Access to the U.S. Space & Rocket Center Archives is granted by appointment only and is based on staff availability.

The Archives of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center contains some of the most important technical documents and historic papers of the 20th century, including:

  • The papers of Dr. Wernher von Braun and other rocket scientists - 108 linear feet of Von Braun's documents alone!
  • A collection of hundreds of books covering topics from space history to science fiction
  • Technical documents pertaining to the early birth of space exploration
  • NASA special publications
  • Congressional records from the early space program
  • Science fiction materials from the 1920s forward
  • The papers of WWII U. S. Army Ordnance Corps officers
  • The space collection of Frederick Ordway III, who served as the Technical Advisor for the film 2001: A Space Odyssey.


If you are interested in utilizing the Center’s collection for research, please fill out a research application by clicking here: Archives Research Application Form


U.S. Space & Rocket Center Archives

Rules of Conduct

Handling artifacts and archival materials:

When handling or dealing with any artifacts or archival material from USSRC, please follow the guidelines outlined below. 

  • No researcher will be left unattended in an area containing archives or objects.
  • Always follow instructions provided by the supervising USSRC staff.
  • Wear clean gloves that are appropriate to the handling requirements of the artifact:
    • Nitrile gloves when handling most objects
    • Cotton gloves with nitrile-coated palms when handling large objects that require extra grip
  • Never eat, smoke, or drink in the vicinity of collections.
  • Use extreme precaution when handling any artifact:
    • Do not place the object in any area where you are using tools, liquids, pens, or other non-artifacts
    • Be aware of the object’s location at all times to avoid accidental breakage, bumping, or dropping
    • When moving an artifact even a short distance, plan where you are going before you go there
    • Always lift or hold an object over a surface, never slide or push an object across a surface
    • Always use two hands to lift or hold an object (unless it is oversized or awkward, then use several people)
    • When moving a spacesuit, a minimum of two people are necessary at all times
    • Avoid lifting objects by limbs, handles, spouts, or other extended areas
  • Do not clean any artifact.
  • If an object breaks or is damaged in some way, collect all broken pieces no matter how small, and label them in a container with object identification.

If you have any other questions, please contact Curator, Ed Stewart,  or 256-721-5453.

Thank you for your cooperation in extending the life of our artifacts and archives!