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Ernst August Steinhoff Papers,

Identifier: Ms-0260

Scope and Content

The papers of Ernst August Steinhoff span the years of 1943 to 1982, with the amount of materials increasing in proportion as the years progress. The years of 1943 to 1945 are sparsely represented as these papers comprise what research he brought with him to the United States.

The collection has been organized into eight series: New Mexico Research Institute, Programs Attended, Miscellaneous, German Missile Research, United States Missile and Space Research, Professional Publications (of E.A. Steinhoff), Professional Papers by Other Authors and Personal Papers/Correspondence. The Steinhoff papers are most important for missile and space research and groundwater desalinization in New Mexico. The former is an major employer in New Mexico while the latter is an important resource in New Mexico.

Personal Papers/Correspondence comprises the largest series of the collection and includes documentation of his immigration to the United States under Operation Paperclip. His Professional Publications of other authors spans his entire engineering career. The papers of the New Mexico Research Institute focus on the desalinization of groudwater in the Tularosa Basin nad represent a long-term project spanning the years of 1974 to 1982.


  • 1943-1982

Language of Materials


Access and Use Restrictions

This material may be examined by researchers under supervised conditions in the Search Room.

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for compliance with all copyright and other applicable statutes.

All literary rights possessed in this collection have been transferred and assigned to New Mexico State University.

Biographical Outline

German-born rocket scientist, researcher and advisor. Includes his personal papers, correspondence, German and United States missile research, professional papers by himself and other authors, desalinization of groundwater project records and miscellaneous records. Significant records include a small collection of secret (geheim) German documents of radio, documentation of his immigration to the United States under Operation Paperclip and his desalinization of Tularosa Basin groundwater Project implemented by the New Mexico Research Institute which he founded.

Ernst August Steinhoff

born February 11, in Treysa, Germany
attended Darmstadt Tech University
received BS
received MS
lecturer on aeronautical engineering at Polytech College in Bad Frankenhausen
married to wife Hilde, to this couple were born seven children.
research associate at German Aeronautic Research Institute
director Institute of Electronic Ballistics and Control at German Rocket Research Center (Peenemunde).
received PhD in applied physics.
immigrated to United States (Fort Bliss) with Wernher von Braun under Operation Paperclip from Peenemunde.
section chief of Guidance and Control, Fort Bliss, Dept. of the Army
scientific advisor and technical director, Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico.
Deputy Technical Director, Curtiss-Wright Corporation, California
Staff Scientific Advisor, AVCO Corporation, Ohio and Tennessee
Senior Staff, The RAND Corporation, California
Chief Scientist, Air Force Missile Development Center, Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico
Advisor to Commander, Air Force Flight Dynamics laboratory
research and consulting
founder and chairman of the board of the New Mexico Research Institute, a non-profit research institute.
spearheaded desalinization of Tularosa Basin groundwater project through the New Mexico Research Institute. Spear-headed the development of the International Space Hall of Fame in Alamogordo, New Mexico, through the New Mexico Research Institute and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astrophysics.


11 cu. ft.


  1. RG85-10 Gift of Mr. Ernst August Steinhoff Source [UNK] [UNK]
  2. RG86-135
  3. [UNK]
  4. RG85-122
  5. Map case #9 [UNK] [UNK]
  6. [UNK]


Contact Information

  1. Archives and Special Collections
  2. New Mexico State University Library
  3. P.O. Box 30006
  4. Las Cruces, New Mexico 88003-8006
  5. Phone: (575) 646-3839
  6. Fax: (575) 646-7477
  7. Email:
  8. URL:


Notes for Second Sort of Ernst A. Steinhoff Collection

  1. I suggest someone proficient in reading German be procurred to assist in the sorting and labeling of the material written in German.
  2. "The Eagle has returned" - the book(s) - is scattered between NMRI, Professional Organizations, and Technical Papers. This publication is connected with the ISHF, the International Space Hall of Fame. Correspondence with authors, book orders, and stick-on revisions are scattered and need to be pulled together in a separate category.
  3. Professional Correspondence is filed under the separate categories. I would suggest instead of pulling it together into a category of its own that you put it in a separate folder in the category into which it belongs.
  4. Information on mining is mixed with Technical Papers. It needs to be pulled together and placed in NMRI in a folder of its own.
  5. The category Organizations - Hobby, Personal (non-career related) contains information on soaring. What material that is not related to soaring should be grouped under this heading and the material on soaring should be grouped under the heading Soaring.
  6. Technical papers relating to aircraft is mixed in with Other Organizations - Hobby, Personal (non-career related). They should be placed with Technical Papers.
  7. Material from the American Rocket Society is placed in with Professional Organizations. This material needs to be reviewed to see if it should be placed with Other Organizations - Hobby, Personal (non-career related).
Dana Russell Donovan

July 31, 1987
Inventory of the Ernst August Steinhoff Papers, 1943-1982
Edited Full Draft
Processed by Joanne M. Reiter
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • June 28, 2004: PUBLIC "-//New Mexico State University::Archives and Special Collections//TEXT (US::NmLcU::MS 260::Ernst August Steinhoff Papers)//EN" "nmlcu1#ms260.sgml" converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02.xsl (sy2003-10-15).
  • Monday, 20210524: Attribute normal is missing or blank.

Repository Details

Part of the New Mexico State University Library Archives and Special Collections Repository

Branson Hall
PO Box 30006
MSC 3475
Las Cruces New Mexico 88003 USA