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Archive development and updates

We have moved the American Air Museum's archive database onto a new content management system which enables us to better preserve the stories within it. This gives us greater flexibility to improve how researchers update and explore this information in future

Some features now work differently, you can find information about outstanding issues, and areas were are working to improve below. Along with information about how we manage the content in the archive. 

Share your feedback

Please tell us about problems you encounter while using the American Air Museum's archive.

We may not be able to respond to feedback individually, but we'd like to thank you for taking the time to share it with us, as it helps to improve the service we provide.

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New features

Reverse relationships

You can now make two directional connections. For example if a connection is made from a person to an aircraft, it will also be possible to remove the connection while editing aircraft. 

These connections will work between

  • The same record type (e.g. an aircraft to a different aircraft)
  • Different content types (e.g. a unit to an aircraft connected) 

We are aware that not all connections are displayed on records with large numbers of connections and are working to resolve this

Making connections between records

We have built a new widget to make connections between records. 

While editing a record, under connections:

  1. Click select items
  2. Search for the record(s) you want to connect to
  3. Select the record(s)
  4. Click select entities to add the connection
  5. Click Use selected to save the connection


  • Connections search will search against all of the information in a record. You can often find people who served on the same aircraft by searching its serial number of nickname. 

Outstanding issues

Uploading images: In progress

We find that contributors frequently try to upload media while editing a person's record.
Media must be uploaded as a separate archive entry using the add entry button before it can be associated with a person or aircraft. 

Please follow our guidance on how to upload media to the American Air Museum's archive

We are looking at solutions which will make how to upload media to the archive more obvious.

Lead images: In progress

We have removed the featured image field. You may find you cannot remove or change the featured image on a record, as we are working to migrate the files. 

The lead image now appears as a thumbnail across other pages in the archive.  

To chose a lead image:

  1. Open the edit form using the edit entry button 
  2. Under the media accordion click and drag the lead image to the top left of the list of associated media


Partial dates: Under investigation

It is not possible to enter a partial date of Month/ Year or Year into person and aircraft events

We are currently investigating ways to resolve this issue.

What we are working on

Image tagging

This will be the ability to identify individuals within group photos. 

Please do not upload cropped versions of group photos in the meantime

Managing archive content

Contributions to the American Air Museum’s archive are not moderated. The following rules and functions help us to maintain the quality of the information we hold. 

Managing duplicates

The data in our archive comes from various sources, we are aware that there are duplicate records and images. 
Please help us to identify duplicates records if you find them.

Duplicate people 

  1. Decide which record should be the master (this is usually the one with most information)
  2. Transfer any additional information from the duplicate record(s) into the master record
  3. identify the duplicate record(s) to be deleted by adding 'DUPLICATE' to the end of the last name field 

Duplicate images

  1. Decide which record should be the master (this is usually the one with most information)
  2. Transfer any additional information from the duplicate record(s) into the master record
  3. identify the duplicate record(s) by adding them to the collection 'Duplicate images'

Data validation

Certain fields have data validation applied. This helps standardise the way the information is presented, and in turn make it more searchable. 

Connections to Air Forces

You cannot associate people or aircraft records to:  

Individual airmen and aircraft were not generally assigned directly to one of the combat air forces. Official documents most commonly list the units (group and, or squadron) they belonged to,  this is also the information researchers are most interested in finding out.  

If you wish to identify people or aircraft who served under the command of one of the combat Air Forces you can use the 'By Air Force' filter. 

Award cards

Air Force award cards are already freely available from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). We will delete them if you duplicate them in the American Air Musuem's archive. 

Please list medals using the 'awards' form field. You can also link directly to an airman's award card(s) at NARA in the source message. 

Colourised images

Modern colourised images are generally not permitted in the American Air Museum’s archive.  

We realise these offer a vivid depiction of historic people and events, but the colours have been added long after the photograph was originally taken. Even after meticulous research, by adding colour retrospectively, the artists may have intentionally, or inadvertently changed the mood of an image, affecting how viewers perceive it. 

Models, aviation art and air show photography

Scale models and aviation art are not permitted in the American Air Museum’s archive.  

These works are artistic interpretations. Even after meticulous research, the artists may have intentionally, or inadvertently changed the subject in ways which affect how viewers perceive it. 

The same is true of air show photography, as the aircraft have been modified for compliance with modern flying regulations. 

Memorials and plaques

We adapt the definition of a war memorial used by IWM's War Memorials Register to inform the types of memorials we accept in the American Air Museum's archive. 

The American Air Museum's archive accepts memorials to USAAF personnel and aircraft located in the UK, and Europe, but not the USA.

While we accept images of temporary burials and the process of casualty repatriation back to the US, we do not accept images of permanent grave markers

We also do not accept memorials which are not related to the period of the Second World War. 

Terms of use

We are committed to ensuring the American Air Museum's archive is fast, accurate and performs well. We love working with our community of contributors, but please bear in mind we reserve the right to make changes to our archive, including the entries and services we offer, without notice.

Read archive terms