Over the past 16 years, our collection of kites from around the world has increased to 1500 kites. In 1989 the David Checkley Asian Kite Collection of 700 Japanese, Chinese and Malaysian kites were donated to the Museum. The 400 Japanese kites are considered the most complete collection of Japanese kites outside of Japan. The Kite Museum changes its exhibits regularly to accommodate many educational opportunities.
Besides our outstanding kite collections, the Museum has extensive archival materials. The American Kite Association has combined their archives with ours. An active oral history program exists on cassettes and videos. All this makes the World Kite Museum the major information source on kites around the world.
Textbook companies and freelance writers are the most frequent users. The Museum also has an International Advisory Board. The five members are from England, France, Thailand, Japan and Colombia. These people promote the Museum, obtain and locate items for the collections, and advise the Director on specific projects and exhibits.
Education programs include elementary and high schools in both the local and surrounding areas. Adult touring groups, local organizations, and Elder hostels are another educational niche. Six weekend annual hands-on workshops sponsored by the Museum bring outsiders to the area.
The World Kite Museum and Hall of Fame has its roots in the local community. In the mid 1980's a group of kite enthusiasts began to discuss the idea of forming a museum dedicated to kites and kite flyers. The group met informally and developed a plan of action. They researched building opportunities, nonprofit status requirements, storage facilities, and other basic details that were needed to establish a museum. The group was eager to create a place where people could go to learn about kite history and see kiting displays.
Over the next two years the group continued to work together to create a museum. The group began to collect kites, kite accessories, literature and memorabilia. The project began to gain momentum and, in 1990 the town of Long Beach allowed the group to move into a cottage that had recently been donated by the Coulter family to the town's Park Department. The group remodeled the building to suit the needs of a museum, and moved in once the official nonprofit status was awarded. The Museum opened its doors to the public on August 21, 1990.