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Paul R. Hill Collection

Identifier: Ms-2010-068

Scope and Content

The Paul R. Hill Collection contains material relating to the NACA/NASA/Langely career of Paul R. Hill from 1939-1970. Materials include books, papers, newspapers, lantern slides, NASA publications and memos, overhead sheets, and notes from presentations and talks.

Many photographs portray Hill's design for a personal flight device. Other drawings reflect planetary orbits or space station models. Presentation notes accompany a few slide folders.

The collection also consists of various publications and papers written by Hill and other authors. Many of these publications are declassified official NASA reports, and others are NASA publications from award ceremonies and department memorandums. Wherever possible, bibliographies at the folder-level are included in the "Contents List" below. Other publications include drafts of papers reviewed by Hill. A number of books were removed from the collection to be catalogued (see "Separated Materials" below).

Also included in this collection are personal papers of Paul R. Hill. Some of these items include his 1936 voter registration, work evaluations, and correspondence regarding his personal projects. Newspaper and magazine clippings kept by Hill are also included in the collection.


  • 1936 - 1996


Language of Materials

THe materials in the collection are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

The copyright status of this collection is unknown. Copyright restrictions may apply. Contact Special Collections and University Archives for assistance in determining the use of these materials.

Reproduction or digitization of materials for personal or research use can be requested using our reproduction/digitization form: Reproduction or digitization of materials for publication or exhibit use can be requested using our publication/exhibition form: Please contact Special Collections and University Archives ( or 540-231-6308) if you need assistance with forms or to submit a completed form.

Biographical Note

Paul R. Hill (1909-1990) was a renowned NASA engineer and UFO enthusiast. He received his B.S. in mechanical engineering from University of California, Berkeley in 1936. After teaching at the Polytechnic College of Engineering in Oakland, California, Hill began his career with the National Advisory Committee of Aeronautics (NACA) in 1939, which became the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1958. He worked at NASA until 1970, where he published numerous scientific and technical reports.

Hill was also an adamant UFO enthusiast. Based on his own personal sightings in 1952, Mr. Hill tried to use his scientific and engineering knowledge to understand how UFOs worked and eventually built his own flying platform. His book on the topic, Unconventional Flying Objects: A Scientific Analysis, was published post-humously in 1995.

Mr. Hill was married to Frances Hoback Hill (d. 1999) and had one daughter, Julie M. Hill. Hill died in 1990 at the age of 81.


5.6 Cubic Feet (6 boxes, 2 oversize folders)


The Paul R. Hill Collection contains material relating to the NASA career of Paul R. Hill. Materials include books, papers, newspapers, lantern slides, NASA publications and memos, overhead sheets, and notes from presentations and talks.


The collection is arranged in six series. Where possible, collection materials have been kept in original groupings. Other items, such as publications and clippings, have been grouped and arranged chronologically. Undated material is arranged alphabetically, where possible.

Series I: Paul R. Hill Materials - This series contains personal materials of Paul R. Hill, including correspondence, work evaluations, and his talks and lecture notes. It also contains papers written by Paul R. Hill. Series II: Subject Files - The files in this series are in original groupings by Hill and cntain papers, notes, correspondence.

Series III: NASA Reports and Publications - This series contains official publications from NASA, memoranda, and meeting agendas from Hill's time at NACA/NASA.

Series IV: Other Papers and Publications - These files contain other publications that were part of the collection. Some of these publications were copies from other sources. The series is arranged chronologically.

Series V: Images - This series contains slides, slide negatives, drawings, photographs, and photograph negatives. Series VI: Clippings - This series contains clippings from various sources, separated by magazine or newspaper sources.

Source of Acquisition

The Paul R. Hill Collection was donated to Special Collections and University Archives in 2010 by Julie M. Hill of Norfolk, Virginia.

Separated Materials

The following items have been removed and cataloged for the Special Collections Rare Book Collection:

  • A Class of Unified Explicit Methods for Steering Throttleable and Fixed-Thrust Rockets, 1964
  • A Course in Electrical Engineering/Vol II: Alternating Currents, 1934
  • A New Dimension: Wallops Island The First Fifteen Years, 1978
  • A Short Table of Integrals, 1956
  • A Superposition Principle for a System of Analytic Ordinary Differential Equations, 1963
  • A Trajectory Optimization Technique Based on the Theory of Second Variation, 1964
  • Accounting Principles, 1935
  • Analytical Mechanics for Engineers, 1933
  • Air-Age Education Series: Science of Pre-Flight Aeronautics, 1944
  • Airplane Dynamics, 1951
  • Airplane Structures, Volume I, 1938
  • Astronautics Magazine, September 1962
  • Bacteriology Illustrated, 1965
  • Bacteriology: Principles and Practice, 1962
  • Computation Curves for Compressible Fluid Problems, 1949
  • Design of Machine Elements, 1935
  • Development of Large Solid Propellant Boosters, 1962
  • Elementary Pile Theory, 1950
  • Elements of Chemistry, Volume II, 1853
  • Elements of the Differential and integral Calculus, 1929
  • Elements of Heat Power Engineering, 1915
  • Elements of Heat-Power Engineering, Part I: Thermodynamics and Prime Movers, 1926
  • Elements of Heat-Power Engineering, Part II: Steam-Generating Apparatus and Prime Movers, Fuels, Combustion, and Heat Transmission, 1933
  • Engineering Applications of Fluid Mechanics, 1947
  • Explosions and Combustion Processes in Gases, 1946
  • Gas Sterilants (Linde), n.d.
  • Geometry of Engineering Drawing, 1926
  • History of Wallops Station Part III Volume 1, 1971
  • History of Wallops Station Part III Volume 2, 1971
  • Hydraulics: A Text on Practical Fluid Mechanics, 1937
  • Internal-Combustion Engines, 1933
  • Kinetics of Machines, 1928
  • Lunar Flying Unit Status Review, 1968
  • Magnethydrodynamics, 1957
  • Mathematical Theory of Rocket Flight, 1947
  • Mechanical Engineers' Handbook, 1941
  • Millipore Bibliography, 1968
  • Modern Operational Mathematics in Engineering, 1944
  • NACA Reunion II, 1982
  • NASA Sounding Rockets, 1958-1968: A Historical Summary, 1971
  • On The Two Point Boundary Value Problem, with Application to Celestial Mechanics, 1964
  • Pocket companion: information and tables for engineers and designers and other data pertaining to structural steel, 1934
  • Practical Exporting, 1949
  • Principles and Practices of Electrical Engineering, 1933
  • Progressive Plane Geometry, 1935
  • Resistance of Materials, 1925
  • Reusable Orbital Transport, 1965
  • Sampling Microbiological Aerosols, 1959
  • Scientific Results of the Viking Project, 1977
  • Spaceflight Revolution: NASA Langley Research Center from Sputnik to Apollo, 1995
  • Steam, Air, and Gas Power, 1933
  • Sterilization with Ethylene Oxide Gas Mixtures, 1966
  • The Internal Combustion Engine, 1938
  • Technical Aerodynamics, 1935
  • Techniques for Microbiological Analysis, 1967
  • Theory of Modern Steel Structures, Volume I: Statically Determinate Structures, 1936
  • Threshhold Limit Values for 1967, 1967
  • Treatise on Hydraulics, 1934
  • Winds of Change: Expanding the Frontiers of Flight, 1992

Rights Statement for Archival Description

The guide to the Paul R. Hill Collection by Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech, is licensed under a CC0 (

Processing Information

The processing, arrangement, and description of the Paul R. Hill Collection commenced in 2010 and was completed in January 2011. Additional description was completed in August 2021.

Paul R. Hill Collection, 1936-1996
Kimberly Staub, Graduate Assistant
2011 (CC0 1.0)
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech Repository

Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg Virginia 24061 US