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Ross-Barrett Historical Aeronautical Documents Collection

Identifier: WH1635

Scope and Contents

Collection contains historical correspondence and documents related to early aviators, scientists, organizations, military of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.

RHC1 - James Sadler Letter to Lord Mulgrave, September 3, 1808, Box 2

James Sadler (1751-1828) was the first Englishman to rise in a hot air balloon. Collection contains a letter from Sadler to Lord Mulgrave requesting an interview to discuss an idea that would help defeat Napoleon

RHC2 - Charles Romme Papers, 1774-1784, Box 2

Charles Romme (1744-1805) was a french scientist and author of many works on navigation, cartography, and marine science. Collection contains letters and notes in French

RHC3 - Peter Simon Pallas Letter to M. Romme, 1784, Box 2

Peter Simon Pallas (1741-1811) was a German naturalist. Collection contains a letter from Pallas to M. Romme.

RHC4 - French Military Citation, 1916, Box 1

French fighter pilots during World War I. Les Cigognes or Group de Combat I/2 was formed October 19, 1916. Also known as The Storks. Collection contains an extract of order no. 391. Includes signatures of 12 pilots.

RHC5 - Mathematical Treatise, 1800s, Box 1

Collection contains a manuscript handwritten in Italian by an unknown author on the subject of "calcolo del moto orizzontale di un aerostato" (horizontal motion of an aerostat).

RHC6 - Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin Letter, August 20, 1908, Box 2

Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin (1838-1917) was German military officer who developed the rigid airship, the Zeppelin. Collection contains a letter from Zeppelin in Friedrichshafen, Germany to the editor of the Neuen Wiener Tagblatt newspaper in which Zeppelin defends himself against the charge of having developed Schwartz's discovery of the rigid airship.

RHC7 - William Le Queux Manuscript, undated, Box 2

William Le Queux (1864-1927) was a British author known for writing some of the first spy novels. His ideas and books lead to the British Secret Service being formed. Collection contains a typed manuscript of unpublished novel, The Hornet's Nest.

RHC8 - Aviation Glossary, 1917, Box 1

Collection contains a handwritten glossary of French and English terms used in aviation and in aircraft. Includes illustrations and diagrams.

RHC9 - Pilot's Flying Log Book, 1930-1931, Box 1

Collection contains a Royal Air Force log book kept by Raikes contains date and hour of flight, airplane type, course, names of pilot and passenger, and remarks. Some pages contain signature of Oxford University Air Squadron instructors.Capatin A. F. G. Raikes was an Army Officer.

RHC10 - Royal Aero Club Records, 1909-1912, OVBox 1

The Royal Aero Club was founded in 1901 and was responsible for private flying in Great Britain. Collection contains an account book with names of members, addresses, membership status

RNC11 - Louis Blériot Invitation to Jacques Mortane, May 2, 1928, Box 1

Louis Blériot (1872-1936) was a french aviation pioneer and the first pilot to fly over the English Channel. Jaques Mortane (1883-1939) was an author known for writing about aviation. Collection contains an invitation (in French with translation) to lunch from Blériot to Jacques Mortane in Paris, France. Includes translation from French.

RHC12 - Jacqueline Cochran Letter to Alice Norton, May 6, 1961, Box 1

Jacqueline Cochran (1906-1980) was a female aviator. Founded Women's Air Force Service Pilots to ferry airplanes from the United States to England during World War II. Collection contains a letter from Cochran in New York City to Alice Norton, Public Relations Officer, Denver Public Library (Denver, Colo.) thanking Norton for press clippings.

RHC14 & RHC15 - A. J. Sanson Letters to Edmond Marey-Monge, 1843, Box 2

Collection contains two letters from Sanson to Edmond Marey-Monge discuss and defend Sanson's book, L'Aeronautique des gens du monde.

RHC17 - History U.S. Army Air Service 1862-1920, October 1, 1920, Box 1

Collection contains a photocopy of report prepared by Chief of Air Service (Information Group) for publication in a proposed book on the New Army to be issued by Century Co. as per instructions contained in letter of The Adjutant General of the Army, 12 June 1920.

RHC18 - Charles Lindbergh Autograph, 19??, Box 2

Charles Linbergh (1902-1974) was an American aviator who made the first solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean on May 20-21, 1927. Collection contains Charles Lindbergh's autograph on Brown Palace Hotel (Denver, Colo.) stationery.

RhC19 - Royal Air Force Records, 1916, Box 1

No. 46 Squadron of the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Air Force, formed in 1916, was disbanded and re-formed three times before its last disbandment in 1975. It served in both World War I and World War II. Great Britain. Royal Air Force. Squadron 46. Collection contains an outline of squadron history since proceeding overseas October 20, 1916. Includes marginal notes by Richard Viall, Lt., R.F.C.

RHC20 - Julia Clarke Papers, 1912-1913, Box 1

Julia Clarke (1880-1912) was the third woman to qualify for a pilot's licence in the United States. She died when she fell from her biplane in France on June 17, 1912. Collection contains correspondence, newspaper clippings, Aero Club of America certificates, telegrams, posters, memorabilia.

RHC22 - James Stewart Letter to Marjory Benjamin, 1956, Box 2

James Stewart (1908-1997) was a motion picture and stage actor who also served in U.S. Air Force. Letter was written while Stewart was filming The Spirit of St. Louis. Collection contains a letter from Stewart to Marjory Benjamin, Philadelphia, Pa. replying to her request for an autograph.

RHC23 - Erik H. Nelson Letter to Marjory Benjamin, November 1, 1929, Box 1

Erik H. Nelson (1888-1970) was a member of a team of pilots and crewmen who were the first to fly around the world in 1924. Collection contains a letter from Nelson to Marjory Benjamin, Washington, D.C. replying to her request for an autograph. Includes envelope and business card.


  • 1774-1956


Language of Materials

Documents in collection are in English, French, Italian, and German.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to publish, reproduce, or quote from material in the collection should be discussed with the appropriate librarian or archivist. Permission for publication may be given on behalf of the Denver Public Library as the owner of the physical item. It is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained by the customer. The Library does not assume any responsibility for infringement of copyright or publication rights of the manuscript held by the writer, heirs, donors, or executors. Reproduction restrictions are decided on a case-by-case basis.

Biographical / Historical

The correrspondence and documents in this collection were originally part of the Ross-Barrett Historical Aeronautical Collection. The Ross-Barrett Historical Aeronautical Collection was created in 1940 to provide public access to information on aeronautics. Originally housed in the Science and Engineering Department at the Denver Public Library until the 1990s, the collection was then transferred to the Department of Western History and Genealogy.

The collection is currently known as the Ross-Barrett Aeronautical Collection (WH1634).


2 boxes (.5 linear feet; 18 envelopes)

1 oversize box

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchase, Maggs Brothers, Ltd., 1940. Gifts, Various donors, no date.

Separated Materials

In 2003, manuscript materials from the original Ross-Barrett Historical Aeronautical Collection collection, including prints, posters, ephemera, and publications were incorporated into the Ross-Barrett Aeronautical Collection (WH1634).

Aeronautical books originally acquired for the Denver Public Library's Division of Aeronautics (1942), later known as the Ross-Barrett Historical Aeronautics Collection, are held in the closed stacks of the Department of Western History and Genealogy. The collecting of published material began in 1940 and continued through 1960 when the collection contained approximately 3,500 volumes. Included in this colleciton are important and rare books on aeronautics published as early as 1542. This collection is now known as the Ross-Barrett Aviation Collection.

Finding aid for the Ross-Barrett Historical Aeronautical Documents Collection
Language of description
Script of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Repository

10 W. 14th Ave. Pkwy
Denver CO 80204 United States