Books Available for Adoption

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Books Available for Adoption
African American astronauts

Black Stars in Orbit

By Khephra Burns. San Diego: Harcourt Brace & Co, c1995.
Adoption Amount: $250   Adoption Type: Build the Collection
Library: National Air and Space Museum Library

Black Stars in Orbit is an overview of the first African Americans who were selected to be astronaut candidates, the first who worked for NASA on new technologies for mission projects, and the first to travel to space as part of the NASA Space Shuttle program. This volume is beatifully illustrated and contains brief biographical overviews. Information on Guy Bluford and Mae Jemison, the first African Americans to go to space, is included, as are the stories of astronauts Ron McNair, Charles Bolden, and Edward Dwight, the first African American selected for astronaut training. Read More
African American pilots

Blue Skies, Black Wings

By Samuel L. Broadnax. Westport, Conn: Praeger, 2007.
Adoption Amount: $250   Adoption Type: Build the Collection
Library: National Air and Space Museum Library

A detailed and riveting history of early African Americans and aviation written by one of the Tuskegee pilots who served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. This book details the stories of those first aviation pioneers and their contributions that aided in the founding of the Tuskegee program and its success. It is unsparing in detailing the realties and risks they faced to achieve their goals. Read More
Hunting Lost Mines by Helicopter title page

Hunting Lost Mines by Helicopter

By Erle Stanley Gardner. New York: W. Morrow, [1965].
Adoption Amount: $250   Adoption Type: Build the Collection
Library: National Air and Space Museum Library

One of a series of travel guides written by Perry Mason author Earle Stanley Gardner, this book documents a fun-filled search for the “Lost Dutchman” and “Lost Nummel” mines in Arizona in 1965. The team utilized helicopters, jeeps, desert buggies, and mules in its search, which is captured in many photographs. The book also includes biographies of the search team members. It documents a bygone era of exploration and a form of adventure with wide appeal. Read More
Title page of Le Micromegas

Le Micromegas

By Voltaire. Londres: Imprime pour J. Robinson [etc.], 1752.
Adoption Amount: $2,500   Adoption Type: Build the Collection
Library: National Air and Space Museum Library

This very rare copy of the second edition from 1752 was once owned by rocket scientist Frederick Ordway III, spaceflight visionary and consultant on Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, this work of fiction by Voltaire is a work akin to Gulliver's Travels, but set in outer space. In this imaginative novel, human beings on Earth are equivalent to Lilliputians in Swift’s famous masterpiece. Read More
Cover illustration

Le Royaume de l'Air

By L. de Saint-Fegor. Paris: Societe d'edition et de publications, 1909.
Adoption Amount: $800   Adoption Type: Preserve for the Future
Library: National Air and Space Museum Library

Le Royaume de l'Air, or the “Kingdom of the Air,” was published in Paris in 1909, during the first decade of machine-powered aircraft flight. It was written for young readers and includes plentiful illustrations and photographs documenting the historical development of aeronautics and contemporary innovations in this new technology. There are very few copies in libraries, and the Smithsonian is fortunate to have two in its collection. This copy is in need of extensive preservation treatment. Read More
Title page

Ryan Guidebook

By Dorr Carpenter. Dallas: Flying Enterprise Publications, c1975.
Adoption Amount: $250   Adoption Type: Build the Collection
Library: National Air and Space Museum Library

This is an anniversary compendium of Ryan Airplanes (1925-1975), the company that built the Spirit of St. Louis—the airplane Charles Lindbergh flew across the Atlantic—as well as many other commercial and military aircraft. The book details the many aircraft Ryan produced, and includes photos, advertisements, promotional brochures, and even a comic strip. It is an informative overview of an aircraft manufacturer that made a substantial contribution to aviation history and technology. Read More
The First Golden Age of Rocketry, cover

The First Golden Age of Rocketry

By Frank H. Winter. Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1990.
Adoption Amount: $250   Adoption Type: Build the Collection
Library: National Air and Space Museum Library

Written by former National Air and Space Museum curator for rocketry Frank Winter, this Smithsonian publication is considered to be the first comprehensive history of the use of rockets as artillery in the late 18th and 19th centuries. Englishmen William Congreve and William Hale developed and refined the rocket as a piece of technology. Gunpowder rockets have been used in a variety of military and non-military applications, including life-saving (rescues at sea), whaling, and torpedoes. Read More
The Quest of the Golden Condor, title page

The Quest of the Golden Condor

By Clayton Knight. New York: A. A. Knopf, 1946.
Adoption Amount: $250   Adoption Type: Build the Collection
Library: National Air and Space Museum Library

Published in 1946, this adventure story is set in Peru in 1938. It is the tale of a father and his two sons’ pursuit of an Incan treasure known as the "golden condor." This copy has a bookplate identifying the book as a gift from the publisher, Alfred A. Knopf, to the Aeronautical Archives. It is representative of the many works of popular aviation adventure stories in the National Air and Space Museum library collection that document how motorized flight captured young people's imaginations. Read More
Spirit of St. Louis, cover

The Spirit of St. Louis Commemorative Issue

[Place of publication not identified]: [Publisher not identified], [1967?] .
Adoption Amount: $950   Adoption Type: Preserve for the Future
Library: National Air and Space Museum Library

This 1967 commemorative newspaper issue documented the 40th anniversary of Charles Lindbergh’s 1927 solo flight across the Atlantic in the Spirit of St. Louis monoplane. It features photos of a replica of the Spirit of St. Louis and of pilot Frank Tallman, cofounder of Tallmantz Aviation, which built the replica. The replica was flown to Paris by the U.S. Air Force to be displayed during the 1967 Paris Air Show. There are also photos of many early employees of Ryan Aeronautical (builder of the original Spirit of St. Louis), including Don Hall, the plane's engineer and designer. This... Read More
Wright Flyer

The Wright Brothers

By Fred C. Kelly. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1943.
Adoption Amount: $2,100   Adoption Type: Preserve for the Future
Library: National Air and Space Museum Library

"The Wright Brothers" is remarkable in that it features over 1,000 signatures from legends, pioneers, and other contributors to aviation, making it one of the treasures of the NASM Library. Donated by George A. Page, the autographed book is a testament to his 30-year endeavor to capture the names of aviators and individuals who contributed to the field. An aviator himself, Page was an employee of Curtiss-Wright for 34 years—ultimately attaining the titles of Chief Engineer and Director of Engineering. It was through his professional contacts that Page managed to send a copy of Kelly’s... Read More

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