National Air and Space Museum Cataloged Imagery Collection

Collection ID:
Smithsonian Institution
bulk 1971-1999

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
This collection contains copy photographs numbered in the SI negative system. The photographs are organized by format (print, 4x5 inch b/w negative, 4x5 inch color transparency, 35mm color or b/w slide), then numerically by SI negative number within a given format. All images are catalogued in the NASM Archives' FileMaker Pro Image Database system, which provides intellectual access. The collection does contain a small amount of original NASM photography of artifacts and events, but overwhelmingly consists of images of aircraft, spacecraft, and aviation and space-related people and events copied from a wide range of sources. Many images are subject to third-party copyrights.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
In 1971, the Smithsonian Institution Office of Printing and Photographic Services (OPPS) was formed (later known as the Office of Imaging, Printing and Photographic Services, OIPP and Smithsonian Photo Services, SPS) to provide original and copy photography service to all interested bureaus of the Smithsonian Institution, as well as to provide permanent storage for film-based still photography. Still picture film formats deposited with OPPS were assigned Smithsonian Institution (SI) negative numbers and retained in the OPPS cold storage vault. In 1999 the calendar-based numbering format altered slightly to accommodate the century change and OPPS (then OIPP) abandoned the bulk of their film-based operations and switched to digital imagery. Between 1971 and 1999 SI negative numbers were assigned to a large number of images from the collections of the National Air and Space Museum (NASM). The actual number of NASM copy photographs is unknown, but may be in the range of 50,000 to 60,000 images. Photographs from a variety of sources were routinely copied by NASM-branch OPPS photographers at the request of NASM staff members. Until circa 1985 it was standard practice for NASM to keep large three-ring binders of copy photographs (sorted by subject) on hand for the reference convenience of staff and patrons. Additional copy photographs were kept in the Technical Reference Files. This practice became less prevalent in the 1990s, and ceased for all intents and purposes in 2000 with the switch to the use of digital image systems for reference and reproduction.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
No restrictions on access.
Preferred Citation
National Air and Space Museum Cataloged Imagery Collection, Accession 1999-0070, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Conditions Governing Use
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Aeronautics Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Astronautics Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Aircraft Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Space vehicles Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographic prints Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
National Air and Space Museum Archives
14390 Air & Space Museum Parkway
Chantilly, VA 20151