For over 50 years, the San Diego Air & Space Museum (SDASM) has preserved the aviation heritage of Southern California, with a unique collection documenting the areas aerospace history. SDASM was the first aero-themed museum to be accredited by the American Association of Museums, and only the twelfth institution in California to be awarded Smithsonian Affiliate status. In 2007, SDASM was designated by the California State Legislature as the official Air & Space Museum and Education Center of California. Over 225,000 on-site as well as 195,000 virtual guests visit SDASM each year, and yet few of these guests know of the depth and breadth of the Museum’s historical and unique archival collections. The Museum’s Library & Archives houses the third largest collection of aviation-related research material in the United States. The Museum’s archival collections include one-of-a-kind corporate records of significant San Diego-based aerospace companies, such as Pacific Southwest Airlines, Ryan Aeronautical, and Consolidated Aircraft Corporation; personal records from a number of important aerospace pioneers, including T. Claude Ryan and Reuben H. Fleet; and records from famous aviators, such as Jacqueline Cochran, Charles Lindbergh, and Richard E. Byrd. Increasing Access to Our Aerospace Heritage will elevate public awareness of these historically important yet currently underexposed collections by cataloging, indexing, carefully describing and preparing them for future digitization.
Cataloging Hidden Collections
San Diego Air & Space Museum