The Museum of Flight archival collection is comprised of photographs, negatives, paper material, and magnetic media which document aviation history. The Museum possesses millions of rare photographic prints, negatives, and slides that include images of aircraft, aerospace personalities, events, and places of historical importance to aviation and space exploration. The Museum’s archival collection includes primary source materials such as personal files, clippings, documentation, maps and charts, airline schedules and ephemera, and drawings. The collection also includes oral interviews, film, and art.
Some Highlights of the Archives Collections Include:
- The David Hatfield Collection documents the full history of aviation in California.
- The Elrey B. Jeppesen Collection contains the personal and professional memorabilia of the creator of the Jeppesen aerial-navigation charts, including his famous “Little Black Book.”
- The Donald Douglas Collection contains original designs, photographs, and corporate files from 1927 to 1942 of the Douglas Aircraft Company.
- The Dale Parker Space Collection is comprised of over 200 cubic feet of technical documents and memorabilia that chronicle the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Space Shuttle, and Soviet space programs from 1957 through the mid 1990's.
- The James McDonnell Collection contains biographical and information about James McDonnell and early corporate documents from the McDonnell Aircraft Company.
- The Lear Collection contains drawings, photographs, and documents on the history of the Lear Aircraft Corporation.
- The Enola Gay Crew Oral Interviews.
- The Wright Aeronautical Corporation papers covering the incorporation of the first aircraft company in the United States.
- The George Schairer Engineering Collection includes his hand-written notes taken in post-WWII Germany detailing research into swept-wing design to improve the performance of jet aircraft.
- The Peter M. Bowers photo collection contains over 250,000 prints and negatives that are a complete overview of all aircraft ever created. Bowers had a profound effect upon future aviation professionals of every description through his photographs of the evolution of aviation history.
- Gordon S. Williams, a cohort of Peter M. Bowers, began photographing aircraft as a teenager and worked professionally as a Boeing Company photographer until the 1970s. His collection contains over 100,000 negatives depicting aircraft from the 1930s through 1980s.
- A Wright Brothers Photo collection containing 15 glass plate negatives of Wilbur Wright and his 1908 flights in France
- The Jack Kerr Slide Collection contains 174 color slides taken at the Curtiss-Wright Company Buffalo, NY plant in the early 1940s.
- The Robert W. Stevens Photo collection contains photographs documenting aviation history in Alaska.
Access to the general collections Archives is by appointment only. Please see the Research Page for information on obtaining an appointment to visit.