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Moving the National Air and Space Museum’s Archives

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The Museum's Archives Division Building 12 at the Paul E. Garber Facility. Photograph by Eric Long (SI 2001-1386)


October is American Archives Month—a time to celebrate the importance of archives across the country. In honor of Archives Month, we’re participating in a pan-Smithsonian blogathon throughout the month. We, and other bloggers from across the Smithsonian, will be blogging about our archival collections, issues, and behind-the-scenes projects. We encourage you to check out the posts on all of the participating blogs, as well as related events and resources.

You may have heard that the National Air and Space Museum Archives is moving.  The collections and offices are moving from the current location of Building 12 at the Paul E. Garber Restoration and Storage Facility and from the Museum in Washington, D.C. to their new location at the Steven F. Udvar Hazy Center.



archives staff

Archives staff tour the Archives' new facility at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. Photograph by Allan Janus (NASM 9A08827).


The new Archives storage area is over 1,486 square meters (16,000 square feet), three times the storage space the Museum had formerly including seven to eight times more space for rare manuscripts and motion picture film. The storage area is modern, climate-controlled, and secured.  There is 446 square meters (4,800 square feet) of workroom and office space for the staff.

The staff has inventoried and packed over 14,000 cubic feet of material, including 16,000 reels of microfilm; more than 20,000 motion picture or video items; 60,000 paper drawings; 70,000 technical manuals and two million photographs for the move to the Udvar-Hazy Center.

The Archives will also have a new 1,951 square meter (21,000 square foot) reading room that overlooks the Mary Baker Engen Restoration Hangar.  Our reading room in the Museum in Washington D.C. will remain open to researchers.



reading room

Archives reading room, Mall Museum. Photograph by Eric Long (NASM 9A08105).


The big move begins in October, which happens to be National Archives Month, and will be completed by Thanksgiving.  We will keep you posted on our progress so watch this space and our website for details about the move and some of the interesting collection items we found during the inventory and packing.




Archives Staff at Building 12, Garber Facility - from left, Marilyn Graskowiak, David Schwartz, Mark Kahn, Larry Wilson, Paul Silbermann. Photograph by Allan Janus (NASM 9A08828).


Marilyn Graskowiak is the Museum’s Supervisory Archivist and chair of the Archives Division.

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5 thoughts on “Moving the National Air and Space Museum’s Archives

  1. With all the technological changes we have had and those to come you definitely will be needing the space. I am really surprised you were able to pack all that history in such a small place. It seems you may have outgrown it some time ago,you will certainly have your hands full managing the move.

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