FAQs: Common Reference Topics
Can you help me identify an old propeller?
Possibly - please send a written request to the NASM Archives Reference
Desk. Your request should include as much of the following information
as you can provide: dimensions, size and placement of bore holes, text
of any labels on the propeller, and a photo (if possible).
Do you have any information on my relative who
was involved in aviation?
Possibly, although he or she would have to have been at least moderately
famous. You're welcome to send a specific research request to the
NASM Archives Reference Desk, and we'll be
happy to check our collections for you. Please provide as much biographical
information as possible, especially full name, birth and death dates,
and the area of aviation or space history involved (air mail, military,
space program, etc.).
I'm working on a National History Day project -
can the NASM Archives help?
We'll be happy to help you with your project - but please be sure to narrow
your topic enough that you can make a request on a specific subject.
For instance, for this year's topic, "Frontiers in History," do not
ask us the question "How is space a frontier?" Choose some aspect of the
history of space exploration, and - after you've done your initial research
- ask us for assistance by contacting the NASM Archives Reference
Desk. You may find the National Archives and Records Administration
Day website of use.
Do you have anything on African-Americans involved
in aviation? Anything on the Tuskegee Airmen?
Yes. We have basic information available on both the Tuskegee Airmen as
a group, as well as many individual African-American pilots of the past
(including Bessie Coleman). While we do not have any prepared information
available, you are welcome to send a specific research request
to the NASM Archives Reference Desk.
Patrons interested in photographs used in the NASM publication Black
Wings should review the NASM Archives Permission
Information page, and be prepared to specify which photographs you
would like to use in your project.
Do you have anything on the history of women in
aviation? Anything on the Women's Air Force Service Pilots (WASPs)?
Yes, we have a large amount of material in our collections relating to
women in aviation, both as individuals as well as groups such as the WASPs.
While we do not have any prepared information available, you are welcome
to send a specific research request to the NASM Archives Reference
I'm trying to find information on the history of
a specific military aviation unit - can you help me?
Possibly. Our coverage of military aviation units is highly variable.
For some units we have a lot of information, for others we have nothing
at all. In general, we have better coverage of USAF units and their predecessors
than for Navy or Marine units. You are welcome to send a specific
research request to the NASM Archives Reference
Desk. Patrons interested in USAAF units may wish to do research in
the U.S. Air Force Pre-1954 Official
Still Photography Collection, located at the National
Archives at College Park, Maryland.
Can you tell me if the National Air and Space Museum
has a particular aircraft or spacecraft?
The Museum's Collections pages have useful online lists of artifacts on display as well as an extensive online Collections Database.
I'm interested in the UFO phenomenon - does the
NASM Archives have anything on UFOs?
No. We are predominantly concerned with identified flying objects.
Back to NASM Archives FAQs