The Aeronautics Division is responsible for the historical
research and collecting activities of the National Air and Space Museum
related to all aspects of flight in the atmosphere. The goal of the division
is to preserve, document, and interpret the history of aeronautical technology
within a broad and appropriate political, economic, and social context.
As part of this responsibility, the division acquires, documents, and
maintains a collection of historically significant artifacts for public
exhibition, study, and reference. Staff members conduct historical research
leading toward scholarly and popular publications, exhibitions, lectures,
seminars, and other forms of public presentation. Staff members also respond
to a broad range of requests from the public on matters related to the
history of aeronautics.
The Aeronautics Division co-manages with
the Space History Division the Smithsonian History of Aviation and Spaceflight
Series. The series seeks to publish substantive works that further our
understanding of the transformation aviation and spaceflight have brought
about in our lives--our conceptions of time and distance, our daily routines
and popular culture, and the conduct of exploration, business, and war--in
their social, cultural, political, and military contexts.