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:

Charles Babb Collection

Charles H Babb was a man who played a very significant role in the history of Southern California Aviation. The Museum is the honored recipient of papers, patents, and photos from his estate.

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Errold G. Bahl Collection

Errold G. Bahl (1894 - 1930) was an aircraft pilot, mechanic, barnstormer, and entrepreneur. He attended the School of Military Aeronautics, flew in Latin America, was a mentor to Lindbergh, and formed...

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Colonel Bernt Balchen Collection

Bernt Balchen was born in Norway and started flying in 1921, becoming a U.S. citizen in 1930. His accomplished career spanned 35 years, serving both the U.S. and Norwegian governments in cold-weather aviation.

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Horace Clyde Balsley Special Collection

Capt. Horace Clyde Balsley was a member of the Lafayette Escadrille and the first American whose plane was shot down during World War I, in effect, the first American pilot to be shot down in aerial combat.

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Miles Blaine Special Collection

Miles Blaine (1913-2009) was a long time San Diego resident and photographer for SDASM. His collection features 860+ photographs from 1935 to 1952, related to aviation and a growing San Diego.

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