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How to share your story

We invite contributors to add and edit the information in the American Air Museum’s archive.  

Any contribution from a small spelling correction to a detailed account of a personal experience, or even listing all men and machines to take part in a mission helps us to paints a richer picture of experiences of the US Army Air Forces in in Britain and Europe during the Second World War. 

Please bear in mind contributions to the American Air Museum’s archive are not moderated and are published instantly. 

How to add a new record

Our archive is unfinished, and there are lots of gaps in the information available. Creating new records helps improve the American Air Museum’s archive. 

  1. Click the add entry button
  2. Select the type of record you want to create
  3. Complete the form with as much information as possible

Advice

If you do not have the information to complete everything at this stage, you can leave it blank.

You can always return to edit information later. You may also find other contributors come along and fill in the gaps.  

How to edit a record

  1. Locate the record you want to edit
  2. Click the edit button
  3. Use the form to complete missing information and make changes to most of the information input by other contributors.  

Advice

  • The data in our archive comes from lots of various sources and has not always been entered accurately. Bear this in mind when browsing and help us to improve the archive by correcting errors and typos where you spot them. 
  • Try not to overwrite or delete other’s contributions as far as possible unless you are correcting typos and spelling errors.  
  • If you think another contributor has made a major mistake and you need to remove information they have shared, try to explain the changes you have made and why in the source message 

You can always return to edit information later. You may also find other contributors come along and fill in the gaps. 

How to make connections 

You can generate associations while editing a record

  1. Under connections click the type of connection you want to make
  2. Searching  and select the record(s) you want to connect
  3. Click save

Advice

  • Connections link records together, and help other users explore the archive. You can add new connections or make changes to existing ones, when adding or editing the archive. 
  • Try to make connections with the most interesting, and direct relations to the record’s subject. For example, a bomber pilot may have served in a unit with hundreds of people, most researchers want to find out who they regularly flew with. 

The types of connections you can make are listed in our archive updates

Biographies and histories 

The biography or history section of a record allows you to add detailed narrative information, which may not fit somewhere else. You can add new information or make changes to existing information, when adding or editing the archive. 

We welcome any, and all kinds of biographical or historical information relevant to the record that you want to share in here. In people records, we especially like to see information which tells us more about people’s memories and lives before, during or after the Second World War.  

Be mindful that other users may not be familiar with acronyms or technical terms, so try to use simple language as far as possible. 

There really is no right or wrong way to go about doing this. All the memories and stories which you share with us are a valuable contribution to our archive. 

How to add events

Adding events to a record, generates a timeline and map which illustrates a person or aircraft’s story on a global scale. You can add new events or make changes to existing ones, when adding or editing the archive. 

  1. Click add new event to generate entries which appear on the map and timeline
  2. Chose the type of event you want to record. You can add dates or date ranges as well as a brief description of the event, if you wish to give more details. 
  3. Click edit location to open a map and add a place to your event  

About the source message

The source message is the most important field to complete when adding or editing a record in the archive. It is compulsory on all record types and must be completed before saving any changes you have made. 

The source message is there for you to explain how you know the information you have added to a record. This helps other contributors work out where the information displayed has come from and makes the archive a more credible resource for other researchers 

Advice

  • Fill in the source message as completely as possible, it cannot be edited later.  
  • If you are recording family history or memories, you could add something as simple as ‘told to me by my father.’  
  • If you have carried out some additional research, then reference any books or articles you have looked at or link to the specific pages on any websites which you used.  
  • If you have accessed historical documents or photos, online or in an archive, it is best to list both the title of the document, and where you looked at it.  

Further advice

You may also find the following information helpful while sharing your story in our archive

About restricted fields

Contributors can edit most of the information in the archive, but we have restricted who can input information into some of the fields in our records. This enables us to keep some control over some of archive’s fundamental content.  

There are also a few fields for information from official United States Air Force published sources and English Heritage records which are only editable by administrators. 

The following fields are restricted so we can preserve official or historical information, or capture descriptions from specific organisations 

  • Aircraft: Aircraft serial numbers 
  • Units: Unit names 
  • Units: Official unit history descriptions  
  • Places: Historic Environment Record descriptions 
  • Places: Station summaries 

Deleting records

Only administrators can delete records from the archive. 

Make sure you search the archive before creating new records, and contact us if you have created, or spotted a duplicate record.

Get in touch

About the Roll of Honour 

The American Air Museum at IWM Duxford stands as a memorial to the 30,000 or so American servicemen and women who died while flying from Britain between 1942 and 1945. Their names appear in the museum on our Roll of Honour, which draws names and photographs from our archive into the exhibition space.  

There are parameters which determine whether someone's name should appear on the American Air Museum’s Roll of Honour, so only administrators can change this information. 

We know many of our contributors are interested in finding out which people are listed on our Roll of Honour, so we have made this available for everyone to see.  

If you think you have spotted a record for someone who ought to be listed on the Roll of Honour but is not, please contact us 

Get in touch