The launch of this website was a first, and very important step, in the public release of the digital content of the ESA Historical Archives, the fruition of over two years of digitisation work for the European Centre for Space Records. But this is just the beginning! Behind the scenes, the vital work of digitising the physical holdings of the ECSR continues at pace, with the aim of making more and more material available online and over time.
Our plan is twofold - to regularly add new years of historical photos to our SHIP database and to also open new collections of documentary material. To ensure that the latter are easily visible, we have created a new Archives Highlights page - all new collections will be added here.
Today’s ‘highlight’ is also our first opening of a document collection - the newly available digitised collection of the ESA Journal. The ESA Journal was issued quarterly by the ESA Scientific and Technical Publications Branch (STPB), based at ESTEC in Noordwijk, from 1977 to 1994. It was intended as ESA’s principal technical publication (complementing the ESA Bulletin which was directed at a wider, space-interested, public, with the aim of generating widespread interest in ESA). The STPB held overall responsibility for the Journal, with support from an Editorial Advisory Board and with vital direction also from ESA’s Technical Directorate, and in particular the key figure of Massimo Trella, who was ESA Technical Director and subsequently Inspector General throughout the entire period of production of the Journal.
Its contents included primary publications (original and significant ESA or European contributions to technology, science, missions, or systems management and operations in the space field) and information on ESA-related activities of interest to the professional space community, including ESA sponsored conferences and bibliographies and abstracts of ESA publications or external publications of ESA staff. Among the authors represented are some familiar names, including many who are also included in our space glossary of personalities!
Read more about the ESA Journal and how to browse the collection in SHIP.