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Marine Corps barrage balloons, Parris Island, 1942.

Marine Corps barrage balloons, Parris Island, 1942.
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Balloons and Airships

Tracer Bullet 00-5

This compilation provides references to a variety of materials and sources in the collections of the Library of Congress on the history, present status, and uses of lighter-than-air aircraft, also known as balloons, airships, dirigibles, aerostats, and blimps.

A balloon is a vehicle whose flexible bag is inflated with a lighter-than-air gas, such as helium, so that it will rise and float in the atmosphere. The bag can be attached to some sort of carrier for passengers. For free balloons, only their altitude can be controlled, and their direction and speed depends on the wind. Airships, however, are equipped with some means of propelling and steering, so that controlled flight is possible. There are three types of airships: nonrigid, semirigid, and rigid. Lighter-than-air vehicles get their lift from what are called "aerostatic forces," rather than from aerodynamic forces that support a heavier-than-air aircraft. A balloon or airship's lift is derived from its buoyancy, which comes from the difference between the density of the atmosphere and that of the lifting gas that fills it.

Not intended to be a comprehensive bibliography, this guide is designed--as the name of the series implies--to put the reader "on target." Two related guides in this series are TB 00-3 Mechanics of Flight: Aerodynamics and TB 00-4 Aircraft. This guide supersedes TB 76-7 Airships.



Ardema, Mark R. Airship. In McGraw-Hill encyclopedia of science & technology. 8th ed. v. 1. New York, McGraw-Hill, c1997. p. 389-391.
   Q121.M3 1997 v. 1 <SciRR>

Lighter than air. In Jane's all the world's aircraft. Coulsdon, Surrey, Eng., Alexandria, Va., Jane's Information Group, 1999. p. 779-796, 848.
   TL501.J3 90th ed. 1999-2000 <SciRR desk>

Nagel, Walter R. Balloon. In McGraw-Hill encyclopedia of science & technology. 8th ed. v. 2. New York, McGraw-Hill, c1997. p. 501-504.
   Q121.M3 1997 v. 2 <SciRR>



Subject headings used by the Library of Congress, under which books on balloons and airships can be located in most card, book, and online catalogs, include the following:

Highly relevant

See also the name of the aircraft, e.g.,
   "Hindenburg (Airship)"
   "Macon (Airship)"
   "Graf Zeppelin (Airship)"

See also subdivision Balloons under individual wars, e.g.,
   World War, 1939-1945--Balloons"
   "United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Balloons"





More general




Collier, Basil. The airship: a history. New York, Putnam, 1974. 271 p.
   Bibliography: p. 247-249.
   TL650.C63 1974b <SciRR>

Crouch, Tom D. The eagle aloft: two centuries of the balloon in America. Washington, Smithsonian Institution Press, 1983. 770 p.
   Bibliography: p. 721-731.
   TL618.C76 1983 <SciRR>

Ege, Lennart A. T. Balloons and airships, 1783-1973. London, Blandford Press, 1973. 234 p.
   Bibliography: p. 224-225. Translation of Balloner og luftskibe, 1783-1973.
   TL605.E4313 <SciRR>

Gerken, Louis C. Airships: history and technology. Chula Vista, Calif., American Scientific Corp., c1990. 464 p.
   Bibliography: p. 461-462.
   TL650.G47 1990 <SciRR>

Glines, Carroll V. Lighter-than-air flight. New York, F. Watts, 1965. 276 p.

Wise, John. Through the air; a narrative of forty years' experience as an aeronaut: comprising a history of the various attempts in the art of flying by artificial means from the earliest period down to the present time. New York, Arno Press, 1972, c1873. 650 p.
   TL515.W55 1972
   An enlarged ed. of the author's A system of aeronautics, published in 1850.



Archbold, Rick. Hindenburg: an illustrated history. Text by Rick Archbold; paintings by Ken Marschall. New York, Warner Books, c1994. 229 p.
   Bibliography: p. 226.
   TL659.H5A73 1994

Beaubois, Henry. Airships: yesterday, today and tomorrow. New York, Two Continents Pub. Group, 1976, c1973. 222 p.
   TL650.B413 1976 <SciRR>
   Includes bibliographical references.
   Translation of Dirigeables.

Brooks, Peter M. Zeppelin: rigid airships, 1893-1940. Washington, Smithsonian Institution Press, c1992. 221 p.
   Bibliography: p. 214-217.
   TL657.B76 1992

Capelotti, P. J. By airship to the North Pole: an archaeology of human exploration. New Brunswick, N.J., Rutgers University Press, c1999. 209 p.
   Bibliography: p. 193-197.
   G587.C36 1999

DeVorkin, David H. Race to the stratosphere: manned scientific ballooning in America. New York, Springer-Verlag, c1989. 406 p.
   Bibliography: p. 365-378.
   TL618.D48 1989 <SciRR>

Dick, Harold G., and Douglas H. Robinson. The golden age of the great passenger airships, Graf Zeppelin & Hindenburg. Washington, Smithsonian Institution Press, c1985. 226 p.
   Includes bibliographical references.
   TL659.G7D53 1985

Espitallier, Georges. La technique du ballon. Paris, O. Doin, 1907. 467 p.

Gillispie, Charles Coulston. The Montgolfier brothers and the invention of aviation, 1783-1784: with a word on the importance of ballooning for the science of heat and the art of building railroads. Princeton, N.J., Princeton University Press, c1983. 210 p.
   Bibliography: p. 178-179.
   TL617.M66G48 1983

Haydon, Frederick Stansbury. Aeronautics in the Union and Confederate armies, with a survey of military aeronautics prior to 1861. v. 1. Baltimore, The Johns Hopkins Press, 1941. 421 p.
   Paperback reprint issued in 2000.

Hayward, Keith. The military utility of airships. London, Royal United Services for Defence Studies, 1998. 65 p.
   Bibliography: p. 62-65.
   UG1220.H38 1998

Hodgson, John Edmund. The history of aeronautics in Great Britain, from the earliest times to the latter half of the nineteenth century, by J. E. Hodgson, with 150 illustrations from contemporary sources, chronology, bibliography, etc. London, Oxford University Press, H. Milford, c1924. 436 p.
   Bibliography: p. 387-415.
   An extensive, well-illustrated review of balloons and airships.

Jeffries, John. A narrative of the two aerial voyages. New York, Arno Press, 1971. 60 p.
   TL620.B6J4 1971
   Reprint of the 1786 edition with the title A narrative of the two aerial voyages of Doctor Jeffries with Mons. Blanchard.

Laporte, Albert. Les naufrages aériens. Paris, T. Lefevre, 1880. 292 p.
   TL616.L3 1880

Meyer, Henry Cord. Airshipmen, businessmen, and politics: 1890-1940. Washington, Smithsonian Institution Press, c1991. 273 p.
   Bibliography: p. 265-269.
   TL657.M39 1991

Rechs, Robert J. Who's who of ballooning. Indianola, Iowa, National Balloon Museum, 1983. 361 p.
   TL615.R43 1983 <SciRR>

Ryan, Craig. The pre-astronauts: manned ballooning on the threshold of space. Annapolis, Md., Naval Institute Press, c1995. 327 p.
   Bibliography: p. 309-317.
   TL618.R95 1995



Aerostatics; or, a history of balloons. 2nd ed. London, Printed for the author by J. Rhynd and sold by R. Crosby and Co., 1802. 55 p.
   TL617.A3 1802a

Botting, Douglas. The giant airships. By Douglas Botting and the editors of Time-Life Books. Alexandria, Va., Time-Life Books, 1980. 180 p. (The epic of flight, 6)
   TL657.B67 <SciRR>
   Bibliography: p. 176-177.

Darnall, Diane Thomas. The challengers: a century of ballooning. Phoenix, Ariz., Hunter Publishing Co., c1989.
221 p.
   Bibliography: p. 219
   TL616.D37 1989

Davy, Maurice John Bernard. Aeronautics, lighter-than-air craft. London, H. M. Stationery Office, 1950. 112 p.

Dwiggins, Don. The complete book of airships: dirigibles, blimps & hot air balloons. Blue Ridge Summit, Pa., TAB Books, 1980. 352 p.
   TL605.D84 <SciRR>

Figuier, Louis. Les aérostats. Paris, Jouvet et cie, 1882. 268 p.
   TL616.F5 1882

Fonvielle, W. de. Histoire de la navigation aérienne. Paris, Hachette et cie, 1907. 270 p.
   TL616.F6 1907

Glaisher, James, and others. Voyages aériens. Paris, L. Hachette et cie., 1870. 612 p.
   TL620.A1G5 1870

Haining, Peter. The dream machines. London, New English Library, 1972. 180 p.
   TL616.H26 1972

Mansfield, Charles Blachford. Aerial navigation. London, Macmillan and Co., 1877. 513 p.
   Bibliography: p. 493-496.

Marion, Fulgence. Wonderful balloon ascents; or, the conquest of the skies. A history of balloons and balloon voyages. New York, Charles Scribner & Co., 1870. 218 p.
   Translation of Les ballons et les voyages aériens.

May, Gustav. Ballooning: a concise sketch of its history and principles. London, Symons&Co., 1885. 94 p.
   TL610.M37 1885

Nicolaou, Stéphane. Les premiers dirigeables français. Boulogne, France, E.T.A.I.; Le Bourget, Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace, c1997. 111 p. (Collection "Envols," no. 3)
   TL650.N53 1997

Payne, Lee. Lighter than air: an illustrated history of the airship. Rev. ed. New York, Orion Books, c1991. 310 p.
   Bibliography: p. 305-306.
   TL650.P39 1991 <SciRR>

Peyrey, François. Au fil du vent. Paris, H. Guiton, 1909. 302 p.

Robinson, Douglas Hill. Giants in the sky: a history of the rigid airship. Henley-on-Thames, Eng., G. T. Foulis, 1973. 376 p.
   Bibliography: p. 326-329.
   TL657.R6 1973b <SciRR>

Sazerac de Forge, Leonide. La conquête de l'air. Paris, Nancy, Berger-Levrault&cie, 1907. 378 p.
   TL650.S3 1907

Sargent, Eric. Aircraft and the air. New York, London, D. Appleton-Century, 1937. 682 p.

Silberer, Herbert. Veirtausend Kilometer im Ballon. Leipzig, O. Spamer, 1903. 136 p.

Tissandier, Gaston. Histoire de mes ascensions; récit de vingt-quatre voyages aériens (1868-1877) précédé de simples notions sur les ballons et la navigation aérienne. Paris, M. Dreyfous, c1878. 344 p.
   Bibliography: p. 340-341.
   TL620.T5A3 1878

Tissandier, Gaston. Voyages dan les airs. Paris, Hachette et cie, 1885. 94 p.
   TL616.T55 1885

Tissandier, Gaston. Histoire des ballons et des aéronautes célèbres, 1801-1890. Paris, H. Launette&cie, 1887-90. 2 v.

Tissandier, Gaston. Observations métérologiques en ballon. Paris, Gauthier-Villars, 1879. 51 p.

Toland, John. The great dirigibles; their triumphs and disasters. New York, Dover Publications, 1972. 352 p.
   TL650.T66 1972
   Published in 1957 under the title Ships in the sky.



Breckinridge, Henry. Airship investigation. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1933. 177 p.

United States. Congress. Joint Committee to Investigate Dirigible Disasters. Investigation of dirigible disasters. Hearings before a joint committee to investigate dirigible disasters. Congress of the United States, Seventh-third Congress, first session, pursuant to H. Con. Res. 15, a concurrent resolution creating a joint committee to investigate the causes of the wrecks of dirigibles. May 22 to June 6, 1933. Printed for the use of the Joint committee to investigate dirigible disasters. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1933. 944 p.
   TL659.A4U5 1933



Dissertations may be identified by using online resources or the following indexes located in the Main Reading Room. Consult any reference librarian about options. Some dissertations may be available in full text through electronic resources on public terminals at the Library of Congress.

Comprehensive Dissertation Index,1861-1972.
   Z5053.X47 1973

Comprehensive Dissertation Index. Supplement. (1973- annual)

Dissertation Abstracts International. (1938- monthly)
   Z5053.D57 and Computer format



Bradshaw, Price. The role of technology in the failure of the rigid airship as an invention. Ann Arbor, Mich., University Microfilms, 1975.
   UMI publication number 7604222
   Collation of the original: 296 p.
   Thesis (doctoral)--University of Florida, 1975.

Capelotti, Peter Joseph. A conceptual model for aerospace archaeology: a case study from the Wellman Site, Virgohamna, Danskoya Svalbard. Ann Arbor, Mich., University Microfilms, 1996.
   UMI publication number 9633681
   Collation of the original: 266 p.
   Thesis (doctoral)--Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey-- New Brunswick, 1996.

Collier, William G. Applications of variational principles to modeling a partially inflated scientific research balloon. Ann Arbor, Mich., University Microfilms, 2000.
   UMI publication number 99555457
   Collation of the original: 103 p.
   Thesis (doctoral)--The George Washington University, 2000.

De Syon, Guillaume Paul Sam. The sociopolitics of technology: the Zeppelin in official and popular culture, 1900-1939. Ann Arbor, Mich., University Microfilms, 1994.
   UMI publication number 9417316
   Collation of the original: 358 p.
   Thesis (doctoral)--Boston University, 1994.

Levitt, Martin L. The United States Navy and lighter-than-air aviation. Ann Arbor, Mich., University Microfilms, 1991.
   UMI publication number 9120803
   Collation of the original: 250 p.
   Thesis (doctoral)--Temple University, 1991.

Levitt, Martin L. Airship operations during World War II. Ann Arbor, Mich., University Microfilms, 1982.
   UMI publication number 1319956
   Collation of the original: 104 p.
   Thesis (masters)--Florida Atlantic University, 1982.

Minamitani, Takahisa. Development of an imaging x-ray detector for high-altitude balloon-borne astronomy. Ann Arbor, Mich., University Microfilms, 2000.
   UMI publication number 9962051
   Collation of the original: 145 p.
   Thesis (doctoral)--University of Alabama in Huntsville, 2000.

Smith, Richard K. The airships Akron and Macon: flying aircraft carriers of the United States Navy. Annapolis, U.S. Naval Institute, 1965. 228 p.
   TL659.A4S6 and Microfilm 14154 <MicRR>
   Thesis (doctoral)--The University of Chicago, 1966.



Technical reports and other types of literature are indexed in the following guides:

Government Reports Announcements & Index (1946-1996)
   Z7916.G78 <SciRR A&I> and Computer format

Monthly Catalog of United States Government Publications (1895- )
   Z1233.A18 <SciRR A&I> and Computer format



Reports listed below are available upon request in the Science Reading Room. These and other reports on aerodynamics may also be purchased from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS), Springfield, Virginia 22161. NTIS telephone: (800) 553-6847.

Ardema, Mark D. Missions and vehicle concepts for modern, propelled, lighter-than-air vehicles. Neuilly-sur-Seine, France, Advisory Group for Aerospace Research and Development, 1985. 52 p. (AGARD-R-724)

Balis Crema, Luigi, and Antonio Castellani. Some trends in airship technology developments. Neuilly-sur-Seine, France, Advisory Group for Aerospace Research and Development, 1983. 14 p. (AGARD Report no. 717)

Hain, James W. Airships for marine mammal research: evaluation and recommendations. Washington, Marine Mammal Commission, 1991. 38 p.

Holdaway, Aaron M. Turbulence profiles and outer length scale determination in the atmosphere using balloons. Monterey, Calif., Naval Postgraduate School, 2000. 62 p.

McCold, Lance N., Gerald K. Eddlemon, and Terrance J. Blasing. Environmental effects of the US Antarctic Program's use of balloons in Antarctica. Washington, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Department of Energy, 1995. 76 p. (ORNL/TM-13032)

Ramsey, B. D., and others. Instrumentation for X-ray astronomy from high-altitude balloons: recent developments and future plans. Huntsville, Ala., George C. Marshall Space Flight Center, 1997. 11 p. (NASA/TM-1998-207905)

Van Eaton, Errol H. Airships and the modern military. Carlisle Barracks, Pa., Army War College, 1991. 41 p.

Wanjek, Christopher. Ultimate mountaintop: astronomy aboard stratospheric balloons. Greenbelt, Md., National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Goddard Space Flight Center, 2000. 12 p.



Abstracting and indexing services that index relevant journal articles and other literature on aircraft are listed below. Some suggested terms for searching include "Airship," "Balloon," and variations of these terms. Engineering Index, FirstSearch, Infotrac, and Proquest, which are available on workstations in the Science Reading Room and the Computer Catalog Centers, contain files that may be useful in obtaining information about aircraft. Consult reference staff for location of abstracting and indexing (A&I) services and computer terminals.

Abstracts in New Technologies and Engineering (1962- )
   Z7913.B7 <SciRR>

Air University Library Index to Military Periodicals (1949- )
   Z6723.U27 <SciRR> and Computer format

Applied Science&Technology Index (1913- )
   Z7913.I7 <SciRR> and Computer format

Engineering Index Annual (1884- )
   Z5851.E62 <SciRR> and Computer format

General Science Index (1978-)
   Z7401.G46 <SciRR> and Computer format

International Aerospace Abstracts (1961- )
   TL500.I57 <SciRR>

Monthly Catalog of United States Government Publications (1895- )
   Z1223.A18 <SciRR> and Computer format

Physics Abstracts (1898- )
   QC1.P46 <SciRR> and Computer format

Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature (1900- )
   AI3.R48 <BusRR>, <N&CPR>, and Computer format


Current journals that contain relevant articles are many, but few current journals carry a significant number of articles on balloons and airships on a regular basis. Buoyant Flight (TL609.W5) is published by the Lighter Than Air Society. Journals such as Aviation Week & Space Technology, (TL501.A8) and Aerospace America (TL501.A688A25), as well as general science and technology journals, may carry articles of interest from time to time. Use abstracting and indexing services to find articles on these subjects.



Baginski, Frank, and Kenneth A. Brakke. Modeling ascent configurations of strained high-altitude balloons. AIAA journal, v. 36, Oct. 1998: 1901-1910.

Butcher, Charles. Zeppelins set to hit the skies again. Chemical engineering, v. 106, Apr. 1999: 60.

Cox, Harold Roxbee. The external forces on an airship structure with special reference to the requirements of rigid airship design. Journal of the Royal Aeronautical Society, v. 33, Sept. 1929: 725-811.

D'Costa, S. L., S. K. Ghosh, and M. V. Naik. A new telemetry system for a balloon-borne far-infrared astronomical telescope. Review of scientific instruments, v. 71, Jan. 2000: 281-288.

Danis, François, and others. DESCARTES: a novel lightweight balloon-borne instrument for measurement of halocarbons. Review of scientific instruments, v. 71, Jan. 2000: 271-280.

De Giorgis, Maurizio, and others. Atmospheric reentry demonstrator balloon flight test. Journal of spacecraft and rockets, v. 36, July/Aug., 1999: 507-510.

Ellenrieder, T. J. The modeling and validation of the vertical dynamics of a hot air balloon. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Part G, Journal of aerospace engineering, v. 213, no. G1, 1999: 57-62.

Lutz, T., and S. Wagner. Drag reduction and shape optimization of airship bodies. Journal of aircraft, v. 35, May/June 1998: 345-351.

NASA enlists polyester textile for balloon program. Plastics engineering, v. 56, Mar. 2000: 8.

Parks, Elizabeth. Superpressure balloons reach new heights. Machine design, v. 72, Apr. 6, 2000: 48-50.

Puttré, Michale. Reprise of the airship. Design news, v. 52, Aug. 11, 1997: 104-108.

Renard, Jean-Baptiste, and others. SALOMON: a new, light balloonborne UV-visible spectrometer for nighttime observations of stratospheric trace-gas species. Applied optics, v. 39, Jan. 20, 2000: 386-392.



Selected materials available in the Science Reading Room pamphlet boxes include the following:

Andrews, Peter. Lighter than air. Invention & technology, v. 9, summer 1993: 8-22.

Beck, Leonard N. The balloon and man's will to fly: an exhibit marking the 200th anniversary of the first successful balloon ascension. Washington, Library of Congress, 1983? 6 p.
   Exhibit catalog.

Butterworth-Hayes, Philip. Airships float back to the future. Aerospace America, v. 35, Dec. 1997: 4-6.

Fulghum, David A., and Robert Wall. Mammoth half-blimp seen as future airlifter. Aviation week & space technology, v. 150, Feb. 22, 1999: 26-27.

Garvey, William. Company town. Air&space, v. 11, Mar. 1997: 60-67.
   "Residents of Friedrichshafen, Germany aren't impressed by Concordes or 747s. They love zeppelins."

Hadfield, Peter. Will phone calls travel by balloon? New scientist, v. 154, June 7, 1997: 22.

Hagenlocher, Klaus G. A zeppelin for the 21st century. Scientific American, v. 281, Nov. 1999: 104-109.

Irion, Robert. Balloon flight brings cosmic glow into focus. Science, v. 286, Nov. 12, 1999: 1266-1267.

The Lighter Than Air Society collection: a list of books housed at main library of Akron-Summit County Public Library with information on materials in the University of Akron archives. Akron, Ohio, Akron-Summit County Public Library, 1978? 40 p. (ST/500/10-78)

Musser, George. The flip side of the universe. Scientific American, v. 279, Sept. 1998: 22.

Nadis, Steve. The zeppelin also rises. Technology review, v. 100, Oct. 1997: 18-20.

Nowak, Rachel. Above it all. New scientist, v. 161, Jan. 9, 1999: 12.

Pain, Stephanie. Higher and higher. New scientist, v. 163, July 3, 1999: 52-53.

Pushing the envelope. Economist, May 29, 1999: 79-80.
   "Engineers, visionaries and entrepreneurs have been talking about reviving the airship for decades. Soon, some of their ideas may start to get off the ground."

Reavis, Ed. Beyond the blimp. Flight international, v. 157, Feb. 22-28, 2000: 54-56.

Scott, Phil. The balloon that flew round the world. Scientific American, v. 281, Nov. 1999: 110-113.

Seife, Charles. BOOMERANG returns with surprising news. Science, v. 288, Apr. 28, 2000: 595.

Smith, I. Steve, and James A. Cutts. Floating in space. Scientific American, Nov. 1999: 98-103.

Smith, Mike, and Loren Seely. Balloons. Aerospace America, v. 36, Dec. 1998: 22.

Special achievement. Aviation week&space technology, v. 152, Apr. 10, 2000: L11, L13.
   Aviation Week honors Dr. Bertrand Piccard, captain, and copilot Brian Jones of the Breitling Orbiter 3 balloon for the feat of circumnavigating the globe in 1999.

Taverna, Michael A. CargoLifter aims to provide takeoff for stalled dirigible industry. Aviation week &space technology, v. 152, June 5, 2000: 88-89.

Taverna, Michael A. Heavy-lift dirigible demo nears first flight. Aviation week&space technology, v. 151, July 19, 1999: 41-42.



Akron-Summit County Public Library
1040 E. Tallmadge Ave.
Akron, OH 44310
Telephone: (330) 643-9000
E-mail: [email protected]

   The Lighter-Than-Air Collection, owned by the Lighter-Than-Air Society, contains many interesting books about dirigibles, blimps, and balloons. Other materials from the Lighter-Than-Air Society collection, such as pamphlets and photographs, are housed at the University of Akron Archives (American History Research Center, University of Akron, Akron, OH 44325).

Association of Balloon and Airship Constructors (ABAC)
P.O. Box 3841
City of Industry, CA 91744-0841
Telephone: (619) 715-0409
Fax: (619) 715-0409 URL:
   Purpose: To further the development of Lighter-Than-Air (LTA) flight by providing a forum for discussion of the history and technology of LTA and a resource for LTA researchers, designers, and builders. Emphasis is on engineering and technology.

Experimental Balloon and Airship Association
P.O. Box 51
Post Mills, VT 05058
Telephone: (802) 333-9254
   A loose congregation of aeronauts who have built, are flying or own any sort of experimental, ultralight, or homebuilt lighter-than-air craft.

The Lighter-Than-Air Society
526 S. Main Street, Suite 232
Akron, OH 44311
Telephone: (330) 928-4261
Fax: (330) 668-1105
   Dedicated to furthering knowledge of the history, science, and techniques of buoyant flight, the Lighter-Than-Air Society publishes Buoyant Flight (issn 0361-5065).

Smithsonian Institution Libraries
National Air & Space Museum Branch, NASM Building
Sixth & Independence Ave., S.W.
Washington, DC 20560
   Holdings on the history of flight and aerospace development, including biographical materials on aviation pioneers, balloons and ballooning, with an extensive photographic collection.

Special collections of the Library of Congress housed in the Prints and Photographs Division and the Manuscript Division
Prints and Photographs Division

Library of Congress
Washington, DC 20540-4730

Manuscript Division
Library of Congress
Washington, DC 20540-4680

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Archives collection incorporates primary source materials documenting the history of aeronautics. Between 1964 and 1966 the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, an organization formed in 1963 by the merger of the Institute of Aerospace Sciences and the American Rocket Society, presented to the Library of Congress material from its extensive Aeronautical Archives. A collection of 30,000 items is housed in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress. The Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress maintains a collection of pictorial aeronautica of 1,400 items assembled by Bella C. Landauer (1874-1960), a fellow of the Institute of Aerospace Sciences, which contains depictions of balloon ascents.

The Tissandier Collection is a collection of manuscripts, pictorial material, and publications relating to the history of aeronautics assembled by the brothers Albert (1836-1906) and Gaston Tissandier (1843-1899), balloonists, dirigible builders, and aeronautical historians. Six thousand items from the Tissandier Collection, spanning the years 1776 to 1914, are housed in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress. Items of the Tissandier brothers' pictorial documentation of lighter-than-air travel have been transferred to the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress. Many aeronautical publications in the general classified collection and the Rare Book and Special Collections Division can be traced to the Tissandier library.



The Internet offers a growing number of sites that may have materials on balloons and airships. Most of the organizations listed in the previous section provide links to related sites from their web sites. In addition to the following sites, it is also possible to use a search engine, such as AltaVista, Google, or Northern Light, to locate additional sites.

Airship and Blimp Resources

Goodyear Blimp Information

The Naval Airship Association
   Maintains links to many other web sites concerning airships, including airship bases, airship companies, airship sites, armed forces, associations, museums, military assistance sites, other sites of interest, and search engines, at

Navy Lakehurst Historical Society

Zeppelin Museum Friedrichshafen

December 2000
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