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Toni Mayo papers and research files for "Defining Flight"

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: MSP 181

Scope and Contents

The Toni Mayo papers and research files for “Defining Flight” (1911-2003; 1 cubic foot) document the research done by Mayo for her Ball State University master’s thesis. The files consist of twenty pilot profiles, along with the notes compiled by Mayo during personal narratives (i.e., oral histories). The pilot files also include clippings, correspondence, photographs and miscellaneous research material gathered by Mayo. The interviews were conducted in 2001, but much of the supplementary research material is from the time period when the pilots were actively flying. Besides the pilot files there are files about other aviation activities that took place in Huntington County, Indiana. Included are files on pilot Calbraith Perry Rodgers, and his 1911 transcontinental flight (stop made in Huntington) in his plane, the “Vin Fiz;” a file about the Civil Air Patrol (“CAP”), “Exchange Club,” the Huntington Municipal Airport and the 1998 “AT-6 Fly-In,”. Types of materials include: clippings (information artifacts), correspondence, papers, photographs, research notes, and a thesis.


  • 1911-2003
  • Other: Majority of material found in 1998-2001
  • Other: Date acquired: 05/11/2013


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Collection is stored off-site. Please give 24 hour notice.

Conditions Governing Use

Purdue University. “Defining Flight” book copyright held by the author.

Biographical / Historical

History of Toni Mayo’s “Defining Flight” Project As per the abstract from Toni Mayo’s master’s thesis, “The focus of this creative six-hour non-fiction project has been the documentation of personal narratives (i.e., oral histories) of Huntington County pilots and aviatrixes who flew during the early to mid-twentieth century. Twenty profiles have been chronicled in alphabetical order. Types of flight experiences range from leisure, to military and private instruction, to cross-country trips, to wartime flight, and finally, to work of an aerial photographer. From a local standpoint, regional aviation history has been documented. On a national scale, Huntington County aviation represents an era of flight occurring nationwide. By inclusion of photographs, logbook entries, letters, journals, and poems a pictorial history reveals a depth of story that words alone cannot convey. Each story in this project was read numerous times to the interviewee to ensure that names, quotes, dates, and facts were correct. Defining Flight documents a time period of aviation when men and women were adventurous, curious, daring, and willing to test the winds with kite-like machines.”

Source: Mayo, T. R. (2001). Defining Flight: The Rich Aviation History of Huntington County is the Result of Pilots and Aviatrixes Who Flew during the Early to Mid-Twentieth Century (unpublished master’s thesis). Ball State University: Muncie, Indiana.


1.00 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials



Documentation and research notes from twenty personal narratives of Huntington County, Indiana pilots and aviatrixes who flew during the early to mid-twentieth century. The research notes from oral histories were used by Toni Mayo in the compilation of her master’s thesis and book, Defining Flight.

Source of Acquisition

Donated by Toni Mayo, November 5, 2013.

Existence and Location of Originals

multi-part note content

Processing Information

Original, alphabetical order by pilot’s last name has been retained.  All materials have been housed in polyester sleeves, acid-free folders, and acid-free boxes.
Toni Mayo papers and research files for "Defining Flight"
Mary A. Sego
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Purdue University Archives and Special Collections Repository

504 Mitch Daniels Boulevard
West Lafayette Indiana 47907 United States