Slides showing various scenes in space.

Archives

Our Archives Department supports the Museum's mission and assists scholars and researchers by acquiring, preserving, organizing, and describing the documentary evidence of aerospace history.

The Archives' collections span the history of flight from ancient times to the present day and include a wide range of visual and textual materials, including documents, photographs, motion picture film and video, and more than two million technical drawings.


As a public health precaution due to COVID-19, the Archives Reading Room is temporarily closed and future appointments are currently unavailable. However, we encourage you to explore our online finding aids and digital collections.

Please use the Research Request form to contact the Archives. Staff has limited access to collection materials, so responses may take longer. Please hold reproduction orders until the Archives has reopened.


Explore the Collection

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About the Collection

A black and white photograph of a man on a lift filming a battle damaged plane.

Film Archives

A photo taken from underneath an aircraft. One man leans out with a camera, the other is a pilot.

Photo Archives

Men sit with headphones on and devices at the center of a table.

Audio Collections

A card with hand-written and stamped details.

Aircraft History Cards

A line drawing of a biplane

Technical and Scale Drawings

A tabbed page from a manual. The front includes a graphic of a green-tinged image with planes flying and the text "General Section Orientation of Structure, Systems, and Components of units. B-17F Airplane."

Aircraft Technical Manuals

A diagram with German writing on it.

Captured German and Japanese Technical Documents

Multiple colorful files in a folder.

Technical Reference Files