The Glenn History Office manages the center’s archival collection and produces publications, websites, and other materials documenting the center’s extensive history. This page provides an overview of the collection, list of publications, and links to additional resources.
The Glenn History Office was created in 1999 to preserve and promote the rich heritage of the NASA Glenn Research Center for current and future researchers.
Services include basic and in-depth reference and research; documentation of facilities, projects, and people; publications in NASA’s Historical Publications Series; management of the Glenn archives; oral history interviews; development of historical programs, exhibits, and handouts; and appraisal of historical materials.
The archive contains the center’s newsletter and telephone directories dating back to the 1940s, copies of historic files from the Glenn center director’s office, an oral history collection, historic audio/visual materials and artwork, press kits from major NASA missions, and a range of collections regarding individuals, facilities, and programs.
The Glenn History Office has sponsored and created a number of books, websites, and documentaries on the center’s history. In addition, Virginia Dawson wrote Engines and Innovation: Lewis Laboratory and American Propulsion Technology—a History of the Center from the 1940s through 1990. These are listed in the following section.
- Virginia Dawson, Engines and Innovation: Lewis Laboratory and American Propulsion Technology (Washington, DC: NASA SP–4306, 1991).
- William Leary, We Freeze to Please: A History of NASA’s Icing Research Tunnel and the Quest for FlightSafety (Washington, DC: NASA/SP—2002-4226, 2002).
Mark Bowles and Robert Arrighi, NASA’s Nuclear Frontier: The Plum Brook Reactor Facility (Washington, DC: NASA/SP—2004-4533, 2004).
- Virginia Dawson and Mark Bowles, Taming Liquid Hydrogen: The Centaur Upper Stage Rocket 1958– 2002 (Washington, DC: NASA/SP—2004-4230, 2004).
- Virginia P. Dawson and Mark D. Bowles, editors, Realizing the Dream of Flight: Biographical Essays in honor of Centennial of Flight (Washington, DC: NASA/SP—2005-4112, 2005).
- Virginia Dawson, Ideas Into Hardware: A History of the Rocket Engine Test Facility at the NASA Glenn Research Center (Washington, DC: NASA, 2004).
- Mark Bowles, Science in Flux: NASA’s Nuclear Program at Plum Brook Station 1955–2005 (Washington, DC: NASA/SP—2006-4317, 2006).
- Robert Arrighi, Revolutionary Atmosphere: The Story of the Altitude Wind Tunnel and Space Power Chambers (Washington, DC: NASA/SP—2010-4319, 2010).
- Robert Arrighi, Pursuit of Power: NASA’s Propulsion Systems Laboratory No. 1 and 2 (Washington, DC:NASA/SP—2012-4548, 2012).
- Robert S. Arrighi, Bringing the Future Within Reach—Celebrating 75 Years of the NASA John H. Glenn Research Center (Washington, DC: NASA/SP—2016-627, 2016).
- Robert S. Arrighi, NASA’s Hydrogen Outpost: The Rocket Systems Area at Plum Brook Station (Washington DC: NASA/SP-2016-628)
- Of Ashes and Atoms—An Emmy-nominated full-length documentary on the Plum Brook Reactor
- Fueling Space Exploration—A documentary on the Rocket Engine Test Facility (RETF)
- A Tunnel Through Time: A History of the Altitude Wind Tunnel and Space Power Chambers
History Office Websites
- Glenn History Sites — This evolving collection of websites provides a variety of resources highlighting the rich history of the center’s research, employees, and facilities.
- Glenn Hall of Fame — The NASA Glenn Research Center has established a Hall of Fame to honor and recognize those who have built exemplary careers and contributed to the center’s success.
- NASA Glenn’s Arrival in Cleveland — This website details the NACA’s 1940 decision to locate its new engine laboratory (today the Glenn Research Center) in Cleveland, Ohio.
- Glenn Impact on the Apollo Program —During the 1950s and 1960s, Glenn Research Center made key scientific, technological, and managerial contributions that impacted both the formation and success of NASA’s Apollo Program.
- Glenn—The Early Years —This photographic retrospective of the first 40 years of operation at the center (1941–79) was drawn from a large collection of archived photographs. The gallery of images add the in-depth descriptions provided offer a unique look into the research, people, and activities that have generated numerous technological advancements over the years. It is available for both the Web and iPad.
- The NACA Inspections — This website serves as a repository for images, presentations, media materials, correspondence, and other documents from the NACA’s post-war Inspections. The materials provide a snapshot of the state of the NACA, its aeronautical research, and its major personalities during this era.
- Glenn’s NACA-Era Aircraft — This website contains images, histories, and specifications for 11 aircraft used at Glenn between 1943 and 1958.
Historic Facilities Websites
- Glenn Historic Preservation — This site describes the center’s mitigation efforts to document several of its historic test facilities prior to their demolition.
- Altitude Wind Tunnel and Space Power Chambers — This website provides an interactive look at what was one of NASA’s most significant wind tunnels. It includes images, videos, reports, timelines, and materials for students.
- Propulsion Systems Laboratory — This website is dedicated to PSL’s history and facility, and it includes related documents and reports.
- Rocket Engine Test Facility (RETF) — This website was designed to preserve the legacy of the RETF. It includes photographs and videos of the RETF and interactive lessons on rocket engine testing.
- Rocket Systems Area — This website documents the history of the Rocket Systems Area at Plum Brook Station. It includes photographs, documents, monthly status reports, and timelines regarding the nine cryogenic fuel test facilities.
- Special Projects Laboratory — This website documents the research and physical attributes of the Special Projects Laboratory, originally named the Jet Propulsion Static Laboratory.
- Cyclotron Facility – This website describes the research, facility, and operation of the Cyclotron Facility. The site includes related documents and reports.
- Rocket Laboratory – This website documents the history of the Rocket Lab facility, also known as the Research Combustion Laboratory. It includes photographs, documents, and timelines regarding the facility and the research conducted there.
History Features for Office of Communications
- OCOMM History Features
- NASA Glenn Historical Overview
- History of Center Name Changes
- Glenn Historical Timeline
- Glenn Technical Portal
- Glenn Research Facilities
- Plum Brook Station Test Facilities
- Aerospace Frontiers center newsletters