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Archives at The Museum of Flight


The Museum of Flight Oral History Collection

 Collection
Identifier: 2019-00-00-100
The Museum of Flight Oral History Collection chronicles the personal stories of individuals in the fields of aviation and aerospace, from pilots and engineers to executives. This collection, which dates from 2013 to present, consists of digital video recordings and transcripts, which illustrate these individuals’ experiences, relationship with aviation, and advice for those interested in the field. By the end of 2019, approximately 76 interviews will have had been conducted. The interviews range in length from approximately 20 minutes to 4 hours and 45 minutes. Most interviews are completed in one session, but some participants were interviewed over multiple occasions.

The personal stories in this collection span much of the modern history of flight, from the Golden Age of Aviation in the 1930s, to the evolution of jet aircraft in the mid-twentieth century, to the ongoing developments of the Space Age. The selected interviewees represent a wide range of career paths and a diverse cross-section of professionals, each of whom made significant contributions to their field. Among the many interviewees are Calvin Kam, a United States Army veteran who served as a helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War; Robert “Bob” Alexander, a mechanical engineer who helped design the Hubble Telescope; and Betty Riley Stockard, a flight attendant during the 1940s who once acted as a secret parcel carrier during World War II.

Dates

  • 2013-2020

Creator

Language of Materials

All materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research and is accessible in the Dahlberg Research Center by appointment. Interviews are being made available online on an ongoing basis. For more information contact us.

Conditions Governing Use

The Museum of Flight (TMOF) Archives is the owner of the physical materials in the archives and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from TMOF archives before any publication use. TMOF does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from copyright owners. Consult repository for more details.

Extent

280.1 Gigabytes (41 master video files, 41 access files, 41 transcripts)

Abstract

The Museum of Flight Oral Interview Collection contains recordings and transcripts of oral interviews conducted by Museum staff with people connected to the aviation and aerospace fields. The project began in 2013 and is ongoing.

Historical Note: Mary Kay and Michael Hallman Oral History Program

The Mary Kay and Michael Hallman Oral History Program was established in 2013 to document the unique stories and experiences of individuals involved in aviation and manned spaceflight history, from pilots and engineers to executives. These personal stories span much of the modern history of flight, from the Golden Age of Aviation in the 1930s, to the evolution of jet aircraft in the mid-twentieth century, to the ongoing developments of the Space Age. The interviews provide a firsthand perspective on the advancements of flight technology and how that evolving technology influenced people’s careers and day-to-day lives. The primary goal of the Oral History Program is to capture and preserve these stories, in their own words, through video and audio recordings and full interview transcriptions. These historical items are then digitally preserved and maintained for current and future generations. They are also used to complement the Museum’s dynamic exhibits and are made available directly to researchers via the Museum’s Research Center.

The program, which is overseen by the Oral History Program Administrator, aims to complete at least a dozen interviews a year. A concentrated effort is made to interview a diverse pool of candidates that represent many different aspects of the aviation and aerospace fields. Interviewees include test pilots, civil pilots, military veterans, flight attendants, engineers, flight and ground crews, and astronauts. Interview questions are designed based on information from a biographical questionnaire completed by interviewees and research information obtained by the interviewer. Standard interview questions are used at the beginning and end of each interview and interviewees have input in what they do and do not want to discuss. Interviews are conducted by dedicated staff and volunteers from The Museum of Flight and generally conducted on site at the Museum. Once the interviews are completed, members of the Museum’s Exhibits department edit the videos. The transcripts are reviewed and copy-edited by members of the Collections department after they are received from Pioneer Transcription Services. These historical items are then digitally preserved and maintained for public access.

Arrangement

Oral history interviews are listed alphabetically by the subject's last name.

Accruals

Further accruals are expected. Processing and cataloging of the interviews is ongoing.

Existence and Location of Copies

Materials from this collection are digital in format; some are available at The Museum of Flight Digital Collections.

Processing Information

The transcripts were created by Pioneer Transcription Services and then reviewed and edited by TMOF volunteers and staff. Processing and cataloging of the interviews is ongoing.
Title
Guide to the Museum of Flight Oral History Collection
Status
in_progress
Author
A. Lane, J. Thompson, K. Hopp, C. Palermo
Date
2019-2021
Description rules
dacs
Language of description
English
Sponsor
The production of the videos was funded by Mary Kay and Michael Hallman. Processing and cataloging of the videos was made possible by a 4Culture "Heritage Projects" grant.
Edition statement
1st edition

Repository Details

Part of the The Museum of Flight Archives Repository

Contact:
9404 East Marginal Way South
Seattle Washington 98108-4097
206-764-7874


The Museum of Flight | 9404 E. Marginal Way South | Seattle WA 98108-4097 | 206-764-5874
Contact us with a research request
curator@museumofflight.org