Jump to Archive links
The ATA Museum and Archive at Maidenhead Heritage Centre is the world’s leading collection of artefacts and documents from the Air Transport Auxiliary. There are other collections – notably at the RAF Museum Hendon – but a lot of material is in private hands. We hold over 140 logbooks relating to around 15% of the 1250 pilots and flight engineers.
The aim of the museum is to tell the story of the ATA as fully and accurately as possible. Many of the artefacts and much of the archive can be viewed in the gallery at Maidenhead Heritage Centre and we encourage visitors to visit us whenever possible. But we recognise that many people interested in researching ATA and its people are prevented by time or distance from coming to Maidenhead. Therefore we are pleased to make much of the archive accessible via this website.
Items such as logbooks and badges come up for auction from time-to-time. We do not have the resources to acquire them for the collection; instead, we encourage owners to loan such documents for digitisation, to make the information available to researchers worldwide. Maidenhead Heritage Centre is a registered chairy and a fully accredited museum, with staff and volunteers skilled in handling historical documents.
Much of the ATA archive material is made up of two-dimensional items such as logbooks, operational documents and photographs. These are currently organised by Person but we hope, with the assistance of volunteer researchers, to add other indexes to the online archive. A future project to transcribe the logbooks would enable users to search and analyse the records by aircraft, by airfield and the like.
Two online databases are provided:
- A database of all ATA employees,whatever their occupation, is available for searching and analysis. We would be pleased to receive additional biographical information from users of the archive.
- All known wartime airfields. This data is available to search and analyse, and is also presented on an interactive map that enables researchers to zoom into the detail of any one. We hope this data will be useful in future when transcribing the logbooks.
A small number of audio files are available, which are well-worth listening to, and some video files.
For the three-dimensional objects, the museum catalogue is available to search. It contains a description of each object and, in most cases, a record photograph. Many of the objects are on display at Maidenhead, but others must be requested, and some may be out on loan to other museums.
The archive is accessed from these links:
- ATA personnel database
- Digitised materials – high-resolution scans of paper records , including flying log books, personnel data, photographs, personal ephemera etc.
- Transcribed stories & diaries
- Audio recordings
- UK airfields database (courtesy of John Woodside) with interactive map
- US ATA website created by Anne Wood-Kelly (formerly airtransportaux.com)
Registration and access
Thumbnail images can be viewed freely but we require free online registration to view the images in detail. Your details are recorded to encourage fair usage and avoid uncontrolled copying and are not made available to any third parties.
The archive is free to use. In order to maintain free access, we encourage researchers to become Friends of Maidenhead Heritage Trust, the charity behind the ATA Museum. It costs £20 per annum for individuals (or your currency equivalent). Membership helps to fund the archive work and entitles you to several other benefits and discounts. Please visit the Support Us page to join and pay online. The same page allows you to make a no-strings donation if you prefer.
Researchers are encouraged to explore the online archive themselves. We have a group of very knowledgeable volunteers who can help with your researches and may be able to add additional information. We make a charge for queries that take more than an hour to answer. Please refer to the Research Service page for more details.
Enjoy the archive…