archival collection


The Archives has many collections of documents devoted to particular subjects, organizations or persons.

  • Organizational Papers: Documents created for corporations or groups such as Ryan Aeronautical (Ryan, 1922-1969 and Teledyne Ryan, 1969-1999) and Convair (Consolidated Aircraft, 1923-1942; Consolidated Vultee (Convair), 1942-1956; General Dynamics, Convair Division, 1956-1996).
  • Personal Papers: Documents created and accumulated by individuals and groups, including Charles A. Lindbergh, T. Claude Ryan, Reuben H. Fleet, Admiral Marc Mitscher, John Montgomery, Ed Heinemann, the Ninety-Nines, Oscar Perdomo, T.P. Hall, and Waldo Waterman.

We are currently working on cataloging, creating finding guides and digitizaing our special collections.  Many of those which have been processed can be seen below.  Here is a list of most of our special collections, which includes basic information on them.

We also have a variety of archival documents:

The Library and Archives has digitized several of our rare books, including important publications from Consolidated/Convair Aircraft and Ryan Aeronautical, San Diego’s two most important aerospace companies. These documents highlight the day to day activities at these companies, the corporate history of both Ryan and Consolidated, life in San Diego during the Second World War and the flight schools Ryan operated. These books are searchable and can be found at:

Theodore Gildred, Sr. Collection

After Theodore Gildred, Sr. spent some of his childhood in South America, he graduated from NYU in 1918 as a civil engineer. He became an aviator upon moving to San Diego and in 1931 embarked on a 9,000...

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Theodore E Gildred. Special Collection

Theodore E. Gildred duplicated his father's 1931 Goodwill Flight from San Diego to Quito, Ecuador in 1981 in a 1942 Stinson Reliant as a gesture to promote good will between the US and Latin America.

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Donald H. Gordon Special Collection

An aviation pioneer, builder and pilot, Donald Gordon was actually the first person west of the Mississippi River to successfully fly a powered aircraft.

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Louis Edward Gordon Special Collection

Louis Gordon was the co-pilot/ mechanic on the 1928 Transatlantic flight of the Fokker F7 "Friendship" which flew from Newfoundland to Wales in 1928. Amelia Earhart was a passenger on this flight and it...

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Grumman F3F-2 Collection

The Grumman F3F was a last US biplane fighter aircraft, serving in the interim-war period. In 1990, SDASM restored a Grumman F3F that had been ditched off the coast of San Diego.

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