John W. Ramsay Research Library

The John W. Ramsay Research Library collects, preserves, and makes available historical and technical information in support of the mission of the New England Air Museum

Named in honor of longtime director John W. Ramsay, the Library was founded in 1960 and is currently located on two floors of the museum's Civil Aviation Hangar. The all-volunteer staff consists of a Library Director, Research Librarian and several collections management staff and is assisted by the museum curator.

In addition to actively acquiring new material in line with the Library's collections policy, the staff provides historical research and documentation in support of the museum's exhibit and restoration programs and responds to reference inquiries and requests for research assistance.

The Library collection includes:

  • AVIATION BOOKS - Approximately 6,000.
  • TECHNICAL MANUALS - Approximately 10,000 manuals and pilot's operating handbooks.
  • AVIATION PERIODICALS - Approximately 20,000 items with several hundred titles.
  • AUDIO/VIDEO MATERIALS - Over 500 DVDs and VHS tapes, and 350 audio tapes.
  • PHOTOGRAPHS - Approximately 21,000 color and black & white prints and 7,800 35mm slides.
  • ART WORKS - Over 200 original paintings, watercolors, prints, and textiles.
  • PRINTS - Over 1,200 large format color and monochrome items covering aircraft, engines, and company histories.
  • ENGINEERING DRAWINGS AND BLUEPRINTS - Approximately 500 large format items including three-views of aircraft like the Sikorsky S-38, Gee Bee Model R, and blueprints of the Vickers machine gun of 1918.
  • SCRAPBOOKS - Several dozen personal collections of photos and clippings related to WWI and WWII aviation history.

The Library is also an archival repository for material related to many New England aviation pioneers. In addition, it assists the Curatorial Department in documenting and preserving the institutional history of the Connecticut Aeronautical Historical Association and the museum itself.

Reference Inquiries

Any requests for information should be submited using this Reference Inquiries Form and patrons should allow at least four weeks for a detailed response.

The Library welcomes reference inquiries from anyone interested in knowing more about our collections, including students, teachers, authors, historians, model-makers, and more. The staff can conduct limited research for patrons not able to visit in person.

On-Site Research

Due to the complex nature of many historical research projects, on-site visits by researchers are by appointment only. Researchers should use this form to request a research visit. Prior notice allows Library staff to fully process an inquiry and compile the maximum amount of relevant source material from the collection before the patron arrives. This results in a more worthwhile visit for the researcher and an effective use of volunteer staff time. The volunteer library staff will work with you to determine a date when sufficient staff will be on duty to facilitate your research.

Paid museum admission is not required for patrons who are visiting solely for research work. Researchers will be met at the front counter by Library staff and escorted to and from the Reading Room at the beginning and end of their visit. Patrons are welcome to purchase an admission at any time during their stay if they'd like to explore the museum after completing their work.

Collections Use and Reading Room Policies

Upon arrival, researchers will be asked to complete and sign an Application for Use of Materials form prior to conducting any research in the collections. This form outlines the Library's policies on use of collections material, reproductions, publishing, and general reading room etiquette.

Reproduction Services

When feasible, reproductions of manuals, blueprints, photographic prints, digital images, and other collections materials can be provided to offsite and in-person patrons. Costs for this service vary based on the specific request.

Donate Materials.

The Library reviews donation offers of books, documents, photographs, and other research material for its collection. For more information, please refer to the Museum's donation information page.

© New England Air Museum 2016-2021
36 Perimeter Rd., Windsor Locks, CT, 06096