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Glenn History Office

The NASA Glenn History Office documents the research, facilities, and people who have contributed to the center’s extensive history, manages the Glenn History Collection, and provides a range of research support.

The Glenn History Office, established in 1999, collects and preserves historical materials related to the center and promotes the center’s history through publications, websites, and other media.
Services include management of the Glenn History Collection; development of historical content for websites, articles, and exhibits; writing histories for NASA’s Historical Publications Series; providing basic and in-depth reference and research services; and supporting center organizations including the Office of Communications, Cultural Resources Program, and Technical Library.

Shelving units in library.
View of the Glenn History Collection.
NASA

Glenn History Collection

The Glenn History Collection contains primary source, secondary source, and reference materials covering much of the Center’s history. These materials include copies of official records sent to the National Archives, personal papers donated by some of the center’s luminaries, various program and facility files, as well as center newsletters, press releases, and directories. The collection also includes audio/visuals, artwork, and three-dimensional objects.

The Glenn archives is a closed collection located in the center’s Science and Engineering Library. Many of the documents have been digitized for access.  Research requests can be made at grc-history@lists.nasa.gov

Collection Highlights:

  •      A complete set of Center Newspapers.
  •     Center imagery collection – photographs, films, and video
  •     Director’s Office papers
  •     Documents related to the establishment of the center and its facilities.
  •     Documents related to historic programs, projects, and operation.
  •     Retiree personal papers.
  •     Press kits and new releases
  •     Telephone directories
  •     Materials related to Center events, awards, and social activities

The Glenn History Office gladly accept materials that fit within our collection development policy and contribute to our research needs. These materials should relate directly to Glenn Research Center. At this time, we are not accepting copies of Lewis News, commercially published magazines and newspapers, or large artifacts.

Historical marker in front of building.
Ohio Historical Marker for NASA Glenn Research Center.
NASA

Services

The Glenn History offers reference and research services, support for historical mitigation projects, historical content for the Glenn communications team and for center events.

Reference: The Glenn History Office regularly provides center employees, management, and external customers with information or materials regarding the center’s history. Reference requests can be made at grc-history@lists.nasa.gov

Historical Documentation: To help the center meet its obligations under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, the Glenn History Office has documented a number of historic facilities prior to their demolition and supports the center’s ongoing mitigation efforts.

Communications: The Glenn History Office regularly contributes articles, features, and social media content for the center’s Communications Office.

History books on table.
NASA Glenn history publications.
NASA

Publications

The Glenn History Office has created and sponsored an array of publications documenting various aspects of the history of the center.  These include scholarly histories, websites, articles, documentaries, and timelines.

Books

Articles and Web Features

  • This page contains links to articles and web feature highlighting specific people, events, research programs, and facilities that contribute to the center’s history.

Documentaries and Video Footage

Glenn History Websites

  • Glenn History Sites — An evolving collection of websites provides a variety of resources highlighting the rich history of the center’s research, employees, and facilities.
  • NASA Glenn History — An overview of Glenn Research Center’s 80 years of research. Includes biographies of all Glenn center directors.
  • Armstrong Test Facility History – An overview of the research activities conducted at the former Plum Brook Station.
  • Glenn Hall of Fame — Biographies of inductees into the Glenn Hall of Fame and information regarding the induction ceremonies.
  • NASA Glenn’s Arrival in Cleveland — This website details the NACA’s 1940 decision to locate its new engine laboratory (today the Glenn Research Center) in Cleveland, Ohio.
  • NASA’s Arrival in Sandusky — An overview of of the pre-NASA history of the Armstrong Test Facility (Plum Brook Station) and how the NACA selected the location for its remote test facility.
  • Glenn Impact on the Apollo Program —Summary of NASA Glenn’s scientific, technological, and managerial contributions that impacted the Apollo Program.
  • Early Years at NASA Glenn—A photographic retrospective of the first 40 years of operation at the center (1941–79) with in-depth captions.
  • The NACA Inspections — A repository for images, presentations, correspondence, and other documents from the NACA’s post-war Inspections.
  • Glenn’s NACA-Era Aircraft — This website contains images, histories, and specifications for 11 aircraft used at Glenn between 1943 and 1958.

Historic Facilities Websites

  • Glenn Historic Preservation — Overview of the center’s mitigation efforts to document several of its historic test facilities prior to their demolition.
  • Altitude Wind Tunnel (AWT) and Space Power Chambers (SPC) — This website provides an interactive look at what was one of NASA’s most significant wind tunnels. It includes images, videos, reports, timelines, and materials for students.
  • Propulsion Systems Laboratory (PSL)— This website is dedicated to PSL’s history and facility, and it includes related documents and reports.
  • Rocket Engine Test Facility (RETF) — This website was designed to preserve the legacy of the RETF. It includes photographs and videos of the RETF and interactive lessons on rocket engine testing.
  • Rocket Systems Area — This website documents the history of the Rocket Systems Area at Plum Brook Station. It includes photographs, documents, monthly status reports, and timelines regarding the nine cryogenic fuel test facilities.
  • Special Projects Laboratory — This website documents the research and physical attributes of the Special Projects Laboratory, originally named the Jet Propulsion Static Laboratory.
  • Cyclotron Facility – This website describes the research, facility, and operation of the Cyclotron Facility. The site includes related documents and reports.
  • Rocket Laboratory – This website documents the history of the Rocket Lab facility, also known as the Research Combustion Laboratory. It includes photographs, documents, and timelines regarding the facility and the research conducted there.

Timelines and Articles