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About NASA's History Division

The NASA History Program was first established in 1959 (a year after NASA itself was formed) and has continued to document and preserve the agency's remarkable history through a variety of products. Dr. Roger D. Launius, former NASA Chief Historian, wrote an excellent historiographic article about the history of the NASA History Division itself.

Many people are familiar with our publications, as we publish a number of new books on aerospace history every year, as well as several monographs. We also put a number of our publications on-line, especially out of print books, in addition to a variety of other special Web exhibits and information sources. We also publish a quarterly newsletter and an annual round-up of our activities. To get an electronic copy of our newsletter and to find out about these new products and events relating to NASA history, we recommend subscribing to our history listserv. To find out more about what materials we have, you might also check out Research in NASA History (a large pdf file).

The new NASA HQ Historical Reference Collection on-line public database is now available. Four series from the NASA Headquarters Historical Reference Collection have been digitized and made available in this new on-line database for use by researchers. Included are PDFs of Press Kits, Press Releases, Mission Transcripts, and Administrators' Speeches. Researchers may use either the Basic Search or Advanced Search to access these. The HQ History Division staff has digitized all press kits, press releases, mission transcripts, and Administrators' speeches that were available to them in the Historical Reference Collection. Links are provided to other sources where similar and/or additional information can be found. A link has been added at the bottom of the HQ Historical Reference Collection main page at that takes researchers to a new page containing Speeches of Key Officials. There are over 400 PDFs of speeches given by Sam Phillips, Homer Newell, George Mueller, Wernher von Braun, Rex Geveden, and others. These speeches are full text searchable.

The American Historical Association annually awards one fellowship for researching aerospace history. For more information, please visit the AHA Web site. We also sponsor The NASA Fellowship in the History of Space Technology, offered by SHOT and supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) History Division. Please visit the SHOT website for more information. The History of Science Society Fellowship in the History of Space Science, supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) History Division, funds a nine-month research project that is related to any aspect of the history of space science, from the earliest human interest in space to the present. Visit the HSS Web site for more information. We also sponsor internships for undergraduate students.

The NASA History Division serves two key functions: fulfilling the mandate of the 1958 "Space Act" calling for NASA to disseminate aerospace information as widely as possible, and helping NASA managers understand and thus benefit from the study of past accomplishment and difficulties. Thus, in addition to serving internal NASA customers, the NASA History Program is of great interest to a wide panoply of outside citizens who follow aerospace activities such as scholars, journalists, and students. While most of the NASA History Division products are scholarly in nature, they are also largely accessible to interested broader audiences. For a more detailed look into what NASA History can do for you, you might wish to visit our site Thinking about NASA History. Thank you for your interest in NASA history-we hope you find what you desire and find the topic as exciting as we do.

Those interested in looking into NASA History beyond our Web site may wish to visit our links page.

Internal NASA History Program Guides

Guide to Using Footnotes and Endnotes
NASA History Editorial Style Guide
A Brief Citation Guide for Internet Sources in History and the Humanities
Oral History Interview Use Restrictions Form
Revising Historical Manuscripts for Publication
An Editorial Checklist
Preparing an Index

A Note to Readers of NASA Historical Manuscripts

1 ©1999 by the Regents of the University of California and the National Council on Public History. Reprinted from The Public Historian Vol 21:3, by permission of the University of California Press

Steve Garber, NASA History Web Curator
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