Preserving the Voices of History

Oral History being conducted.

SDASM Library & Archives launched a new preservation project with five other San Diego museum partners. This collaborative oral history project will help record the area’s rich history before the stories are lost forever. Participating partners include the Distinguished Flying Cross Society, the USS Midway Museum, the Veterans Museum and Memorial Center, the Flying Leatherneck Museum and the Naval Helicopter Historical Society.

The project relies on qualified volunteers to interview and preserve stories of men and women responsible for contributions to all areas of aviation and aerospace technology, with a focus on the history of those from the San Diego area. To date nearly five hundred original taped interviews and transcripts have been obtained and are maintained in local museum archives.

To raise awareness of San Diego’s aviation history and the contributions of individuals who reside here, and to share these valuable resources, the six museums are developing a traveling display that will be exhibited in local libraries, schools, airports, and universities. The traveling display will emphasize the role San Diego has played, and continues to play, in aviation through the use of photographs, documents, and interviews. Visitors may listen to such well-known aviation and aerospace pioneers as Charles Lindbergh, Eddie Rickenbacker, T. Claude Ryan, Astronaut Walter Schirra, as well as numerous pilots and others who describe their wartime experiences.

The cooperative group is also consolidating an index of their collections in SDASM’s online catalog, AeroCat, which is located at www.sandiegoairandspace.org.

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