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:

Lawrence C. Crum Collection

Lawrence Crum received his U.S. Navy Aviator wings in 1942 and served on the USS Ranger during WWII & Korean War. The collection contains numerous photographs of the USS Ranger, certificates and personal...

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San Diego Flight 13 Order of Daedalians Collection

The collection consists of 4 cubic feet of national and flight rosters, meeting minutes, newsletters, correspondences, and records of awards dating from the chapter's inception in 1964 to the present.

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Richard Denbo Personal Papers

Richard M. Denbo was born on March 10, 1897 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Denbo served as an aviation engine mechanic.

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Birdie Draper Collection

At age 20, Birdie Viola Draper began training as a parachutist in Minnesota. She became known as the "Queen of Daredevils," performing at thrill shows and fairs throughout the country.

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Lee Francis Duncan Collection

The personal collection of Lee Francis Duncan, who flew from 1925 and through WWII, where he flew as a noncombatant as an United Air Lines Pilot for Army Transport in the Pacific between 1943 and 1945.

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