Collection inventory

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Pan Am 103 Individuals Collection

An inventory of the collection at the Pan Am Flight 103/Lockerbie Air Disaster Archives at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: Cara A. Howe
Date: 2012

Historical Note

At 6:25 pm on December 21, 1988, Pan Am's Clipper Maid of the Seas departed Heathrow Airport in London for New York City's JFK Airport. One half hour later at 7:02 pm London time, as the Boeing 747 leveled off at 31,000 feet just north of the England-Scotland border, an explosion blew a basketball-sized hole in the fuselage. The plane broke apart and plummeted to earth. All 259 passengers of Flight 103 and 11 residents of the town of Lockerbie, Scotland were killed. Among those killed aboard Pan Am Flight 103 were 35 students returning home from a semester of study abroad through Syracuse University.

Before long the world would know that it was not a mechanical failure or foul weather that brought down the plane, but a terrorist bomb: a Semtex plastic explosive planted in a Toshiba radio-cassette recorder packed inside a Samsonite suitcase stowed in the plane's forward cargo hold. Only one man would ever be convicted for committing this terrorist act. Abdelbaset Ali Al-Megrahi and fellow Libyan Intelligence agent Lamin Khalifah Fhimah were indicted by the United States in 1991, formally charged by the Scottish authorities in 1999 and tried by an international court at Camp Zeist, Netherlands beginning in 2000. Al-Megrahi's conviction was handed down in 2001. Fhimah was found not guilty. Al-Megrahi was released on compassionate grounds in 2009, after a terminal cancer diagnosis gave him three months to live. He died three years later. The investigation of the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 remains open.

Scope and Content Note

The Pan Am 103 Individuals Collection contains information on Syracuse University victims, Non-Syracuse University victims, and Non-victims who had some relationship to the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing. The Syracuse University victims series has a file for each of the 35 Syracuse University study abroad students killed on Pan Am 103. These files contain various unrestricted University records, as well as newspaper articles, obituaries, memorials, and other items collected by Archives staff. The Non-Syracuse University victims and Non-victims series generally contain less material since the individuals have no campus records. These are mostly materials found online and in newspapers, but usually contain some biographical information on the individual.


Access Restrictions:

There are no access restrictions for this collection.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from the Pan Am Flight 103 Archives and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Related Material

The Pan Am Flight 103 Archives contains additional materials and information related to the Pan Am 103 Individuals Collection. Related collections include:

On Eagles' Wings Collection

Victim and Family Collections

Selected Search Terms


Syracuse University -- History.
Syracuse University.


Pan Am Flight 103 Bombing Incident, 1988.
Terrorism -- Government Policy -- United States -- Case Studies.
Terrorism -- Government Policy -- United States -- History.
Terrorism -- Government Policy -- United States.
Terrorism -- History -- 20th Century.
Lockerbie (Scotland)

Types of Material

Clippings (information artifacts)

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Pan Am 103 Individuals Collection,
Pan Am Flight 103/Lockerbie Air Disaster Archives
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Some of the materials in the Syracuse University victims series of the Pan Am 103 Individuals Collection were donated by the Office of Undergraduate Studies at Syracuse University. Others were donated by friends, family, and other organizations related to the victims. Many materials in the Non-victims series were donated by the individuals themselves.

Processing Information

Materials were placed in acid-free folders and boxes.


The collection is arranged alphabetically within each series.

Table of Contents

Syracuse University victims

Non-Syracuse University victims