This accession consists of the personal papers of Tom D. Crouch, a senior curator of aeronautics at the National Air and Space Museum (NASM). Crouch joined the curatorial staff at NASM in 1974 to assist with preparing exhibitions for the opening of the museum in 1976. In 1985, he transferred to the National Museum of American History (NMAH) where he was a curator and supervisor in the Division of Engineering and Industry, before eventually being appointed Chairman of the Department of Social and Cultural History in 1987. Crouch returned to NASM in 1990 when he was named Chairman of the NASM Department of Aeronautics, a position he held until 1999 when he became Senior Curator. Crouch served on the First Flight Centennial Commission Advisory Board and was active in planning activities for the centennial of the first flight by brothers Orville and Wilbur Wright. He also was involved in the planning, development and production activities for the exhibitions A More Perfect Union: Japanese Americans and the U.S. Constitution and Men and Women: A History of Costume, Gender, and Power at NMAH, as well as for the NASM exhibitions The Flying Roosevelts, NASA/ART: Fifty Years of Exploration, R. G. Smith: The Old Master of the Sky, Fly Marines! The Centennial of Marine Corps Aviation: 1912-2012, and The Enola Gay, including the resolution of issues surrounding the display of the bomber at the museum. Some materials date to when the department came to be known as the Aeronautics Division and then the Aeronautics Department.
Materials include correspondence, memoranda, and notes; lecture papers; publications; information in regard to advisory boards, conferences, seminars, committees, and special events; meeting agendas; proposals; reports; contracts and agreements; exhibition scripts, floor plans, design information, and visitor comment forms; oral history interview transcripts; press releases, articles, newspaper clippings, and newspapers; photographs, slides, and negatives; appointment books documenting matters in regard to the Enola Gay exhibition controversy; copies of legislation related to aviation; newsletters; collections management information; awards; and brochures.