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Gertrude Conard Collection

Identifier: MC-37

Scope and Contents

Materials related to NASA, Dr. Lucas, and Gertrude Conard.


  • Creation: 1958 - 2008


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research in the Archives & Special Collections reading room. Handling guidelines and use restrictions will be communicated and enforced by archives staff members.

Conditions Governing Use

This material may be protected under U. S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S. Code) which governs the making of photocopies or reproductions of copyrighted materials. You may use the digitized material for private study, scholarship, or research. Though the University of Alabama in Huntsville Archives and Special Collections has physical ownership of the material in its collections, in some cases we may not own the copyright to the material. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in our collections.

Biographical / Historical

Gertrude Kincheloe Conard was born on February 17, 1924. [1] She attended UAH for school, but left after two years to enter the workforce. [2] She started her space exploration career in 1954, when she began working as a civil servant for the Army Ballistic Missile Agency (ABMA) at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsvile, Alabama. [2] In 1958, she became the executive assistant to Dr. William R. Lucas, working in the materials lab. [3] She accompanied Dr. Lucas to Marshall Space Flight Center once it was constructed in 1960. [3]

At NASA, Gertrude continued working as Dr. Lucas’ assistant as he advanced through the organization. In 1974, Dr. Lucas became the Center Director, and Gertrude began working in the Office of the Director on what was colloquially called “the ‘D’ team”. [3] She worked for Lucas throughout his entire tenure at Marshall, from 1974 until his retirement in 1986. [3] Dr. Lucas praised her for her patience and efficiency, and described Gertrude’s contributions to Marshall’s success as “absolutely essential”. [3]

Gertrude continued working for the Office of the Director after Dr. Lucas’ departure. By 1991, she had become the leader of the “D” team, and was responsible for managing the Office of the Director and executive staff. [4] By the late 90s, her title was “program development specialist” within the Office of the Director. [5]

Gertrude retired from NASA in 1999. [3] She lived in Huntsville for the rest of her life, and passed away on May 20, 2008. [1]


[1] Gertrude Conard Obituary

[2] MSFC secretaries of MSFC Directors UAH Archives interview

[3] “The Marshall Star”, June 5, 2008 – UAH Archives Gertrude Conard Collection, Box 1, Folder 12

[4] “Fifth Annual NASA Employee Team (NET) Recognition Event (Breakfast)” Pamphlet – UAH Archives Gertrude Conard Collection, Box 2, Folder 11

[5] “Facsimile Transmission Cover Sheet” – UAH Archives Gertrude Conard Collection, Box 1, Folder 3


2.5 Linear feet (3 boxes)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Robert D. Conard, 2007.

Processing Information

Collections are processed to a variety of levels, depending on the work necessary to make them usable, their perceived research value, the availability of staff, and competing priorities. The library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections as they are acquired, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.

Jason Perritt, Andrew Tucker
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The University of Alabama in Huntsville Archives & Special Collections Repository

M. Louis Salmon Library
301 Sparkman Drive
Huntsville, AL 35899 Alabama 35899 United States of America