This collection consists of the transcripts for the Glennen-Webb-Seamans Project (GWS), which examines various aspects of NASA management practices during the Apollo program. This project constitutes one of several oral history projects conducted within the Department of Space History, NASM. The principal investigator for the GWS was Martin Collins and the interview set contains 193 hours of interviews with 22 individuals. The central thread of this collection was the problem of configuring new political relations among the space sciences and sponsors. The following individuals were interviewed: J. Leland Atwood; Delmer Bradshaw; James Burnett; Paul Demitriades; Edward Doll; Peter Downey; Brian Duff; James Elms; James Fletcher; Robert Gilruth; T. Keith Glennan; Donald Jacobs; Ruben Mettler; Mark Miller; George Mueller; Samuel Phillips; Simon Ramo; Robert Seamans; Willis Shapley; Abe Silverstein; David Soergel; Harrison Storms; James Webb; Thorton Wilson; and Herbert York.
Scope and Contents:
The Glennan-Webb-Seamans Project Interviews consist of 193 hours of interviews with 26 individuals. The audio cassette tapes of these interviews have yet to be remastered and, due to their fragility, are unavailable to researchers. Transcripts are available to researchers, though there are restrictions placed on a number of them. A NASM staff member will advise the patron which transcripts are available for copying or viewing and how to order copies of transcripts and/or CDs.
The Glennan-Webb-Seamans (GWS) Project Interviews are arranged alphabetically by interviewee. Boxes
1-11 (Series 1) contain the interviews on audio cassette tapes. These tapes have yet to be remastered and, due to their fragility, are not available to researchers.
Boxes 12-16 (Series 2) contain the transcripts for these cassette tapes. Most of these transcripts are available to
researchers, though restrictions are placed on a small number of them. Transcripts with user restrictions are
highlighted in bold type.
Biographical / Historical:
This collection contains the interviews of the Glennan-Webb-Seamans Project (GWS). These interviews
analyze a variety of facets revolving around NASA management and its handling of contractors during the
Apollo program. The individuals listed as part of this collection's name refer to the National Aeronautics
and Space Administration's (NASA) first two administrators and the agency's deputy administrator during
much of the 1960s. The principal (though, by no means the only) interviewer for this project was Martin
Collins and the interview set consists of 193 hours of interviews with 26 individuals. These interview
subjects represent some of the most influential decision-makers at NASA, the aerospace industry and
academia. The following were interviewed for this project: J. Leland Atwood; Delmer Bradshaw; James
Burnett; Paul Demitriades; Edward Doll; Peter Downey; Brian Duff; James Elms; James Fletcher; Robert
Gilruth; T. Keith Glennan; Donald Jacobs; Ruben Mettler; Mark Miller; John Moore; George Mueller;
Samuel Phillips; Simon Ramo; Robert Seamans; Willis Shapley; Abe Silverstein; David Soergel; Harrison
Storms; James Webb; Thornton Wilson and Herbert York. Among the myriad of topics discussed in these
interviews is the Apollo 1  fire that killed astronauts Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee on
January 27, 1967, during a test at the launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Florida. The GWS
Project constitutes one of a number of oral history efforts endeavors conducted by the National Air and
Space Museum's (NASM) Department of Space History.
This collection consists of the interview transcripts, not the tapes.
Department of Space History, Transfer, 1999, 1999-0036, Varies
Various restrictions apply.
This collection consists of speeches, papers, notes, newspaper articles and records on Elms' career, including the following areas: Transportation System Center; Electronics Research Center; Manned Space Station; Space Shuttle; Space Systems Committee; Gemini Mission Review Board; and Hearings on space topics.
Scope and Content Note:
In 1989, Mr. Elms donated this material to the National Air and Space Museum's Department of Space
History in conjunction with his interview for the Glennen-Webb-Seamans oral history project. The
collection was transferred to the National Air and Space Museum (NASM) Archives in 1993. The Elms
Collection consists of speeches, papers, notes, newspaper articles and congressional hearings. Some of the
subjects covered in the collection are: Transportation Systems Center, Electronics Research Center, Space
Station Program, Space Shuttle, Space Systems Committee, and Gemini Mission Review Board.
The collection is arranged into two series and within each series chronologically. In the first series, the
researcher will find correspondence, congressional hearings and speeches. Series II contains miscellaneous
newspaper clippings and oversize materials. The original folder titles were inconsistent, sometimes
containing only acronyms and/or abbreviations. For the sake of clarity, acronyms and abbreviations have
been spelled out, and the project archivist has preceded each of the original folder titles with a subject
heading, project designation and/or agency title.
James Elms (1916-1993) began his aerospace career at Consolidated Vultee in 1940 as a junior stress
analyst. During WWII, he served with the US Army Air Forces at Wright Field (later Wright-Patterson
AFB) where he developed a cartridge positioner which prevented turret guns from jamming. After the war
he received his Bachelor of Science in Physics from the California Institute of Technology and his Master
of Arts Degree from the University of California. He worked for North American Aviation as manager of
the Armament Systems Department, Autonetics Division. There, he was responsible for research,
development, and design of fire control, radar and allied systems. Upon leaving North American, he
became the manager of the Avionics Department for the Denver Division of the Martin Company, where he
was responsible for design and development of guidance, flight control, and other electronic and electrical
systems for the Titan Missile. In September of 1960 Mr. Elms joined the Ford Motor Company,
Aeroneutronics Division, after a brief stint at the Crosley Division of AVCO. While at Ford, Elms was
recruited to join the senior staff of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Manned
Spacecraft Center in Houston, Texas, eventually becoming Deputy Director. During the 1960s, Elms held
a variety of other administrative positions at NASA, including Deputy Associate Administrator for Manned
Space Flight, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC. After his service there, Elms became the Director of
NASA's Electronics Research Center (ERC). The ERC was slated to be closed at the end of 1970. Elms
was able to rally support for the ERC and get the majority of his directorate transferred to the US
Department of Transportation as the Transportation Systems Center. This initiative saved many jobs and
allowed important government research to continue. Upon leaving official government service, Mr. Elms
continued to work as a consultant for government and private industry. James C. Elms passed away on
May 7, 1993.