Every document in the collection has been assigned a multi-part Wright Field Number. This number is adapted from the Air Force central decimal correspondence filing system. Wright Field Numbers are written in the format:
[Subject Code] [Category Suffix] / [Sequence Number] [Sequence Modifier]
• Subject Code: This number begins with an alpha-numeric subject code. For example, D52.1 (Airplanes, arranged alphabetically).
• Category Suffix: A more specific textual subject reference. For example, in the D52.1 subjects, the suffix is usually a manufacturer name, aircraft name, or a general type of aircraft. (Original Wright Field cataloguers could be inconsistent in how they classified an airplane. For example, a document on a Japanese Mitsubishi A6M could be filed alphabetically under A6M, Mitsubishi, Zeke, Zero, or Misc. Japanese.) It is possible to not have a category suffix.
• Sequence Number: The individual number assigned to the document within its subject code and category. If a document was formerly classified as "Security Information," the sequence number starts with "S," for example "S-1." These are usually filed at the beginning of a range of documents. Sometimes technical manuals are filed using the technical order (TO) number. For example, 01-20EE-3 is the sequence number used for a Boeing B-17 Handbook of Overhaul Instructions, TO-01-20EE-3.
• Sequence Modifier: If there is a revision or multiple parts of a document, this is reflected in a sequence modifier. Ex. Dates, revision numbers, etc.
The documents are arranged alpha-numerically by Wright Field Number in the order of:
Subject Code, Category Suffix, Sequence Number, Sequence Modifier
Example of arrangement by Wright Field Number:
D52.1 / 42
D52.1 Aeronca / 2
D52.1 Boeing / S-1
D52.1 Boeing / 422
D52.1 Boeing / 511 Dec 1, 1941
D52.1 Boeing / 511 vol. 2 March 1, 1943
D52.1 Misc. Japanese / 46
Each record contains the title and source from the index cards. Information from the subject field on the cards appears as a scope and content note.
Currently, the finding aid only covers documents from the D52.1 subject code and only those that are physically located in the Wright Field Technical Documents Library. Please contact the NASM Archives regarding additional documents. Some may be located in the Technical Reference Files, cataloguing information may be only on the index cards, or the document has been catalogued as missing from the collection.