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:

Hilda Jarmuth Collection

Hilda Jarmuth was an early aviatrix who lived from 1900 to 1976. Her collection contains a large number of travel photos from throughout the decades and includes a small travel diary from 1937.

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J. Thad Johnson Personal Papers

J. Thad Johnson was a WWI navy pilot in training for most of WWI. After the war he participated in the first transcontinental flight from New York to San Francisco and other aviation feats.

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Rear Admiral Constantine Karaberis Personal Papers

Rear Admiral Karaberis was a career Naval Officer, graduating from the Naval Academy in 1935 and becoming Rear Admiral in 1963. He was Commander of Naval Air Station San Diego in 1967 and retired in 1969.

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Robert V. Kerley Personal Papers

Robert V. Kerley worked in fuels and lubricants research and development. In 1945, he joined Ethyl Corporation as Director of Aeronautical Research. He was heavily involved in the autobiography of Sam...

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Thaddeus Kerns Personal Papers

Thaddeus Kerns was born in Santa Ana, California on June 5, 1894, and died in a plane crash on July 15, 1913. At a very young age, he built a full-sized plane with his own hands, with the exception of...

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