Archive Collection Policy

Air-Britain is having to suspend acceptance of new donations due to a lack of resources.  Rod Simpson, who has co-ordinated the collection of donations, as well as co-ordinating with our four photo archivists, is stepping away from his role and we thank him for many years of excellent service in this area.

We are looking for people who can take over these areas of work, so that we can resume taking in donations.  Our current policy , see below, means that we take in photo images, original research material and local aviation (enthusiast) magazines from the UK.  We also accept books and magazines, which are added to our second-hand sales operation to raise funds.

The roles we are looking to fill include:

  • Donations Co-ordinator - fielding contacts from donors and ensuring their donations go to the right person. This sometimes involves receiving the donation and splitting it up into the four categories. As far as possible we ask for donors making arrangements to deliver their items to the archivists or to the Co-ordinator, but sometimes special collection arrangements can be made.
  • Image Co-ordinator – we currently have four photo archives – colour slides (looked after by Peter Dance), black & white negatives (Alec Travers), colour prints (Andy Stevens) and black & white prints (Graham Salt).  The co-ordinator ensures that new donations get to the right person and manages issues that might arise.

There are two other roles associated with our image collection, that we want to fill:

  • Digital Image Archivist – with the move away from hard-copy images, we are now receiving digital files and we need an archivist to accept and index these images so that Air-Britain knows what is available.
  • Digitisation team – we are looking at the best way to digitise the images that we hold, so that they can be made more widely available to our members, and as a possible source of income from non-members or commercial users. While we are still finalising how this will be carried out, we are looking for people who would be able to assist in digitising batches of images.

If you think that you may be able to help, please contact in the first instance so that we can answer any questions you may have about the roles and give further information.

Thank you on behalf of the Air-Britain Board




The following are items that will be preserved in the A-B archive (digital or physical).

  • Air-Britain publications and any supporting documents that were used in their production.
  • Photographic images (in all formats, except cine).
  • Local aviation (enthusiast) magazines from the UK.
  • Official and unofficial aviation production data and civil & military aircraft registers (e.g., construction lists, registers etc).
  • Official aircraft registers (civil & military)
  • Historical research materials e.g., development materials, operational records, personnel records.

The following artefacts are specifically excluded from the A-B archive collection

  • Video cassettes, DVD or other moving images.
  • Aviation ephemera e.g., sick bags, inflight promotional materials, airline magazines etc.
  • Commercial books.
  • Aircraft models (in kit or complete form).
  • Uniforms and individuals’ personal effects.
  • Aircraft or parts thereof.
  • Airfield maps and related technical drawings.
  • Original materials that are properly owned by The National Archive.
  • Materials obtained illegally.
  • Official material still deemed classified as SECRET or above.


All donations will be subject to a “gateway” assessment to determine, quality and applicability of retention. Wherever possible this assessment will be undertaken prior to artefacts being handed over. Exceptions to those items listed above will be considered at this stage. Exceptional cases will then be considered by the archive committee to determine retention.

Focus of the archive should be on material written in English. Significant exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Air-Britain reserves the right, after assessment, to donate items to other charitable organisations or archives or to sell items to help support the running of the archive.

An individual’s donation, if of a substantive size and when materially appropriate, will remain intact.

Digitally stored material should be encouraged, as does the provision of any associated indexes.

Donations are handled by several Air-Britain archivists, mainly based in the South of England. Our volunteers will try to collect donations but this may not be possible. In the first instance, we would ask that donors discuss the transport arrangements on initial contact. Financial donations to support the transportation of materials are encouraged.

Contact Details

For those wishing to make donations please contact