Aircraft Photo Gallery Digitization Project

One of the major collecting areas for Wright State University Libraries Special Collections & Archives is aviation history. As a result, we have acquired tens of thousands of amazing and unique aircraft photographs.

Recently, we began a long-term digital project to illustrate the breadth and variety of these photographs by sharing a sampling of them in an online Aircraft Photo Gallery on CORE Scholar.

Aircraft Photo Gallery on CORE Scholar

Aircraft Photo Gallery on CORE Scholar

While this project is still ongoing, so far over 200 photographs from the William F. Yeager Collection (MS-223) are already available online. Approximately 1,600 total photographs selected from the Yeager Collection will be included in the project. (While that may sound like a lot, it is really just a drop in the bucket: the Yeager Collection alone contains over 25,000 photographs!) Photographs will also be selected from the Walter Matthew Jefferies Aviation Collection (MS-344) and the Robert Williams Aviation Collection (MS-376) as well.

Two of our dedicated volunteers with aviation expertise, Wayne and Karen Pittman, have been working diligently since January selecting photographs to be included in this project.

Wayne and Karen Pittman selecting photographs from the Yeager Collection, June 2014

Wayne and Karen Pittman selecting photographs from the Yeager Collection, June 2014

Digitization, metadata encoding, and uploading of this digital collection to CORE Scholar is being conducted by the Wright State University Libraries’ Digital Services Department.

The following 12 photos in the gallery below are just a small sampling of the more than 200 aircraft photographs already available online in CORE Scholar. Click on a thumbnail image to view it larger. To learn more about the image (including date and in some cases registration number), view it on CORE Scholar by copying and pasting the identifier number in parentheses into the CORE Scholar search box.

If you would like to receive email notifications when new materials are added to this gallery in CORE Scholar, you can create a free account on CORE Scholar, then click on the blue “follow” button near the gallery’s description.

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Seeking Wright Factory Families

Wright State University Libraries Special Collections & Archives and the National Aviation Heritage Alliance (NAHA) are currently undertaking a collaborative project to gather the stories of men and women who worked at the original Wright Company factory. These employees were the first Americans hired and trained for airplane production, and their stories represent an important piece of aviation history that should be preserved.

Wright Company Factory, 1911 (photo # ms1_21_3_20a)

Wright Company Factory, 1911 (photo # ms1_21_3_20a)

The original Wright Company factory, located in West Dayton, was the first American factory built specifically for the purpose of producing airplanes. The buildings were constructed in 1910 and 1911 and produced airplanes until 1916. When Orville Wright sold the Wright Company in 1915, the buildings became part of the Dayton-Wright Airplane Company. The factory site later became part of General Motors’ Inland Manufacturing Division and then subsequently was part of Delco and eventually Delphi. The National Park Service is currently working to acquire the original Wright factory site.

The stories gathered by the Wright Factory Families Project will be a valuable resource to the National Park Service when it restores the original Wright factory buildings as part of the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park.

In addition to gathering the stories of original Wright Company factory workers, we are also interested in the stories of those who worked in the buildings after they became part of Dayton-Wright Airplane Company and later Inland Manufacturing.

One of the stories uncovered so far by the Wright Factory Families Project is that of Ida Holdgreve (1881-1977), who responded to a newspaper ad for a seamstress in 1910 and subsequently became one of the first women in the world to work in the aircraft industry. She sewed for the Wright Company from 1910 until at least 1915.

Ida Holdgreve sewing at the Wright Factory, 1911 (photo # ms1_21_3_10)

Ida Holdgreve sewing at the Wright Factory, 1911 (photo # ms1_21_3_10)

The following press releases and blog posts provide additional details about the Wright Factory Families Project and about Ida Holdgreve:

For more information about how to participate in the Wright Factory Families Project, please contact WSU Special Collections & Archives at archives@www.libraries.wright.edu or call (937) 775-2092 or NAHA at info@aviationheritagearea.org or call (937) 443-0165.

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WSU Alumni Newsletters Now Online

We are pleased to announce that you can now view the Wright State University Libraries Special Collections & Archives’ collection of alumni newsletter publications from 1969-2014 online in CORE Scholar.

The collection presently includes nearly 200 total issues of alumni publications, including The Wright Stater (1966-1990), AlumNews (1977-2008), Community (1996-2011), and Wright State University Magazine (2011-Present).

All available historical issues of the publications are currently online. New issues of Wright State University Magazine will be added as they are published. The issues are full-text searchable.

The Wright Stater, Summer 1984

The Wright Stater, Summer 1984 (click to view in CORE Scholar)

AlumNews, November/December 1987

AlumNews, November/December 1987 (click to view in CORE Scholar)

This digital project was a collaborative effort between the Special Collections & Archives, the Office of Alumni Relations, and the University Libraries’ Digital Services Department, which provided the digitization, metadata encoding, and uploading of this digital collection to CORE Scholar.

Please visit the University Archives’ CORE Scholar page to browse additional online resources, including all historical course catalogs and over 1,000 issues of The Guardian student newspaper (an ongoing long-term digital project).

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