Our Staff is ready and willing to answer your questions on aviation and space flight, or to assist with your research project.
Make a Research Request
Submit a Request
Phone Inquiries? Call Us.
Please use the Research Request form while the Museum is closed to the public.
Make an Appointment
Call to plan a visit to the Archives in Virginia
Appointments available: As a public health precaution due to COVID-19 (coronavirus), all Smithsonian museums in Washington, D.C will temporarily close to the public starting Saturday, March 14, including NASM Archives. See our message to visitors.
Requesting Research Services:
- Send written requests to the Archives Reference Desk via email or postal mail using the contact information on the right.
- Make your request as specific as possible by listing specific aircraft types, spacecraft types, people, places or dates. Broad subject areas, like "WW1," "WWII," "early airplanes," or "space" do not usually produce good results.
- Describe how you intend to use the material in your request.
- Please limit aircraft-related requests to three models or serial numbers.
Requesting a Customized Search of our Holdings:
We have tried provide detailed lists of the items in some of our most popular collections, but in other collections the sheer bulk of materials precludes our making the complete list available. In these cases, you may request a customized search of our holdings. For information about the availability of specific materials in the following collections, please submit a written request:
- Technical Manuals
- Technical and Scale Drawings
- Captured German and Japanese Documents
- Aircraft History Cards
Replies may require two to three weeks, and are sent via postal mail. Staff can perform customized searches on up to three subjects per request, and we accept up to one request per household or organization per month.
Visit the Archives
For more in-depth research, you can make an appointment to visit the reading room yourself. Plan your visit to the Archives.
The National Air and Space Museum assumes no liability for accidents or damage caused by or to aircraft built, operated, or restored from documents obtained from the Museum. Technical documents are made available by the National Air and Space Museum for historical and research purposes only and are not intended for commercial use or further dissemination.