The Lee Renaud Memorial Library at the National Model Aviation Museum

book shelves

By Jackie Shalberg, National Model Aviation Museum Archivist and Historian

As seen in the November 2022 issue of Model Aviation magazine.

We recently received a suggestion to discuss more about the wealth of resources available in the museum’s Lee Renaud Memorial Library through this column. We thought that was a great idea!

The Lee Renaud Memorial Library is located just past the main gallery in the museum. The space is divided into three rooms that are connected by open doorways. The library’s content includes both aeromodeling and full-scale aviation materials.

During our open season, visitors can pull many of the books and periodicals (magazines, newsletters, newspapers, and journals) right off the shelf to read at a table, in our comfy recliner, or at the desk while holding an Aladdin Ultra magnifier (for reading small print or investigating small details in images). They can watch a selection of videos on our television as well.

 We also have a special collections storage area where we keep some of our periodicals, books dated prior to 1945, and items in fragile or delicate conditions. Museum staff helps patrons access these materials upon request. Although we are not a lending library (we do not check out materials for home use), we do offer staff research, and this continues throughout the winter while we’re doing our off-season, behind-the-scenes work. Our policies and fees are on our website at

 At the last tally, the reading materials stored in the library and special collections spaces totaled 903 periodical titles (nearly 48,000 individual issues) and 5,572 books. We are frequently asked if there are magazines and books from the 1930s and 1940s in the library. Not only is the answer yes, but some of our earliest library books date to the beginning of the 20th century, such as:

Practical Kites and Aeroplanes by Frederick Walker, published by Guilbert Pitman, 1903

practical kites and aeroplanes

My Airships: The Story of My Life by Alberto Santos-Dumont, published by Grant Richards, 1904

my airships

Vehicles of the Air: A Popular Exposition of Modern Aeronautics With Working Drawings by Victor Lougheed, published by The Reilly and Britton Co., 1909

Vehicles of the Air

The Theory and Practice of Model Aeroplaning by V.E. Johnson, M.A., published by E & F.N. Spon Ltd., 1910

The Theory and Practice of Model Aeroplaning

            Our earliest periodicals date back to the 1910s and include:

The Aero, July 5, 1910, issue, published by Iliffe & Sons Ltd.

The Aero

Flight, July 15, 1911, issue, journal of the Royal Aero Club of the United Kingdom, published by St. Martin’s Publishing Co. Ltd.

Aero-America’s Aviation Weekly, November 25, 1911, issue, E. Percy Noel (Ed.), published by Aero Publication Co.

Aero Americas

Aerial Age Weekly, May 3, 1915, issue, published by The Aerial Age Co. Inc.

            We also have recent issues. For example, at the end of November 2022, two copies of this issue of Model Aviation will be put away in the library—one in storage and one on the library shelf.

            We have full runs (or nearly full runs) of some of the most well-known American model aircraft magazine titles, such as Model Airplane News, Radio Control Modeler, Flying Models, and Model Aviation. We also have newsletters from clubs across the US and continue to expand our collection of these. We collect periodicals produced outside of the country, too, and have issues from roughly 30 countries so far, including Japan, Australia, Israel, India, England, Sweden, South Africa, Canada, and Argentina. We would not have such an extensive library collection without the generosity of our donors.

            Do you have questions about the library? Contact me directly at [email protected] or via phone at (765) 287-1256, ext. 511.

Library sign

            Are you interested in donating to the library? For magazine donations, we are looking for specific issues of certain titles. You can see our current wish list on the museum’s website at, or you can request a copy of the list to be sent to you via email or post mail.

            For book donations, we request of list of books that you would like to donate. We’ll review your list and compare it with our collections database to see which books are needed. Approximately 70% of our book collection records can be viewed on our Digital Collections website at


            If you have club newsletters you’d like to donate, send us a list of titles and we’ll let you know if we have those titles or not, and if so, which issues we have already. A donation guide is on our website at

            Do you want to learn more about Lee Renaud, for whom the library is named? Biographical information about Lee can be read on the AMA History Project website at

            Is there a subject or topic that you’d like to see us cover in our “History Preserved” column? Let us know! Your suggestion could appear in an upcoming issue. 

book shelves







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