The WMA Archive

To fulfill our purpose, “Promote and preserve for historical, educational and literary purposes the role of women pilots, navigators and aircrew in the service of their country during times of war and peace”, WMA established an official archive in 2013 at Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas. The Archive is funded through the WMA Endowment which is administered by the TWU Foundation.

Investment income from the corpus will be able to fund a variety of WMA projects including:

  • Maintenance of our physical and digital archive
  • Oral History collection and transcription
  • Educational materials and exhibits
  • Additional board-directed activities

Please support WMA’s archive by making a donation to the endowment in any of these ways:

– Individual donations (one-time, recurring, pledges)

– Estate plans (wills, living trusts)

– Family member contributions

– Matched gifts from participating companies

Your tax-exempt donation to the endowment will ensure that funds are available to process and store our individual and organizational collections as well as make them available for research and educational exhibits. Information on how to make monetary as well as personal donations is located in the How to Contribute drop-down menu.

WMA Historical Committee

Margie Varuska, Marcy Atwood, Peggy Carnahan

A Few Words from the Coordinator of Special Collections at TWU

“We are creating a lasting heritage, encouraging present and future leadership, and making a difference in the lives of many.” -The TWU Foundation

While it is important to have WMA’s organizational records, it is also important to have the personal collections of members. We understand there are special circumstances with many of these records and legal issues that must be considered. We work individually with each donor on their collection to ensure that we are limiting and restricting access as necessary. We want everyone to be comfortable with the usage of their collection and work with you on determining what that comfort level is.

The personal collections are so important to researchers because it’s the members who help tell the story of women’s history in the military. I personally feel a sense of urgency to begin the process of capturing this history because the first women admitted to the service academies have already retired. Let’s work together to get your history documented, recorded and preserved.

The Woman’s Collection is determined not to let what happened to the WASP and their stories being absent from the history books happen to the Women Military Aviators. In addition, the uniforms, artifacts, and memorabilia are important because these are the items that are necessary for exhibits both those we have here in the library and those we support across the country.

We have a standard for physically processing and organizing collections for every organization. We organize the collection using acid free materials and then create a detailed finding aid/inventory. We automatically close yearbooks with our organizations because of the personal information in them (addresses, phone numbers, and emails). We make these materials available to members but not researchers. We also evaluate what materials should be digitized because of age, condition, and preservation needs. We are not able to digitize all papers, but determine those that are of the most historic value and immediate need due to deterioration.

A few more facts about the Woman’s Collection. Our storage area is climate controlled and only the staff have access to this area. We work with researchers, publishers, scholars, documentarians, filmmakers, etc. all over the country and throughout Europe. We routinely support over 100 exhibits throughout Texas and on average two dozen across the country. We work with scholars, educators, historians, and students and maintain a “Best Practices Standard” for our collection processing and digitization initiatives. These standards are reviewed every year due to changes in technology and software. Lastly, because we are a state institution what makes our archive unique is our sustainability. While our name has changed several times throughout our history, the Archive has remained the same. The Woman’s Collection is not shrinking but growing. We are doing everything we can to increase our visibility not just within the community but around the state and across the country.

We are pursuing groups and persons to diversify our holdings. Because we believe every woman makes history every day, we are committing ourselves and dedicating resources to ensure that this history does not go undocumented, unrecorded, and most importantly is not forgotten. History is shaped by the women who effect change, make a difference, and take risks, and we want to do everything we can to ensure that no story goes untold and no voice silenced.

The history of our state is rich, the women who have shaped and formed it important. We want to do our part to capture the history of the members of WMA because what you do as individuals effects change in your communities and in the branches you serve and what you do collectively as a group ripples across the country ultimately transforming our world.

Want more information?

  • What type of materials we put online
  • How we digitize items
  • What we could create that may be a unique addition to WMA



Blagg-Huey Library
Texas Woman’s University