Cover image for Encyclopedia of women in aviation and space
Encyclopedia of women in aviation and space
Welch, Rosanne.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Santa Barbara, Calif. : ABC-CLIO, [1998]

Physical Description:
xii, 286 pages : illustrations ; 26 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TL539 .W395 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Groundbreaking events involving women in aviation have occurred on every continent, from the flights of Beryl Markham in Kenya to those of Nancy Bird in Australia and Shannon W. Lucid of the United States. This encyclopedia examines women in aviation in the 20th century, from the dawn of powered flight to the space station of the late 1990s. From balloonists and gliders to military flyers and astronauts, this reference source includes women from all over the world.

Author Notes

Rosanne Welch is a professional writer .

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Intended for high-school level and up, this encyclopedia profiles the women who pioneered the realm of flight for their gender. The introduction highlights some of these women and their specific accomplishments and obstacles. Many of the entries, such as Amelia Earhart and Mae Jemison, will be familiar to readers. Others, such as Katherine Stinson, the first woman to fly the U.S. mail, and Tamara Pamyatnykh, a World War II Russian bomber pilot, are less well known. The entire range of aviation is covered, so that there are entries for balloonists, commercial airline pilots, test pilots, skydivers, and aviation company executives, as well as astronauts and early aviation pioneers. More than 250 entries, arranged alphabetically, vary in length from one column to several pages and are written in a conversational style. Biographical profiles, which make up most of the text, focus on aviation and related events in the subjects' lives, with only brief information concerning early lives. It would be helpful to have birth and death dates noted at the beginning of the entries instead of mentioned within text. For a number of the subjects, no birth or death dates are provided at all. Photographs, scattered throughout the book, offer readers a further glimpse of these women. In addition to biographical entries, some related topics are included. Among these are Atlantis space shuttle, Tailhook sexual harassment scandal, and Women's Airforce Service Pilots (WASPS). Each entry includes cross-references and bibliographic references. Full citations are contained in the bibliography at the back of the volume, which also includes organizational sources. Print resources include books, magazine articles, and Web postings. An index concludes the volume. Information on many of these women can be found elsewhere. A number of the astronauts, for example, are profiled in American Women in Science: 1950 to the Present (ABC-CLIO, 1998). However, this volume provides a fresh perspective on their contributions by situating them within the context of other flight pioneers. It will be appropriate for high-school, public, and academic libraries needing materials for women's studies or to balance the information on men in aviation and space.

Library Journal Review

Of the books on female aviators, aeronauts, and astronauts currently in print, few match the geographic and chronological scope of this work. Welch, a former high school teacher and current story editor for the television series Touched By an Angel, has compiled 280 entries covering individuals as well as organizations, events, objects (safety belts/safety harnesses, space shuttles), and places having something to do with women and flight. It is impossible, however, for a work of this sort to be truly comprehensive, and a statement of the criteria used for selection would have been useful. The alphabetically arranged entries vary considerably in length and detail, and cross references are used inconsistently and are occasionally erroneous. Although not an essential purchase, this might find a place in women's studies or aviation collections. (Index not seen.)‘Nancy Curtis, Univ. of Maine Lib., Orono (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

As Welch states in her preface, "Despite the volumes of work published on aviation I found great holes in the coverage of women in the field." Actually, other resources provide a vast amount of information, but it is found in small bits and pieces in works covering various time periods. Welch uses more than 150 resources, including many out-of-print titles. The arrangement and tone of her book are much like Victoria Sherrow's Encyclopedia of Women and Sports (CH, Jun'97), or her Women in the Military: An Encyclopedia (CH, Jun'97). Most entries treat people, but many organizations, places, and events are also covered. The nearly 200 entries range in length from brief paragraphs to two pages and include extensive bibliographies. Well-known aviators and astronauts are covered (e.g., Amelia Earhart, Sally Ride), but lesser-known women are included as well. Page design is attractive, more than 50 photographs are interspersed throughout, and there is an excellent index. This wonderful addition to the subject fills a niche in the literature. Recommended for public and academic reference collections. L. Windsor; Ohio University