The Bates and Harvey Mudd Aeronautics Heritage Library (familiarly known as the Bates Aeronautical Library) documents and celebrates the rich aviation heritage of Southern California and of Harvey Mudd College in particular. The Library originated with the Bates Aeronautics Program, a 2-year program for undergraduates, which was developed and taught by Olympic swimmer and aviation pioneer Iris Cummings Critchell and her husband, Howard Critchell, also a distinguished aviator.
The Library collects in the areas of Harvey Mudd College history and aviation history, both in general and with specific reference to the development of the aviation industry in Los Angeles and Orange Counties prior to 1990. As one of the libraries of the Claremont Colleges, the Bates and Harvey Mudd Aeronautics Heritage Library welcomes serious academic, student, and community researchers.
List of relevant collections
John Leeland "Lee" Atwood Collection
The awards and memorabilia of John Leland “Lee” Atwood (1904-1999), one of the foremost aerospace engineers of his generation, and Chairman of the Board of both North American Aviation and Rockwell International, are held by the library.
Iris Cummings Critchell Collection
An important book collection, the Iris Cummings Critchell Collection is particularly strong on the history of women in aviation. Critchell, born in 1920, is a pioneer woman aviator, who as a member of the 6th Ferrying Group based in Long Beach was one of only a handful of women officially qualified to fly the Northrop P-61A “Black Widow” night fighter airplane. Critchell is a long-time member of the Harvey Mudd College faculty and a Southern California Olympic swimmer who participated in the Berlin 1936 Olympics.
Raymond Goodall Collection
The Raymond Goodall Collection is particularly strong on the early history of aviation, the historical development of aeronautical engineering, and biographies of leading pilots and aeronautical engineers.
Harvey Mudd College Astronauts
The collections also include unique materials relating to, and donated by, Harvey Mudd College’s two astronauts, George “Pinky” Nelson (class of 1972), and Stanley G. Love (class of 1987).
Joseph S. Marriott Collection
Joseph S. Marriott (1895-1984), a pioneer aviator who served as one of the first five aeronautical inspectors for the Aeronautics Branch of the Department of Commerce (the forerunner of the FAA), co-authored the re-codification of the Civil Air Regulations in 1930, and served as Los Angeles regional administrator of the Civil Aviation Authority (another forerunner of the FAA).
Roy M. Wolford Photograph Collection
Of special importance is the Roy M. Wolford Photograph Collection. Wolford (1915-2013) was personal photographer for aviation pioneer John K. “Jack” Northrop (1895-1981), and the collection’s 10 linear feet of photographic prints and negatives document the development and first flights of many Northrop-designed aircraft, beginning with the Douglas DC-4 in the late 1930’s to the YF-23 and B-2 in the early 1990s, and including many unique images of the pioneering N-1M, N-9M, XB-35, and YB-49 flying wings. Several hundred earlier photographs, not taken by Wolford but given to him by Northrop, document Northrop’s work with the Loughead brothers (later Lockheed) and Donald C. Douglas, beginning as early as 1918. Northrop’s own album of photographs from 1918-1925 contains many pristine and unique images.