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A Look Back in Time

The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) established an institutional archive in 2018 to capture key administrative, scientific, and technical documentation of enduring value for the purpose of preserving institutional knowledge, and providing inspiration to present and future generations through research and education. The STScI archive contains records, papers, photographs, institute publications, and other historical materials documenting the intellectual, cultural, administrative, and social life of STScI from conceptualization (1972) to the present. It also includes the milestones of its missions, including the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), and the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope.

Although the STScI-hosted digital archive is not currently open to the public, we welcome inquiries related to the institute’s history and development of its missions from researchers, historians, and organizations.

Our Partnership with Johns Hopkins University

JHU Special Collections located at the Milton S. Eisenhower Library on the Johns Hopkins University Homewood campus in Baltimore, Maryland, houses a collection of documents relating to the history of the institute. Space Telescope Science Institute records from 1964 to 2008 are available upon request. Please note that most materials are housed off site and access to archival material owned by STScI requires approval from the institute. For access to STScI records housed at the JHU Archives, please contact us at

JHU also owns its own records, Hubble Space Telescope collection, which were compiled by Robert W. Smith while he researched and wrote The Space Telescope: A Study of NASA, Science, Technology and Politics (Cambridge University Press, 1989). Additional JHU collections of interest include the Arthur F. Davidsen papers and the William G. Fastie papers. These records may be requested by emailing the JHU Archives at

Donating Historical Documents

If you have documents relating to the history of STScI and its missions, please consider donating them to the institutional archive. We’d like historians to be able to tell our story 100 years from now.

To contact us about donating material related to STScI history, please email us at

Contact Information

Contact an Archivist

410-338-1312 or 410-338-6748