The first stage of the creation of a new Collections Building at the Yorkshire Air Museum took place on Monday 8th October, with the handing over of the keys from local York builders, J.M.Butler and Civil Engineering Consultants, The Dossor Group, to Museum Director Ian Reed.
The Yorkshire Air Museum’s archive and collection of historic documents, films and artefacts is one of the most important in Britain, spanning the history of aviation from the 19th century to today. The archive contains other nationally important collections including those of the National Air Crew Association and National Air Gunners Association whose ten’s of thousands of members have donated their historic records to the Museum for safe keeping. As a Nationally Accredited Museum (No. 66 in UK), the Yorkshire Air Museum undertakes a statutory duty to preserve and maintain the archive and Collection for the nation.
The new 2400 sq. ft building, constructed to the latest environmental and insulation standards has been constructed to look identical the wartime buildings of the historic RAF Bomber Command site in which is sited, whilst benefiting from latest design and material technology inside. The YAM Archives now holds over half a million historic items and the Collection Department is operated by 9 Curatorial staff. The majority of the £150,000 cost is being donated by the Air Crew Association and a formal opening will take place next year following the fitting out of the new building with racking and research facilities.
The “handing over” ceremony took place on the exact day 70 years ago when the Elvington Base become operational for the first time on 8th October 1942.