Skip to main content

COMSAT Corporation collection

Identifier: MS-0459
Because this is an artificial collection, formed largely by materials gathered by members of the COMSAT Legacy Foundation, it does not document all aspects of the corporation's history. It does, however, provide enough source material to be of particular interest to researchers in the areas of history of science and technology, telecommunications history, and business history. The early days of COMSAT are well represented through press clippings, copies of the required reports to the President and Congress, and a bound set of the documents related to the establishment of the corporation, and the first shareholders' meeting. Also, the historical series contains a number of early technical reports. The bulk of the collection consists of publications, for both internal and external audiences; public relations material; files collected to document the history of COMSAT; and papers related to COMSAT executive, John McLucas. McLucas joined the company as president of Comsat General, later became president of COMSAT World Systems, and ended his career as an executive vice president of COMSAT. There is also a significant collection of visual materials?16 millimeter films, videotapes, and U-Matic tapes?that record important events in COMSAT's history, including early satellite launches. Although most of the material relates to COMSAT, there are also records that document the activities of Comsat Labs, Comsat General, and the Marisat program, and with their international partners, Intelsat, Inmarsat, COMSAT Labs, Comsat General, and other subsidiaries. This material is found largely within the publications and public relations series.


  • 1960s-1980s

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright.


62.5 Cubic Feet (50 record center cartons)

Biographical Note

COMSAT (Communications Satellite Corporation) was formally established on February 1, 1963 as a result of the Communications Satellite Act of 1962, which charged COMSAT with responsibility for developing a commercial communications satellite system. As the language in the act stated:
it is the policy of the United States to establish in conjunction and in cooperation with other countries, as expeditiously as practicable, a commercial communications satellite system, as part of an improved global communications network, which will be responsive to public needs and national objectives, which will serve the communications needs of the United States and other countries, and which will contribute to world peace and understanding.
The previous year, AT


The collection was donated to the university by the COMSAT Legacy Foundation between 2004 and 2005. The Foundation had received legal title to this material from Lockheed Martin, which had acquired COMSAT in 2000.

Processing Information

Processed in Spring 2005 by Margaret Burri

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

The Sheridan Libraries
Special Collections
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore MD 21218 USA