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Finding Aids, by Repository:
- National Archives and Records Administration
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Guides to Holdings at the
National Archives and Records Administration

As the official repository for U.S. Government records, NARA holds the largest collection of Ames records. The Pacific Region facility in San Bruno, California houses hundreds of boxes of records generated at Ames. NARA's facility in Riverside, California and main research facility in College Park, Maryland ("Archives II") also hold records pertaining to Ames. Note that because records from 1971 until the present are considered active records, they are not archived.

Search Ames-related finding aids on the Online Archive of California:


NARA FACILITY: Pacific Region, San Bruno, California
Finding Aids (on OAC Web site)
+Guide to the NACA Ames Aeronautical Laboratory Records at NARA San Francisco, 1939-1958 The NACA Ames records document a broad range of theoretical work, applied research, and testing related to aeronautics and space technology. Subjects include aerodynamics, airframe problems, flight simulation, instrument development, satellite re-entry, heat transfer and de-icing. It also documents design and wind tunnel testing of such aircraft as the P-51 Mustang and P-38 Lightning. Also included are records relating to project proposals and research authorizations, minutes of the NACA committees on which Ames staff served, and general administrative matters. The records are primarily central files, consisting of correspondence, data sheets, minutes of meetings, memorandums, specifications, and technical reports. Nontextual records include artwork, engineering drawings, and photographs interfiled with textual records. The general Ames photograph files are still in the Federal Record Center.
+Guide to the NACA Ames Aeronautical Laboratory and NASA Ames Research Center Records at NARA San Francisco, 1939-1971 This finding aid describes 400 feet of unprocessed records of the NACA Ames Aeronautical Laboratory and the NASA Ames Research Center. This collection both continues and complements the processed collection of NACA records (summarized above) at NARA San Bruno.
NARA FACILITY: Riverside, California
Finding Aids (on OAC Web site)
+Guide to the Western Support Office Papers, 1939-1969 The Western Coordination Office (WCO) was established to act as the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) liaison with aircraft companies and aeronautics research units of colleges and universities in the western region of the United States. Its functions were eventually transferred to the Western Support Office (WSO) in 1966, which reported to the Office of Industry Affairs at NASA headquarters. The materials in this collection include administrative documents, reference memoranda, and correspondence primarily generated by Edwin P. Hartman, the WSO coordinator.
NARA FACILITY: College Park, Maryland ("Archives II")
The records of NASA and its precursor, the NACA, comprise Record Group 255 NARA.
Finding Aids (on OAC Web site)
+Guide to the NACA Ames Aeronautical Laboratory Records at NARA College Park, 1939-1958 This NARA facility holds two groups of textual records and one group of photographic records that contain documents pertinent to Ames. Materials in these groups are presented in this guide, and include research authorizations, material from public affairs officers, and photographs.
Additional Finding Aids
1. Inventory of Ames Textual Records (in RG255.2.2 and RG255.4.1)
(+Download PDF file)
There are two groups of textual records from Ames within the NACA records:
- Three boxes of research authorizations, primarily correspondence between NACA headquarters and Ames about funding research during World War II.
- Six boxes of materials sent to NACA headquarters from the new Ames Aeronautical Laboratory. Most of these records originated from public affairs officers.
2. Inventory of Ames
Photographs (in RG255.12)
(+Download PDF file)
The NACA records include three sets of still photographs pertaining to Ames:
- Five boxes indexed by facilities (RG255-RF).
- Two boxes relating specifically to Ames (RG255-RFA).
- Eleven boxes organized by scientific research subject (RG255-RA).

Record Group 255 holds many other records that indirectly address Ames, as part of the general administrative records of the NACA. This collection includes the biographical files of NACA leaders. A finding aid is available online and in the Archives II reading room.

+Guide to Record Group 255 (posted on NARA Web site).

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NASA Ames Research Center
History Archives, Mail Stop 207-1
Moffett Field, CA 94035-0001
Curator: Ames History Archives
NASA Official: Brent Little