National Aerospace Library

Contact details

Website: Email: Tel: (General enquiries): 01252 701060 and 01252 701038

Photo of National Aerospace Library

Image copyright: National Aerospace Library

About the library

The National Aerospace Library (NAL) in Farnborough is one of the most prestigious aerospace and aeronautical library collections in the world. Our collections contain contemporary and historical material exploring man’s dream to conquer flight including:

  • Aircraft engineering
  • Military flight, including twentieth century warfare
  • Civil aviation
  • General works on aircraft, ballooning and spaceflight
  • The wider aeronautics world, including aviation law, economics, aerospace medicine, space, management and model making

We have over 130 current journals available with over 35,000 articles indexed on our online catalogue.

The NAL cares for the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) Library and Archives. Since the Society’s foundation in 1866, the RAeS Library has incorporated many other personal and corporate collections and, in so doing, has preserved them for the nation. Our earliest book dates back to 1515.

Special collections – including balloons, airships, air charts, aircraft models and aviation philately.

Archives – including the records of the Royal Aeronautical Society and the Society of Society of British Aircraft Constructors and the personal collections of Sir George Cayley, C. G. Grey and the design drawings of F.S. Barnwell.

Photographs and images - over 100,000 photographs, lithographs and other images. Copies of over 10,000 items are available via the Mary Evans Pictures Library and Prints Online.

Over 40,000 technical reports from around the world, including those published by the Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE), NASA and ARC, the majority of which are not listed on our library catalogue or on Copac.

Material on aircraft production including company and staff journals and company brochures.

Following a group visit by the Military Aviation Authority, one visitor “found the library a potentially invaluable resource” holding “unimaginable amounts of varied information…. many diverse papers and books to study of great personal interest”.

The local library catalogue is available online.

Accessing materials

Can I see live document availability on Copac? No.

Can I obtain items via Inter Library Loan? Document supply requests welcomed but books cannot be lent through inter-library loans.

Can I visit the library to view materials? Yes, Tuesday to Friday 10am-4pm.


National Aerospace Library