The National Air and Space Museum is known worldwide for its collection of rare and historically significant aircraft and spacecraft. The collection also includes a wide variety of other artifacts such as engines, medals, trophies, instruments, equipment, models, artwork, spacesuits, uniforms, and more. Altogether, it contains 42,399 aviation artifacts, 15,788 space-related artifacts, and 4,681 works of art.
In addition, the Museum's archival collections contain photographs, manuscripts, technical drawings, documents, film, and oral histories spanning the history of flight from ancient times to the present day. The Archives collections contain an estimated 17,000 cubic feet of material, including two million photographs, more than 20,000 motion picture and video items, 16,000 reels of microfilm, and two million technical drawings.