What is a Finding Aid?

Finding aids are a "tool that facilitates discovery of information within a collection of records." There is a wide range of formats, and there is no one "right way." NASA's finding aids typically are written at the series level, providing information such as donor, subjects contained, dates, and box and folder lists. This information assists researchers in being able to locate material that may be of interest, and also assists archivists in being able to provide more targeted responses. Finding aids are added frequently, so keep checking.

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NASA HQ Archives Finding Aids

As we make more of our content available, NASA HQ Archives has moved to a Record Group (RG) model. This will allow researchers to not only find materials they are looking for, but also uncover underutilized materials. There are two types of finding aids in these pages: series-level and database export. They typically do not duplicate each other. The series-level finding aids are detailed inventories of one part of the record group. They are also being updated; check the footer bar for the date. The exports allow users to download, sort, filter, keyword search, and save for their own use. To see the entire record group and available electronic records, please:

  1. Click the "Exports from Document Management System with available electronic material" link.
  2. Look in the first column, "Scanned Document." If there is a file name, there is an electronic version. Make note of the record number right beside it, and use that to search our Document Management System.

We are in the process of making thousands of documents accessible. If you receive a "none found," but there is a file name from the spreadsheet, e-mail us and ask for the record number. We will send you the file. Thank you for your patience while we work through this very manual process.

We chose not to keep the hyperlinks inside the Excel sheet because they created significant delays in the sheets opening and caused permissions issues within the DMS system.

Other Finding Aids

White House

Apollo 7–10

All of our Apollo 7–10-related records including books, oral histories, textual records, photos, and some external sources across the Apollo mission.

White House

Academic Collection

Coming Soon! Master's theses and doctoral dissertations using NASA archival sources that have been gifted to the NASA Headquarters Archives for other scholarly work.

NASA Administator

Administrators and Deputy Administrators

These findings aids are organized alphabetically, due to the overlap of acting and Deputy appointments.

Senior Positions

Senior Positions

Finding aids from Chief Scientists and other senior officials.

Senior Positions

Missions and Programs 

Finding aids for specific missions and programs. 

Senior Positions

Author's Collections

Looking for one of our author’s sources?