Library and Archives

Archival Collection

The Archives is the holder of several corporate and private archival collections. These collections represent a unique source of primary information for the serious researcher and are heavily used by the Museum’s curators. Air Canada, Canadair, and Avro Canada are just some of the companies that have donated a variety of books, documents, photographs, and manuals to the collection. Private collections include log books from aviators in the First and Second World Wars; the correspondence and papers of bush pilot Stuart Graham; the comprehensive collection of Kenneth M. Molson, another Canadian devoted to aviation research as well as the first curator of the Museum; and many others.

Photograph Collection

The Archives holds a large collection of mostly black and white photographs dating from the earliest days of heavier-than-air flight to the present day. Most of the photographs date from the 1920s to the 1940s and were donated to the Museum from private collections. Their main purpose is to provide an image bank for the Museum’s exhibitions and publications. However, the Archives also receives requests from publishers and authors who wish to illustrate their publications with these unique images. For questions related to commercial usage of the images, please see the Library and Archives Services page.

Austro-Hungarian Collection

Of particular note in the Museum’s Library and Archives is the collection of the Austro-Hungarian Aero-Technical Society of Vienna, which was purchased in 1964. It is a collection that includes books, periodicals, and black and white photographs, and that provides a superb coverage for the period before the First World War. Most of the photographs depict airplanes, although there are photographs of a variety of lighter-than-air craft, experimental ornithopters, and aeroengines as well. Also featured are many of the famous air races of the period as well as a series of photographs of Latham’s unsuccessful 1909 channel crossing attempts.

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