Agency history, 1972-

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  • Scott, Catherine D
  • Smith, Martin
  • Spencer, David M
  • Pietropaoli, Frank
  • Cottrill, Chris
  • Edwards, Philip D


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.
  • Smithsonian Institution, "National Air and Space Museum Branch Library,", accessed May 23, 2000.
  • Smithsonian Libraries, National Air and Space Museum Library,, accessed September 1, 2021.
  • The National Air and Space Museum Branch Library is one of twenty-one branch libraries in the Smithsonian Institution Libraries system. It supports the specialized research, exhibitions, and public programs of the National Air and Space Museum and other museums and offices within the Smithsonian.
  • The library evolved from the historical working collections of the museum and was organized into a library in 1972 in the Arts and Industries Building. Until then, it consisted largely of the Institute of Aeronautical Sciences' original gift and other institutional and individual donations. Collections were merged and efforts initiated to supplement this rich historical resource with current and restrospective materials. The organized collection was moved into the new National Air and Space Museum for the opening in 1976.
  • The general collection consists of monographs (books), serials, technical reports, government publications and microforms. With approximately 40,000 volumes, the collection supports the following research: aerospace, including aviation history; air transport and aviation (civil and military); astronomy; balloons and ballooning; flight material, including propulsion; geology: lunar, planetary, and terrestrial; remote sensing; rocket engine design; and space history, including spacecraft design and instrumentation.
  • Professional staff of the Library has included Catherine D. Scott, Librarian, 1972-1982; Frank Pietropaoli, Chief Librarian, 1982-1987; Martin Smith, Unit Manager and Chief Librarian, 1987-1990; David Spencer, Librarian, 1991-1998; Elaine Cline, Librarian, 1998- ; Chris Cottrill, Head Librarian; and Philip D. Edwards, Reference Librarian.
  • For a history of the larger creating unit, refer to "Forms part of above."

Repository Loc.

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


  • 1972
  • 1972-


  • Museum libraries
  • Aeronautics
  • Libraries
  • Museums
  • Librarians
  • Libraries and museums
  • Aeronautical museums


Mixed archival materials

Local number

SIA AH00148

Full Record

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