Digitizing the ‘World’s Most Experienced Airline’: Pan American World Airways Resources at the University of Miami, Duke University, and HistoryMiami and Development of an Aviation Portal

Material Description

The UM Libraries has selected a subset of 88 out of 1500 boxes for digitization based on the high research value of the contents while the Duke University Libraries has selected approximately 45 boxes of magazine print advertisements and outdoor advertising executions for Pan American World Airways, created by two ad agencies, J.Walter Thompson and Wells Rich Greene. HistoryMiami has a collection of over 500 artifacts including uniforms, amenity kits, dining sets, plane models, and lapel pins. The selected items highlight both PanAm’s business operations and its public relations. This blend of promotional and operational records highlights the complexity and reach of Pan Am, which was a leader in globalizing aviation and shaping public perceptions of air travel. The Press Releases, Press Kits, Speeches, print advertisements, uniforms (many designed by major fashion houses), dining sets, and amenity kits are public-facing documents and artifacts portraying a carefully crafted public image. In contrast, the Flight & Route Information series, the Company Histories for Civil Aeronautics Board Cases subseries, and the Marine Bases & Terminals subseries document multiple aspects of Pan Am’s technical and operational history, ranging from the development of flight routes and the construction of facilities to business and regulatory dealings, and contractual work for the US military. This material covers the bulk of Pan Am’s history from its start in 1927 to its bankruptcy in 1991.

Year Added:



University of Miami Libraries


Ms. Laura Capell
University of Miami Libraries

Ms. Béatrice Skokan
University of Miami Libraries

Ms. Jacqueline Wachholz
Duke University

Collaborating Institution(s)

Duke University; HistoryMiami; Digital Public Library of America

Date Range

1921 - 1991

Geographic Scope

Pan Am was a global airline that developed and operated flight routes around the world. The materials selected for digitization are worldwide in scope, covering the United States, the Caribbean, Central and South America, Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Pacific.


  • 88 Mixed Archival Collections