NASA Special Collection Database

What do an astronaut's jumpsuit, aloe vera lotion, camcorder video camera, and thermal underwear have in common? They are all part of an amazing collection of more than 340 artifacts from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and anonymous patrons donated to the Orland Park Public Library. Established by the Library in 2010, NASA Special Collection artifacts are primarily obtained through a program courtesy of the General Service Administration and Illinois Central Management Services for the enjoyment, education and research purposes of patrons in Orland Park and surrounding communities. The Orland Park Public Library is a member of the American Alliance of Museums.

The NASA Special Collection is organized by sub-collections according to library display needs. To access artifact information, click on a category below.


Much like the photographs and magazine covers in our print collection, the artwork given to us from NASA, commemorates some important events in NASA's history.

Number of items:  3


Comprising the majority of NASA artifacts held by the Orland Park Public Library, items held include: Early 20th Century physics books and documents, Apollo landing magazine and newspaper front covers, paintings, astronaut portraits, autographed STS crew, mission and EarthSat pictures, certificates, emblems, logbooks and more.

Number of items:  185


Astronauts need protection, covering and clothing to perform jobs in and around the shuttle. All artifacts included in this collection are those items worn by astronauts, shuttle escape crews or used to customize clothing for astronauts. Look for our Apollo Pants, STS-6 Polo and Lower Torso Assembly.

Number of items:  62


An array of electronics are needed for shuttle missions. This collection includes: video cameras, battery packs, headsets, laptops, microphones and light monitors along with some of the containers these items are stored in.

Number of items:  25

Exploration Equipment

This fledgling collection holds three artifacts with the intent to add more for display. Currently held are a platform shoe, inflatable pole and a small file set.

Number of items:  3


Shuttle missions may extend as long as 2-3 weeks. Astronauts need meals to eat and supplies that help with cleanliness. This collection holds sixteen items: Meals Ready to Eat (MREs), potable water, body wash and moisturizing gel.

Number of items:  5


Maintaining and monitoring health on shuttle missions is made possible with artifacts such as those held in this collection. Included are: digital thermometer monitoring systems, collection and bandage kits, medical pouches and test tube holders.

Number of items:  7


What is it? We don't know the use of these items but they are interesting none-the-less. Or we know what they are and don't fall into any of the other categories. Check our few “What are they?” items.

Number of items:  6

Models/Training Aids

NASA uses scaled down models of its equipment as training aids. Two items that comprise this collection are: Ranger and Telestar 1/8 scale models.

Number of items:  8

Sewing Construction Tools

A majority of the items used in shuttle missions are sewn from a specific set of master patterns with fabrics made especially for NASA programs. Orland Park Public Library has developed this collection to show the construction process from start to finish. Included are: Master Patterns for many artifacts we hold in other collections. This collection is usually displayed with our textile collection.

Number of items:  15

Shuttle Hardware

Items included in this collection maintain the integrity of the Shuttle itself. This fledgling collection holds four artifacts with the intent to add more for display. Currently held are a shuttle tile, back-up flight controller, fluted brake, and a pressurized vessel of shuttle tile repair.

Number of items:  7

Stowage/Protective Containers

There is a place for everything, and everything in its place! Stowage containers ensure that sensitive instruments, supplies, and specimens are secure and may be transported. Included in this collection are: variety of flight deck, shoe, stowage and cold storage containers along with Mylar coated blanket products.

Number of items:  16

Testing Equipment

What happens when a meteor strikes metal? This small collection of Meteor Strike Plates shows the results using two different types of metals.

Number of items:  4


This collection encompasses NASA fabric artifacts in every form. Some are completed pieces and others are in various stages of completion. Included in this collection are raw fabrics and trims on the roll, cut fabric pieces, stamped and unstamped, completed and embroidered. This collection is displayed with the Sewing Construction Tools collection.

Number of items:  9


Tools in space are just as important as those used on Earth. They are used by crew aboard the space shuttle, inside and out. Most need their own custom containers to keep them from floating away!

Number of items:  4


Okay, Can't get enough? Click here and view the entire NASA Special Collection.

Number of items:  359

Orland Park Public Library
14921 Ravinia Avenue
Orland Park, IL 60462 U.S.A.
(708) 428-5100