The records of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
(NASA), and its precursor the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), comprise
Record Group 255 of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). At the College
Park, Maryland facility of NARA (known as "Archives II"), there are two groups of textual
records and one group of photographic records that contain documents pertinent to Ames.
Materials in these groups are presented in this guide, and include research authorizations,
material from pubic affairs officers, and photographs.
The Ames Aeronautical Laboratory was the second laboratory of the National Advisory
Committee on Aeronautics (NACA). The NACA was created by act of Congress on March 3, 1915
and charged with the development of aeronautical research and testing facilities to improve
both civil and military aviation. By 1917 the NACA had built a fully operational
aeronautical research facility called the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory near
Norfolk, Virginia. By 1939, American political leaders recognized that the world was heading
toward war and that other nations had surpassed the United States in basic aeronautical
research. NACA leaders recognized that the Langley laboratory had run out of space for new
wind tunnels and was straining the electrical capacity in the area. Thus, the Roosevelt
Administration forcefully endorsed a report from the NACA Special Committee on Future
Research Facilities, dated December 30, 1938, that argued for the establishment of a second
research installation near the West Coast aircraft manufacturers. The tentative site
suggested was the U.S. Naval Air Field and Army training base at Moffett Field in Sunnyvale,
California. On February 3, 1939 President Roosevelt transmitted the $10 million request to
Congress for incorporation into the second deficiency bill. A stiff partisan political
struggle followed, however, and it was not until August 9, 1939, that the funds were
approved as a part of the third deficiency bill.
Number of containers: 28
Copyright does not apply to United States government records. For non-government
material, researcher must contact the original creator.
Collection is open for research.