Friday, January 29, 2010

Field Trip Friday: Air Museum

For those who homeschool, Friday may mean a field trip day.  And in true homeschool fashion we went on a field trip to the Palm Springs Air Museum,  Now, you may be wondering, "what does this have to do with genealogy?"


The Palm Springs Air Museum boasts the nation's largest collection of WorldWar II flying aircraft.  Not only can you check out what it was like to fly planes like the B-17 or the P-38 but like most museums they also have an archive open to the public.  At this archive you can look at over 7,000 books and technical manuals, over 2,500 periodicals (mostly from the WorldWar II era), 4,000 DVD titles, maps, newspapers, documents and over 425 interviews with veterans from the WorldWar II era and later.

The archive didn't just focus on Air Force materials, I was also able to find a resource I need to continue research on my great uncle who was in the Army during World War II.

Like many small museum archives, this great collection may not be one that stands out to researchers because it is not featured prominently on the Museum website and its collection catalog cannot be found online.  This is a perfect example of having to contact a museum to find out about their archives and how that archive might help in your research.

So think about your ancestor and what they were involved in, maybe it was a war or a type of occupation or the locality they lived.  And then check out what museum archives might help you in researching your family history.

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