July 9, 2017.
The comet has an Earth-MOID of 0.018 AU (2,700,000 km; 1,700,000 mi).