Donations and Family Research

Have something you think should be in the archives?

Archival material will be selected for its ability to contribute to the current and future research community, and ability to fit within the Scope of Collections framework. Because of limited resources, priority will be given to collections that do not require significant financial or physical resources to care for, and can be made accessible with minimal processing. For electronic materials, the same consideration to digital housing will be made as physical materials.

NASA HQ Archives focuses on materials produced in the course of official business. It does not collect:

  • Artifacts
  • Artwork
  • Autographs
  • Commercially published books, magazines, or newspapers
  • Contractor promotional material
  • Models
  • Programs of events in which NASA did not officially participate or sponsor
  • Records deemed permanent according to the records schedules (these go to National Archives.)
  • Publicly created scrapbooks
  • Space memorabilia, such as patches, pins, coins or medallions, awards


Researching a family member?

Are you looking to know more about a family member that used to work at NASA? We get this question all the time. Using the contact form below, please provide as much information as possible. To best help, we need the following information:

  • Name - *The name they worked under. This is especially important for women.
  • Dates of Employment
  • Whether they were civil service or a contractor - *We do not keep contractor records. If they were a contractor, you will likely be directed to contact that contractor.
  • The NASA location in which they worked - *If they were located at a Center, you will likely be given contact information for the archives at that Center.

Providing your relative was in civil service, you may have the best luck ordering their Official Personnel File from the National Archives. You can find that ordering information here. Please note that there are different requirements for different time periods, whether your relative has passed away, and what information may or may not be releaseable, and there is a charge for mailing.

Because of the way that government records are structured (see our "How To Do Archival Research" for more information) it is unlikely that we can tell you much about the projects your relative worked on. Usually what we find are name entries in phone books, and occasionally newsletter clippings. By ordering the personnel file first, you may find better information that can help us help you.