Written by Matt Norwood, intern.
The Albert Gore Research Center and Middle Tennessee State University’s Aerospace Department have collaborated once again to process materials of donated to the Tennessee Aviation Hall of Fame Archives. This archives, located in S214 of the Business and Aerospace Building (BAS), contains material that has been donated by Tennessee aviators as well as alumni of the MTSU Aerospace program. This is the third summer for this collaborative effort, initiated by Dr. Ron Ferrara, the Chair of the Aerospace Department, to process these papers, books, records and photographs.
The archives contain a backlog of donated material that was in dire need of stabilizing, rehousing, and re-foldering to make these materials more accessible. Last year, several separate donations, including one from Raul Regalado, the former President and CEO of the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority, a donation pertaining to the Ninety-Nines Southeast Division, as well as material pertaining to Gillespie Airways was completely processed or in various stages of processing. This year, the processing of the Regalado Collection was completed and the Gillespie Airways collection was being completed.
The main focus of work was the Gillespie Airways Collection. The collection, donated by James Gillespie, are the records of his company, Gillespie Airways, which operated in Nashville in the 1940s and 1950s. Also included are materials related to Gillespie’s interests in aviation. [A related Gillespie collection can be found at the Albert Gore Research Center.] Additionally, a large book collection donated by William Kershner’s family is currently being processed and arranged on bookshelves.
New materials are still being accepted into the archives, included a fairly large new collection. Although not yet scheduled to be processed, it has been stabilized to be processed next summer, during the next grant cycle. This will continue to give other students in the Public History program an opportunity to work with materials and utilize the best practices of the profession.