Correspondence,
1965-1984, with materials dating from circa 1953
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
Record Unit 398
Creators:
National Air and Space Museum. Department of Astronautics
Dates:
1965-1984, with materials dating from circa 1953
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
32 cu. ft. (64 document boxes)
Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives

Descriptive Entry
Descriptive Entry
This collection deals chiefly with Durant's tenure as Assistant Director for Astronautics at the National Air and Space Museum (NASM). Perhaps the single topic of greatest interest is the effort to obtain a building for NASM, which was accomplished on July 1, 1976, when the new museum opened. A parallel theme concerns the drive to plan and complete the new museum's exhibits. Durant's wide contacts in the aerospace community, based on his years as an engineer and administrator, made him very useful in this respect. At the same time, there is a continuing interest in the on-going study of the history of military aviation and astronautics as well. Finally, there is documentation for Durant's private interests, which included stamp collecting, magic, and the activities of the Cosmos Club, to which he belongs.
Correspondents include many of the United States astronauts; Arthur C. Clarke; Stanley Kubrick; and the creators of Star Trek, the popular television series.

Historical Note
Historical Note
Frederick Clark Durant, (1916-2015) was born in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, and educated as a chemical engineer at Lehigh University (B.S., 1939). He served as a naval pilot during World War II.
In the post war years his career led him through a variety of aspects of aeronautics and rocketry, in both the government and private corporations. He was employed with Bell Aircraft Corporation, 1947-1948; the U.S. Naval Air Rocket Test Station, New Jersey, 1949-1952; as an Engineering Consultant, 1953-1954; with Arthur D. Little, Inc., 1955-1957; Avco-Everett Research Laboratory, 1958-1961; and Bell Aerosystems Company, 1962-1964. In 1965 he joined the National Air Museum (the National Air and Space Museum - after 1966) as its Assistant Director for Astronautics. He held that post until leaving NASM in 1980 to pursue other interests. Durant is a recognized expert on the history of rocketry and is a member of numerous societies, among them the American Astronautical Society and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and he is a past President of the American Rocket Society.

Notes
SI Records

Using the Collection
Prefered Citation
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 398, National Air and Space Museum. Department of Astronautics, Correspondence
Use Restriction
Box 33 contains copyrighted materials; see finding aid. Contact reference staff for details.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Durant, Frederick C., 1916- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Clarke, Arthur C. (Arthur Charles), 1917-2008 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Roddenberry, Gene Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cosmos Club (Washington, D.C.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Star trek (Television program : 1966-1969) Title Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Museum curators Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Museum exhibits Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Aeronautical museums Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Astronautical museums Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Astronauts Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Manuscripts Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Smithsonian Institution Archives
Washington, D.C.
Contact us at osiaref@si.edu