National Air and Space Museum Archives

Jet Propulsion Laboratory Publications Collection


Collection ID:
Jet Propulsion Laboratory. University of California.
bulk 1960-1974
Physical Description:
32 Cubic feet
71 boxes
This collection consists of publications issued by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory documenting JPL's work in jet and rocket propulsion, launch vehicle development, and planetary reconnaissance. Most of the material relates to work performed under NASA auspices, but significant material from Army- and Air Force-related research is also included.

Scope and Content Note

Scope and Content Note
This collection consists of reports published by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and gathered by the staff of the National Air and Space Museum (NASM) from a variety of sources. The reports cover a broad range of subjects investigated at JPL over the period 1947-1980, with the bulk of the material from the NASA era, 1960-1974. This collection is in no way a complete set of all JPL publications, even for the document series represented. Following the transfer of the Bellcomm Inc. Technical Library Collection (now National Air and Space Archives Accession XXXX-0093) to the NASM in the early 1970s, Museum staff attempted to flesh out the JPL Publications Collection with materials from Bellcomm. Those items which could be positively identified as coming from the Bellcomm Collection (approximately 5½ cubic feet of material) were returned to that collection during processing.
JPL publications were numbered consecutively in series based on the contract under which the work was performed. A typical publication number would be "PR 4-112," in which "PR" is an abbreviation for "Progress Report," "4" is the contract-based numerical prefix (4- was assigned to work performed under Ordnance Dept contract W-04-200-ORD-445), and "112" indicates the 112th publication of this kind issued under this contract. With the transfer of JPL to NASA control and the large number of reports expected under NASA contract, numerical prefixes were assigned to different types of publications, for instance 32- for Technical Reports, 33- for Technical Memoranda, and so forth.
JPL compiled subject bibliographies for work done under NASA contracts (primarily contracts NASw-6 and NAS7-100) and published these in the 39- series of documents, a partial set of which is contained within this collection. Further subject reference to JPL reports is available in Aeronautical Information: Abstracts, also published by JPL. A partial set of the abstracts is contained in the Bellcomm Collection.

Series Organization

Series Organization
The publications in this collection are arranged by report number and type.
  • Series 1: Combined Bimonthly Summaries (1947-1954; 1.35 cubic feet)
  • Series 2: 1- Prefix Publications (Progress Reports; 1950-1952; 2 items)
  • Series 3: 4- Prefix Publications (Summaries, Progress Reports, Reports; 1947-1949; .25 cubic feet)
  • Series 4: 9- Prefix Publications (Progress Reports; 1949-1951; 4 items)
  • Series 5: 20- Prefix Publications (Progress Reports, Reports; 1951-1954; 4 items)
  • Series 6: 32- Prefix Publications (Technical Reports; 1960-1976; 24.75 cubic feet)
  • Series 7: 33- Prefix Publications (Technical Memoranda; 1961-1976; 1.5 cubic feet)
  • Series 8: 34- Prefix Publications (Technical Releases; 1960; 3 items)
  • Series 9: 36- Prefix Publications (Research Summaries; 1961-1962; 5 items)
  • Series 10: 37- Prefix Publications (Space Program Summaries; 1961-1970; 5.75 cubic feet)
  • Series 11: 39- Prefix Publications (Bibliographies; 1964-1980; .35 cubic feet)
  • Series 12: 42- Prefix Publications (Deep Space Network Progress Reports; 1977; 2 items)
  • Series 13: 43- Prefix Publications (Special Publications; 1974-1976; 6 items)
  • Series 14: 77- Prefix Publications (1978; 1 item)
  • Series 15: External Publications (1959; 4 items)
  • Series 16: Miscellaneous Publications (1973; 2 items)

Historical Note

Historical Note
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) was established at the California Institute of Technology as the Guggenheim Analytical Laboratory in 1936 to investigate a variety of aeronautics-related topics. By the end of World War II the work at JPL, as it was then known, concentrated primarily on jet and rocket propulsion research under the auspices of the United States Army. JPL was transferred from Army to National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) control on the establishment of the latter in 1958. Under NASA auspices, JPL research expanded into trajectory analysis, planetary reconnaissance, and space communications.


Paul Silbermann
Immediate Source of Acquisition note
XXXX-0612, Unknown

Using the Collection

Conditions Governing Access note
No restrictions on access
Preferred Citation
Jet Propulsion Laboratory Publications Collection, Acc. XXXX.0612, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.

More Information


All publications are listed in the format:
Number. Title (Author; Journal, Date).
TR 32-1221. Reaction of O(1D) with H2 and the Reactions of H and OH with Ozone (DeMore; Journal of Chemical Physics, 15 Oct 1967)
Titles appear as shown on the title page of the document. The last name(s) of the author(s) are listed in the order given; the full name or initials are listed in the Author Index of this finding aid. A journal title only appears when the material was originally published as a periodical or scientific journal article and that information appears on the document. All publication dates are shown in day-month-year order. The document type is shown as an abbreviation preceding the document number:
  • Document Type
  • Bibl
    Bimonthly Summary
    Combined Bimonthly Summary
    External Publication
    Monthly Summary
    Progress Report
    Research Summary
    Special Publication
    Space Program Summary
    Technical Memorandum
    Technical Report
    Technical Release

Other Finding Aids note


Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Launch vehicles (Astronautics) Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Astronautics Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Outer space -- Exploration Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Jet propulsion Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Publications Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Jet Propulsion Laboratory. University of California. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States. National Aeronautics and Space Administration Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

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