I am researching unidentified flying objects (UFO) throughout history. What does the Library have on UFOs that might be of use to me ?

Researchers can find material on unidentified flying objects, or UFOs, across the Library's collections. The Library's general collections are largely published materials dating from after 1800 and include books, reports, and magazine and journal articles. You can search in the online catalog for relevant materials using subjects headings such as unidentified flying objects or Roswell Incident, Roswell, N.M., 1947. A related subject to search is alien abduction.

There are a couple of older bibliographies on UFOs that may be of assistance in identifying and locating historical materials on the topic. In 1969, a former Library of Congress librarian, Lynn Catoe, working with the University of Colorado and the U.S. Air Force, compiled a 400pp. bibliography, UFOs and Related Subjects [PDF/22MB], covering all aspects of UFO research. In 1976, the Library published Unidentified Flying Objects: A Selected Bibliography, compiled by Kay Rodgers of the Reference Section of the Science and Technology Division. This shorter guide focused on materials published after Catoe's work came out.

Special format collections, such as our manuscript collections (personal papers and organizational records) may also include materials which mention UFOs. Researchers interested in manuscript collections should contact the Manuscript Research Center staff for assistance by submitting an Ask a Librarian request. An additional resource that researchers can use to identify manuscript collections is Archive Grid, which allows researchers to search in and among the electronic records of archival collections held in institutions across the globe.

An additional resource readers can search is Chronicling America, a digital collection of historical newspapers dating from 1963 and prior from across the United States.

Researchers can also contact the Library's American Folklife Center (AFC) to inquire about sound recordings and video interviews on the topic. To get an idea of UFO related stories in AFC, see their blog post on UFOS, Space Exploration, and Folklife. Another Library research center readers might consult is the Moving Image Research Center, which archives and houses films, television programs and videos.

Finally, researchers may also wish to examine U.S. government sponsored research found in technical reports. The National Technical Information Service's National Technical Reports Library (NTRL) database is a good place to find this type of material.


Last Updated: Jul 05, 2024
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