If you consider yourself a hardcore Trekkie, you may just be able to help the Smithsonian.
The National Air and Space Museum is restoring the Enterprise to how it looked in 1967 in the episode “The Trouble with Tribbles”. In that ‘Star Trek’ episode, Lt. Uhura gets a Tribble, a small furry alien that reproduces at light speed. Ultimately we see the Enterprise filled with these adorable creatures, giving us this very famous screenshot of Captain Kirk.
This episode marked the last time the Enterprise was altered. It was previously restored eight different times since its inception in 1964.
In 1972, a model of the Enterprise debuted for fans to enjoy during Space Week at Golden West College in Huntington Beach, CA. In 1974, the model moved to the Smithsonian’s Arts and Industries Building in DC until it made its way over to the National Air and Space Museum on Independence Avenue.
In order to maintain accuracy, conservators at the Smithsonian need primary-source material. This means firsthand, original photos or films of the ship anytime before 1976. Unfortunately, screenshots won’t do the trick.
Clearly, there has to be some Trekkies out there with some photos or films from this time. If you happen to be one of them, you can reach out to the Smithsonian at StarshipEnterprise@si.edu.