Slideshow: Compelling Collections of Artifacts Reside in Library

  • From left: A bronze bust of James H. Doolittle by sculptor John E. Lajba, commissioned by George E. Haddaway, aviation journalist and founder of the History of Aviation Collection; a model of a Granville Brothers Gee-Bee R-1 in which Doolittle won the Thompson Trophy at the National Air Races in 1932; and a medal Doolittle received from the Chinese government after his raid on Japan.

On the third floor of the Eugene McDermott Library, the Special Collections and Archives Department safeguards rare and historically significant items, such as the Vice Admiral Charles E. Rosendahl Lighter-Than-Air Collection and the General James “Jimmy” H. Doolittle Archives.

Doolittle played a major role in the development of aviation in America. He pioneered the concept of blind flying, or landing a plane with an entirely blacked-out cockpit using only its instruments. He set speed records in both land and seaplane races, as well as advocated for the creation of a higher octane grade of gasoline for use in aircraft to increase performance. In World War II, he led a bombing raid on the Japanese home islands in April 1942.

Rosendahl was a decorated officer in the U.S. Navy who led successful sea and air missions in the early to mid-1900s. He was one of the most experienced U.S. airship aviators and a champion of lighter-than-air aviation for military and commercial use. Rosendahl is perhaps best remembered by the public as the commanding officer of the Naval Air Station at Lakehurst, N.J., at the time of the Hindenburg disaster on May 6, 1937.

The Special Collections and Archives Department is charged with collecting, preserving and organizing collections that are made available for research. Special Collections is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. the second Saturday of each month and by appointment.

Read more and see additional pictures in UT Dallas Magazine’s online edition.

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].