San Diego Air & Space Archives
Always a sucker for old military images, the photo archive at the San Diego Air & Space museum is nothing shy of impressive. A visit will likely be a long one, and for good reason. With an untapped collection that numbers somewhere around 160 thousand images, it’s an excellent resource for all things air & space.
When initially put on the scent of the SDASM, I was surprised that it was housed in San Diego of all places. But on second thought it makes complete sense. As one of the most important naval outposts, San Diego has one of, if not, the best air & space museums in the world. And not just in scale, but in quality. Their physical collection is probably larger than some country’s entire naval fleet. I’ve posted about museums of said kind in the past, and my weird curiosities aside, San Diego’s tips the scale.
At the end of the day, photo archives are a dime a dozen, and there are plenty of good ones out there. The Library of Congress, NYPL, LIFE, etc. all stack up and keep folks busy looking for old photos of Papa (myself included). However, these tend to lack focus and can often become an endless search in a bottomless pool. They also make some of the more flattering candid images harder to find, another area where the SDASM does well. While I’m not totally sure, a lot of images appear to be from personal collections, possibly donated or discovered. Whatever the source, they offer a great first hand perspective of an officer abroad or with friends.
If you have a few hours to burn, check out the San Diego Air & Space archive for yourself.