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Space Archive to Be Established at UH-Clear Lake
Space Archive to Be Established at UH-Clear Lake
6 Feb 2001
(Source: Johnson Space Center)

Bill Jeffs
Johnson Space Center, TX
(281) 483-5111


The University of Houston - Clear Lake will receive and maintain Johnson Space Center's historical records under a memorandum of understanding to be signed next Thursday, Feb. 8, at a ceremony at UHCL.

The agreement is part of the continuing effort by NASA and Johnson Space Center to share historic information with the public.

The ceremony formalizing the agreement, between Johnson Space Center, UHCL and the National Archives and Records Administration, will be held from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. in the Alfred R. Neumann Library at UHCL. Johnson Space Center officials and UHCL President Dr. William Staples will join in the signing of the agreement, which has been approved and signed by the Archivist of the United States. The event is open to the media and public.

Johnson Space Center's history collection includes copies of correspondence, memos, reports, interviews and other materials documenting the history and role played by the center in NASA's human space flight program.

The first series of documents to be moved are records of the Apollo Program, which had once been kept at the Woodson Research Center at Rice University's Fondren Library. More than 1,000 oral history interview tapes, transcripts and videos documenting the men and women that worked on the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs will be included in the initial move.

Records scheduled for later transfer include material on the space shuttle, space station and the general history of Johnson Space Center. Archives to house the records are under construction in the library, and should be completed later this year. The archives will be open to students, researchers and the public.

"Transfer of the center's history collection to UHCL will allow easier access to this material by scholars and the general public," says Johnson Space Center Historian Glen Swanson.

A great deal of unprocessed material in the center's history collection needs attention, Swanson said. Those records transferred to UHCL will free up additional on-site space for processing this backlog of material, which can then be cataloged and indexed before joining the rest of the collection at the university.

The expanded UHCL archives will be staffed by a full-time archivist and other trained support personnel who will be able to assist researchers in using the collection. The UHCL archives will be a secure, environmentally controlled facility that meets National Archives and Records Administration standards.

Researchers will have access to an electronic index for the entire collection. Efforts are under way to digitize the collection, so the database can be linked to the documents, enabling researchers to electronically search the collection and retrieve digital scans of the documents through the Internet. Plans call for this database to be moved to a public Web site, providing users with remote access.

Under the agreement, the transfer will be for an initial 10-year loan period, with options for possible extension.

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Last Updated: 5 Jun 2001