The mission of the International Women’s Air & Space Museum (IWASM) is to collect, preserve, and showcase the history and culture of women in all areas of aviation and aerospace; educate people of the world about their contributions; and inspire future generations by bringing the history to life.
Established in 1976, (IWASM) is the only museum of its kind dedicated to sharing the stories and experiences of women in all areas of air and space. Among its founders were B Steadman, one of the First Lady Astronaut Trainees whom we now refer to as the Mercury 13, Paige Shamburger, the first woman to accompany the US Air Force Hurricane Hunters into the heart of the storm in 1965, and others. After nearly a decade of collecting and documenting the history of women, the organization opened its first brick and mortar museum inside the home of Asahel Wright, in Centerville, OH, in 1986. There exhibits grew, and the organization partnered with local community television stations to record a series of programs. These included a 30th reunion for the Mercury 13, a panel of WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots of World War II), a panel with female aviators serving in Desert Storm, and female airline pilots.
By the mid-1990s, the museum had quickly outgrown its space and made the move to Cleveland, OH. There it has called Burke Lakefront Airport home for nearly 24 years. Exhibits comprise two-thirds of the airport concourse.
Research and Questions
IWASM welcomes inquiries and researchers from across the world including authors, scholars, students, film and podcast producers, and more. The collections included in our online collections catalog are not all encompassing of the wide scope of the museum's collections.
Use of and access to the collections are available in-person at the Fay Gillis Wells Research Center for free and by appointment. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 216-623-1111 to schedule an appointment. Our small team is eager to work with you!