One of the greatest advantages of studying WW2 is that there remains a wealth of original documents that can enrich learning in immeasurable ways. Photographs, letters, diaries, films and sound recordings offer a truly tangible insight into life during WW2.
Fortunately, many of these documents have now been digitised, various airfield museums have their own collections that can be viewed on site, and others have made their collections accessible online. One such collection is the American Air Museum in Britain, part of the Imperial War Museum, this site contains a collection of over 5,000 images taken during WW2. Another beautifully captured collection can be discovered at Fold 3 Military History online – whilst some of this collection is not free to access the USAAF section is.
However, one of the richest archives concerning the USAAF is the 2nd Air Division Memorial Library collection which is held at the Norfolk Record Office. This is a vast collection of photographs, audio recordings, diaries, letters, official records, drawings, V-Mails and much, much more. The collection cannot be accessed online but it can be researched. Below we have provided a PDF document that explains how to access the collection. It gives a step by step guide on how to get specific references to then be used at the archive centre.
The archive centre is a truly wonderful place to carry out first hand research, and there is a passionate team of archivists on hand to offer any insight and advice on how best to make use of the collections. For any more advice on how to use the 2nd Air Division Memorial Library Collection at the Norfolk Record Office please contact them on (01603) 774747.