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NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) History Collection

Information on the JSC History Collection at the UHCL Archives and Special Collections; created by Erin Henry and Matthew M. Peek

Researching and Accessing JSC History Collection

For researching in the NASA Johnson Space Center History Collection, there is information you as a researcher need to know and follow before attempting to come research in the collection at the University of Houston-Clear Lake Archives and Special Collections. Information on researching at UHCL Archives is described in the "Research at UHCL Archives and Special Collections" page of the UHCL Archives and Special Collections LibGuides introduction page. We are open to appointments right now due to a limited staff, Monday-Friday, 9 A.M. to 5 P.M.

For researchers using the Johnson Space Center History Collection, we require researchers locate and provide us with series titles, section numbers, and box/folder numbers ahead of time. There are over 3,000 linear feet of records, and some of these materials have been digitized by NASA and are no longer physically at the UHCL Archives and Special Collections. We need specifics ahead of your research, as we may be able to locate already digitized records, and send them to you through secure electronic transfer.

  • If you have a list of materials you are looking for in the Johnson Space Center History Collection (which is owned by NASA), providing us with a list of boxes to pull ahead of time would help us ensure we have things ready for your limited time in doing research
  • As of 2024, you must now search the UHCL Libraries HawkWorks institutional repository in order to locate documents and/or folders you wish to use within the NASA JSC History Collection.
  • You use to be able to search the Johnson Space Center History Collection indexes from the former JSC History Office, which provided exact box and folder locations in the Collection to help us locate it. As of February 2024, this is no longer an option.

Searching UHCL HawkWorks for JSC History Collection Inventories

In 2023, NASA began transitioning their individual centers’ history office websites to the main NASA Headquarters website, including the Johnson Space Center History Office websites that included access to searchable indexes for the JSC History Collection. They stopped supporting the JSC History Collection indexes’ webpages that provided document and folder-level searching capabilities. As of February 2024, the JSC History Collection indexes webpages no longer function.

As of 2024, the only way to search the NASA JSC History Collection is through the UHCL Libraries HawkWorks institutional repository (IR).

  • You can search within the JSC History Collection typed section/subsection inventories based on series. Each inventory operates like a container list for a given subdivision of the JSC History Collection's various series. These are just box and folder or box and item listings, but the text is OCR-ed and is searchable.
    • The inventories won’t always search for specific documents, like was possible with the now terminated JSC History and Archives Search Indexes, which searched to document level within the chronological files of Apollo, ASTP, Skylab, Early Shuttle, General Reference, and the Oral History series. However, you will still be able to find materials by keyword search.
    • If you go to the UHCL Libraries HawkWorks institutional repository (IR), you will see on the front page all the different communities of materials.
      • Go to UHCL Archives, then NASA Johnson Space Center History Collection.
      • To search, use the search option (the Magnifying glass icon) for words and phrases at the top of the page.
      • Then, you can select after you do the initial search the limiting option of selecting to the left of the search bar “All of HawkWorks.”
    • The HawkWorks IR gives you a dropdown menu of other subcommunities and collections in the repository, along with a search box to refine your location by searching for a specific community or collection.
      • Type in “NASA Johnson Space Center History Collection”, and you will see it under the community heading UHCL Archives and Special Collections.
      • Your search results will only come from the JSC History Collection.
    • To further refine it, you can select one of the JSC History Collection series to limit to, like Shuttle Series, and you’ll get the results in that series.
    • You will have to click on each result, which will get you to where you can open a PDF inventory document and text search it. So, even if you get search results for specific terms from the IR search, you still have to open the PDF and search the same terms within it to verify that the inventory has what you where looking for. You will get false positives from time to time in your initial IR search, getting JSC History Collection inventories that do not relate to your search terms.
    • Here is the link to the UHCL Libraries HawkWorks IR:

Human Space Flight Collection

We also have the Human Space Flight Collection, which are papers we collect from the public related to former NASA Johnson Space Center personnel. These collections are not all arranged and described, and those that are are not described in as great of detail as the JSC History Collection. Currently, completed collection finding aids for Human Space Flight Collection individual collections are available online in the UHCL Neumann Library's Institutional Repository (IR) as searchable PDF documents.

UHCL Archives has compiled an alphabetical list of all publicly-available HSF collections, with collection descriptions, background information on collection creators, and links to the online finding aids for each of the collections where available. These collections are listed alphabetically under the "Human Space Flight Collection" LibGuides page.


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