Dr. Martin Collins

Curator
Collection: Civilian applications satellites
collinsm@si.edu

Dr. Martin J. Collins received his BA. from the University of Michigan and an MA, MLS, and a PhD in history of science and technology from the University of Maryland.

He curates the civilian applications satellites collection, a grouping that includes weather, remote sensing, and communications satellites and related technologies. He has contributed to a series of Museum exhibits, and was primary author of the exhibition catalog, Space Race: The U.S.-USSR Competition to Reach the Moon. His recent efforts have explored the use of new media for exhibitions and other museum presentations.

Dr. Collins heads the division's Oral History Project, organizing three major oral history initiatives: the Glennan-Webb-Seamans Project for Research in Space History, the RAND History Project, and the Iridium History Project. The first two, and others in the division, are described in Oral History on Space, Science and Technology: A Catalog of the Collections of the Department of Space History, National Air and Space Museum (Washington DC, National Air and Space Museum, 1993).

In 2006, he received the Society for History of Technology's IEEE Life Member Prize for his article "One World…One Telephone: Iridium, One Look at the Making of a Global Age," History and Technology 21 (2005): 301-324. He also serves as editor of the journal History and Technology (Routledge).

Recent publications include:

  • After Sputnik: 50 Years of the Space Age, editor. (Smithsonian Books/HarperCollins, 2007)
  • Showcasing Space, Volume 6, Artefacts Series: Studies in the History of Science and Technology (2005), as coeditor with Douglas Millard
  • Cold War: Laboratory: RAND, the Air Force, and the American State (Smithsonian Institution, 2002)

He currently is working on a history of communications satellites and globalization in the 1990s, as seen through the multinational satellite telephony venture, Iridium.