Agency history, 1958-

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  • Boyne, Walter J. 1929-
  • Collins, Michael 1930-
  • Garber, Paul Edward 1899-1992
  • Harwit, Martin 1931-
  • Lopez, Donald S. 1923-2008
  • Taylor, Frank A (Frank Augustus) 1903-2007
  • Tyler, James C. 1935-
  • Dailey, John R
  • Hinners, Noel W
  • Hopkins, Philip S
  • Johnston, S. Paul (Samuel Paul) 1899-
  • Mitman, Carl Weaver 1889-
  • Engen, Donald Davenport 1924-1999
  • Zisfein, Melvin B
  • National Air Museum (U.S.)
  • United States National Museum


Agency History


  • This is an agency history. It does not describe actual records. The Smithsonian Institution Archives uses these histories as brief accounts of the origin, development, and functions of an office or administrative unit to set that unit in its historical context. To find information on record holdings, please double-click the highlighted field "Creator/Author", which will open on a brief view of relevant records.
  • Guide to the Smithsonian Archives 1996
  • Smithsonian Institution, "National Air and Space Museum," [], 01/05/00
  • The position of Director was not established until 1958. Prior to that, Carl W. Mitman was appointed Assistant to the Secretary for the National Air Museum in 1946. Upon his retirement in 1952, Curator Paul E. Garber was named Head Curator.
  • In 1958, Philip S. Hopkins became the first Director, serving from 1958 to 1964. He was succeeded by S. Paul Johnston, who held the position from 1964 to 1969. Frank A. Taylor was appointed Acting Director and held that position until Michael Collins was appointed Director in 1971. Collins guided the Museum through the construction and opening of the new facility. He resigned in 1978 and was succeeded by Melvin B. Zisfein, Acting Director, 1978-1979; Noel W. Hinners, Director, 1979-1982; Walter Boyne, Acting Director, 1982, Director, 1983-1986; Donald S. Lopez, Acting Director, 1986, 1995, and 1999; James C. Tyler, Acting Director, 1986-1987; Martin Harwit, Director, 1987-1995; Donald Davenport Engen, 1996-1999; and John R. Dailey, Director, 2000- .

Repository Loc.

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Capital Gallery, Suite 3000, MRC 507; 600 Maryland Avenue, SW; Washington, DC 20024-2520


  • 1958
  • 1958-


  • Astronautical museums
  • Aeronautics
  • Museums
  • Astronautics
  • Aeronautical museums


Mixed archival materials

Local number

SIA AH00115

Full Record

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