The EAA's Library collection has been accumulating since the beginning of EAA itself in 1953. Members began donating items they felt would assist EAA in serving the aviation community and preserving aviation’s history. Over the years the collection became quite large, but was not organized for easy access.
In 1983, when the present EAA AirVenture Museum facility was built at Oshkosh, provisions were made to accommodate the library materials. Serious efforts to catalog the collection were undertaken in 1984 and by 1985 the library was open for business.
Of special interest to researchers, the collection includes the following:
- An almost complete set of Jane's All The Worlds Aircraft beginning with a reprint of the 1st volume from 1909
- A complete set of The Aircraft Yearbook beginning with the 1st volume from 1919
- Several volumes of Aerosphere, a very valued reference tool, the earliest volume dated 1939
- Copies of the Bibliography of Aeronautics published by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) compiled by Paul Brockett
| Books | Photographs | Journals | Manuals | Services | Hours | Contact |
The library’s book collection contains nearly 11,000 volumes. The general book collection is divided by subject to cover a variety of topics including biographies, aerodynamics, history, fiction, aeronautics, air racing, homebuilding and many, many more. The book collection is very in-depth, but does lean more to the historical as opposed to the cutting-edge in design technology.
The library’s photographic collection has something for everyone. Beginning with the Wright brothers and continuing into the space age, the photo archives are an invaluable resource. . The photo archive has more than 100,000 images of aircraft and the people that made them famous.
In addition to documenting historically famous aircraft, the photo archives contain numerous photographs that feature the homebuilding movement of the early 1950s in the United States. The photos, many taken at early EAA Fly-Ins, tell the story of an emerging group of people determined to design, build and fly their own aircraft. These photographs have been donated mainly by thoughtful EAA members who want to assist the library in its mission to preserve the history of aviation for future generations. The photo archives also include the below listed special collections. Copies of photographs from these collections can be purchased by contacting the library at 920-426-4848 or email email@example.com.
- Radtke Collection: One thousand negatives of military and civil aircraft and famous aviation personalities from the 1930s. This collection of photographs can be viewed online at www.flickr.com.
- The Worthington Collection: More than 125 glass negatives donated by W. L. Worthington by an unknown photographer who combined photography of Packard automobiles with popular aircraft of the same era.
A full set of contact prints have been made for this collection.
Unique photos of aircraft with personalities, automobiles, Native Americans and horses.
- The Norman Collection: Hundreds of eight by ten black and white photographs of civil and military, foreign and US aircraft covering the golden years of aviation. This collection of photographs can be viewed online at www.flickr.com.
MAX CONRAD COLLECTION
Max Conrad was considered one of the greatest pilots who ever lived. Filled with the Charles Lindbergh spirit and the triumph his flight to Paris in 1927, Conrad quit college and began taking flying lessons. He embarked on an aviation career that spanned decades and would take him to all corners of the earth. His aviation records and awards were countless and he logged more than 50,000 hours of flying time.
After several visits to the EAA Library from one of Max Conrad’s daughters, Katherine Conrad-Kersten, the Max Conrad Collection was officially donated to the EAA AirVenture Museum/Library Archives in December of 2010.
The Max Conrad Collection: The collection contains a variety of memorabilia including:
Photographs, sheet music composed by Conrad, log books, newspaper and magazine clippings, record flight documentation, manuscripts, films, audio tapes, sound recordings, and scrapbooks
The journal collection spans the century from the late 1800s to the present. Included are historical journals and current news for the aviation industry. These publications present the innovations in aviation technology from its earliest beginnings to the leading edge in homebuilding.
- oldest title held by the library is Aeronautics, Vol. 1, No. 2 dated Nov. 1893. Excellent continuous runs of Aviation, Popular Aviation, Skyways and many foreign titles are represented.
- library also has a very complete run of the early modeling magazines starting in the late 1920s. These magazines are valued for their scale aircraft drawings. The library has compiled an index of more than 7,000 of these published drawings in a searchable database that can be used to assist the most dedicated researcher.
An integral part of the library’s collection is the large assortment of technical manuals. These publications, dealing with overhaul, maintenance, operation and instruction on a variety of aircraft, engines and accessories are invaluable to the aviation enthusiast. The manuals are for military and civilian aircraft alike. In addition, many illustrated parts catalogs, miscellaneous service bulletins and pilot notes are part of the collection.
The EAA Library and Archives is open to EAA members and the public. Requests are accepted by phone, postal mail, and email. The library charges nominal fees for reference and copy work.
- The library has electronic indexing to a variety of aviation publications.
- Searches: The library will keyword search a particular topic for you as a ready reference service. There is no charge to EAA members for this service.
- Upon request, the library can prepare specific topic bibliographies. This service is free to EAA members, a fee of $10.00 is charged to non-members.
The library is open Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST and weekends by special appointment. There is no charge to access the Library. A photocopy machine is available for patron use with copies costing ten cents a page with a one-dollar minimum. Library staff can assist with any questions you may have.
The EAA Library is a research library. Book lending is done on a limited basis through Interlibrary Loan with most public and university libraries. You can contact the Library by calling 920-426-4848 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. A two-week waiting period is standard for most reference replies.