National Air and Space Museum 2015 Annual Report


Museum Acquires Sir Arthur C. Clarke Collection

Arthur C. Clarke Through the Years
Photos of Arthur C. Clarke throughout his life from one of the scrapbooks that was acquired in 2015.

The Arthur C. Clarke Trust donated a collection consisting of 87 cubic feet of material representing the life's work of one of the twentieth century's foremost science fiction writers and futurists. Arthur C. Clarke, well known for penning the novel and screenplay for 2001: A Space Odyssey, was a writer of both science fiction and science fact. His contributions to the rapid technological development of the mid-twentieth century included popularizing the concept of a network of geostationary communications satellites—a cornerstone of twenty-first century society-as early as 1945, 12 years before the launch of the first artificial satellite, Sputnik. Clarke was also a noted deep-sea explorer, inventor, and television personality.

This collection contains personal and business correspondence, manuscripts of most of Clarke's fiction works in various draft states, short stories, articles, addresses, speeches, forewords, prefaces, movie outlines, Apollo 11 broadcast material, datebooks and notebooks, reference materials, business cards of visitors and contacts, photos, and slides. Other material in the collection includes video tapes, 16 mm films, audio tapes, and personal items. The collection is now available to researchers in the Museum's Archives.

Curator Martin Collins and Archivist Patti Williams traveled to Clarke's home in Colombo, Sri Lanka, to catalog, pack, and ship the collection to the Udvar-Hazy Center. Support for the team's travel and shipment of the collection were provided by FedEx.

For more information and photos of the collection, read these three blog posts: Finding Treasures in the Arthur C. Clarke Collection and Archiving the Arthur C. Clark Collection by Patti Williams; and Arthur C. Clarke's Papers Arrive at the National Air and Space Museum by Martin Collins.