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Author Topic:   San Diego Air & Space Museum's AeroCat
Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 04-07-2008 09:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
San Diego Air & Space Museum release
San Diego Air and Space Museum Announces New Online Catalog

The San Diego Air & Space Museum now offers a way for the public to search the contents of its Library & Archives' extensive collection of items related to aviation, space history and technology. AeroCat, the Museum's new online catalog, offers immediate Internet access to thousands of items and can be searched through the Museum's website.

"We're excited about sharing these invaluable resources. We have now made available the Museum's collection 24-hours a day and this will be especially gratifying for international inquiries," said the Museum's head archivist, Katrina Pescador. "The Library & Archives will come alive for researchers and aviation enthusiasts around the world."

Recognized nationally and internationally by researchers, media and students alike, the San Diego Air & Space Museum's Library and Archives is the third largest aerospace library in the nation and holds many unique, rare and one-of-a-kind items. The collection also holds the depth and breadth of San Diego's rich aviation heritage, consisting of books, periodicals, films and videotapes, more than two million photographs, aircraft manuals and drawings, and along with other archival materials. Although only the book collection is currently searchable online, other types of materials will be added throughout the year.

The cataloging software developed by EOS International is headquartered in Carlsbad, California. EOS, with more than 3,000 clients worldwide, is a leader in library automation software for specialized libraries such as the Museum's.

The San Diego Air & Space Museum, located at 2001 Pan American Plaza, is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and accredited by the American Association of Museums. It opened in San Diego's Balboa Park in the early 1960s, but lost its entire collection of aircraft, artifacts, and library and archival materials in a devastating fire in 1978. It has been rebuilding its collections since reopening in the Park's historic Ford Building in 1980 and is now able to offer world class aerospace exhibits, an extensive library and archives, and a nationally acclaimed aircraft restoration and preservation program.

FFrench
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Posts: 3093
From: San Diego
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 07-10-2009 06:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Lee Scherer was here this week to be interviewed for an oral history for the Museum's library and archives. He is seen here with interviewer Jim Busby. Lee was involved in some of the space program’s most amazing moments -- if you want to know more about his career, there is an overview here.

E2M Lem Man
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Posts: 793
From: Los Angeles CA. USA
Registered: Jan 2005

posted 07-10-2009 08:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for E2M Lem Man     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Happy Ruby Moon everyone!

This is Jim Busby, and it was an honor to be asked by the San Diego Air and Space Museum to interview Captain Lee Scherer.

One can see that his career was a full one: from Naval Officer and pilot in World War II to advisor during Project Vanguard to joining NASA in 1962 as Lunar Orbiter's manager to directing our national Lunar operations and then directing two of NASA's major space centers, during the critical time of the reduction of our nations program. What an insight he has to times that mirror NASA today!

The main new fact that he contributed to me is that he was basically "fired" from KSC, because he felt that the exaggerations of being able to launch Many shuttles a year (NASA said 100) was something he could not say as he did not believe it. He was then re-called to Washington Headquarters, where he resigned from.

He has an incredible mind and youthfulness for a man of 90 years young!

One has to wonder while interviewing this accomplished man - what NASA would have been like if he had been called as it's administrator!

SDASM will make these interviews available to researchers later this year, I have been told! Thanks Katrina, and Francis and everyone at SDASM.

dtemple
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Posts: 605
From: Longview, Texas, USA
Registered: Apr 2000

posted 07-10-2009 10:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dtemple   Click Here to Email dtemple     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It opened in San Diego's Balboa Park in the early 1960s, but lost its entire collection of aircraft, artifacts, and library and archival materials in a devastating fire in 1978.
Does anyone have a list of the major exhibits destroyed in the 1978 fire? I recall tuning into the TV news and hearing the last part of the story about this fire. At the time it sounded like the reporter said Aurora 7 was destroyed. Obviously that was not what he said. Was a Mercury spacecraft model or boilerplate destroyed?

FFrench
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Posts: 3093
From: San Diego
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 07-11-2009 12:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks again for your help, Jim!

As for the fire - I will ask our curatorial staff, but to my (anecdotal) knowledge there were no large space items, real or mockup, in the former incarnation of the museum 31 years ago when that happened. And while the report above says everything was lost, I have been told there were a good number of smaller items, and paper records, that did survive and were recovered from the aftermath.

FFrench
Member

Posts: 3093
From: San Diego
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 07-13-2009 03:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In talking to our curators and head archivist this morning:
  • The press release above incorporates wording that they no longer use. A number of items survived the fire.

  • No one knows of any large-scale space items from that time, either real or mockups. In looking through the files this morning, I see reference to an Apollo 11 flown pen and a moon rock that were on display, both of which survived (the Apollo 11 pen is currently on display). There were apparently some space food samples that did not.
I'll update if I discover anything else - thanks.

dtemple
Member

Posts: 605
From: Longview, Texas, USA
Registered: Apr 2000

posted 07-14-2009 01:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for dtemple   Click Here to Email dtemple     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the reply. Fortunately, no major space artifacts were destroyed but I can imagine the aircraft that must have been lost.

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