Thanks to a grant from the National Historical Publications & Records Commission, the records of Pan American World Airways, Inc. have been organized into eighteen thematic groups with over three hundred subthemes to aid with searching the collection. Thematic information was obtained by analyzing folder titles and examining folder contents.
Display, print, or download a visualization of the complete thematic outline of the collection (Chrome browser recommended).
Finding Aid Searching Tips
Themes : Themes are intended to guide your search and are structured from general to specific. For example, folders containing information pertaining to the Boeing 747 fall under the theme “Aircraft, Airplanes, Boeing, 747.”
Cross-references : Individual folders pertaining to more than one theme and subtheme have been cross-referenced so that a keyword search using the find command (Ctrl-F, or Command-F on the Mac) for a specific theme and subtheme will recall folders not listed under that theme and subtheme. For example, a keyword search for “Aircraft, Airplanes, Boeing, 747” will recall folders pertaining to the Boeing 747 that are listed under other themes and subthemes, such as “Technical Operations, Manuals.”
Folder Descriptions : Many folders include descriptions providing an overview of the contents, with particular attention to topics covered, the presence of photographs, audiovisual material and/or graphic material, and 3-D objects that can be found inside, and the bulk of folders. Topical descriptions utilizing the verb “contain” indicate that the contents of the folder pertain exclusively to the topic described. Topical descriptions utilizing the verb “include” indicate that the contents of the folder pertain to the topic described as well as other topics not described. For bulky folders, which have been divided into smaller folders, the number of subfolders is provided in these descriptions.
Format Organization : Folders consisting exclusively of photographs, audiovisual material, or graphic material and 3-D objects have been organized by format and then by theme. Thematic organization for these materials follows the thematic organization of the rest of the collection. For example, photographs of the Boeing 747 are found under “Photographs, Aircraft, Airplanes, Boeing, 747.” Folders containing documents as well as photographs, audiovisual material or graphic material, and 3-D objects have not been organized by format.
Folder Numbers : Because the collection was used by researchers for twenty-three years prior to its thematic organization, original location information has been repurposed as folder numbers so that it remains relevant and useful.
Terminology : Throughout this website, we have used the words "theme" and "series" interchangeably. Both words refer to the groups into which the collection has been divided.