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Model Aviation Pioneeer Project




Model Aviation : A Brief History
TRS Collection
Further Reading


Model Aviation: A Brief History

Photo:  boy flying model plane. Boy builds and flies model planes on miniature flying field at Modelhaven Airport in Maryland, ca. 1944.
Prints & Photographs Division, Library of Congress.

Amateur modeling began to flourish very soon after the Wrights's achievements became known. Construction of flying models became popular first in the United States, England, and western Euroope, and then eventually spread throughout the rest of the world. Two different groups engaged in this: designers and manufactures of full-scale aircraft who tested their producs using models; and those who constructed flying models for sport, competition, and study of the principles of aerodynamics.

Photo: boy adjusting a wire while up high on a pole.
Victory Corps boy learning to use the school's weather vane in weather forecasting, as part of his pre-aeronautics training in meteorology. Benjamin Franklin High School, NY, NY 1942.

A related goal of the ADI Auxiliary Publications Depository Program was to demonstrate the usefulness of microfilm both as a storage medium and as a way to easily disseminate scientific and technical literature or data. As the Science News Letter reported from the first World Congress of Universal Documentation in Paris held August 16 - 21, 1937, "One of the resolutions of the Congress urged the establishment of microfilm copying services in the libraries of the world so that a scholar or scientist of any country may obtain a microfilm of any of the material on file in all these storehouses of knowledge." (October 9, 1937, p. 228). Watson Davis, a founder of the ADI program, went on to explain in more detail: "One of the newer and most promising tools of documentation is the microfilm. Compact, to an extraordinary degree, promising to outlast our omnipresent paper, and capable of reproducing anything the eye can see, even in natural colors, microfilms promise to hurdle some of the present barriers to easy and effective interchange of intelligence in many fields" (Science News Letter October 9, 1937, p. 230).

The ADI early on worked toward the development of microfilm readers and cameras. Their first microfilm laboratories were located in the U.S. Department of Agriculture Library in Washington, DC and the Institute distributed materials through the newly created Bibliofilm Service. In 1954, the Photoduplication Service at the Library of Congress took over the operation and became the source point for distributing ADI materials. In many respects, the ADI goal for the easy dissemination of information was a precursor to housing data sets and related content in digital repositories accessible via the Web.

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TRS Collection

Materials come from the Leon Shulman Collection, part of the Model Aviation Pioneer Project. Sample titles from the 10,000 hardcopy and microfilm documents in the ADI collection include:

  • Meteorological Data from Iran. Dr. Henry Field, 50 p. (ADI Doc. 1495).
  • Collective Bargaining in the United States, 1917-1918. Edwin Young, 48 p. University of Maine Studies, 1942. (ADI Doc. 1638)
  • Heavy Hydrogen, Isotype of Hydrogen, and Heavy Water. Georges Champetier. 31 p. Bul. de la Soc. d'Encouragement pour l'Ind. Natl., April 1936. (ADI Doc. 1136).
  • Jane Austen's use of Social Amusements in her Novels. Constance Lowell Hedin. 119 p. University of Maine Studies, December, 1945. (ADI Doc. 2077).
  • Air Attack! How Shall I Act? Ake Kretz, 30 p. Gothenburg, 1940. (ADI Doc. 1855).
  • Concerning the Present Condition of the Cancer. Otto Warburg, 15 p. Die Naturwissenschaften (ADI Doc. 1024)

The reports and data run through June 1968. Most of the hard copy documents are in reasonably good condition and have been placed into archival storage boxes to prevent further deterioration (oversize materials however have not fared well and some of those reports are missing). In cases where the paper is too flimsy, microfilm versions of the content may be available.

In 1968, ASIS announced that future publications would be available through the National Auxiliary Publications Service (NAPS) from the Microfiche Publication Division of Microfiche System Corporation.

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   Further Reading:

Name Search for:

American Documentation Institute.
American Society for Information Science.
American Society for Information Science & Technology.

Background Information:

American Documentation Institute. Catalog of Auxiliary Publications in Microfilms and Photoprints.1946. 51 p.

American documentation; a quarterly review of ideas, techniques, problems and achievements in documentation.
LC CALL NUMBER: Microfilm 02408

Davis, Watson. How Documentation Promotes Intellectual World Progress. Science News Letter, October 9, 1937, pp. 229 - 231.

Documentation Congress Step Toward Making "World Brain." Science News Letter, October 9, 1937, pp. 228-229.

Farkas-Conn, Irene Sekely. From documentation to information science : the beginnings and early development of the American Documentation Institute-American Society for Information Science. New York : Greenwood Press, 1990. 229 p.
LC CALL NUMBER: Z673.A623 F37 1990

Historical studies in information science. Edited by Trudi Bellardo Hahn and Michael Buckland. Medford, NJ : Published for the American Society for Information Science by Information Today, 1998. 326 p.
LC CALL NUMBER: Z665 .H574 1998

Schlessinger, B. S., H. J. Ackermann, T. M. Manning, and R. E. Maizell. A New Approach to Indexing Technical Reports in an Industrial Information Center. J. Chem. Doc., 1969, 9 (1), pp 51–53.


United States Copyright restrictions prevent copying entire copyrighted documents. However, the fair use provision does permit reproduction of relevant portions (small parts) of these documents. Photocopiers, microform reader/printers and computer terminals are available for patron use in the Science Reading Room. TRS materials are non-circulating and are not to leave the Science Reading Room area.

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