In 1991, the San Francisco Airport Commission formulated the concept of an aviation library and museum. In 1994, as a part of the new International Terminal then under design, the Airport Commission voted to construct an 11,500-square foot facility to provide a repository for publications, artifacts, and documents related to the Airport’s history. To forge a link with its historical context, the interior design is based on an adaptation of the 1937 San Francisco Airport Passenger Waiting Room. Research facilities, exhibition galleries, collection storage, and work area for professional staff are incorporated into the architectural plan. Intellectual access to the collection is provided by electronic catalogue.
The main focus of the San Francisco Airport Museums Aviation Collection is on the history of commercial air transport in the Pacific Region as it relates to San Francisco International Airport and its role in the development of the aviation industry.
Approximately 6,500 books on aviation are held in the library collection. These include fiction and young reader titles. There are 50 active subscriptions to aviation periodicals and over 2,000 aviation and general interest magazines in runs from the 1890s to the present. Technical manuals, ephemera, and unique publications are maintained in subject files. Archives include photographs, technical drawings, maps, charts, and philatelic materials.
An oral history program produces transcribed interviews that are part of the library collection. These provide first-person accounts from individuals who have experienced careers in aviation. Subjects include airport administrators, airline executives, airline pilots, airline flight crew, and ground crew personnel.
Approximately 18,500 objects are held in the museum collection. Three-dimensional artifacts relating to commercial aviation in the Pacific include airport equipment, architectural elements, building materials, furnishings, aircraft equipment, uniforms, in-flight service wares, graphic design works, posters, and promotional materials. A large collection of scale model aircraft is also featured.
For more information on the San Francisco Airport Commission Aviation Library & Louis A. Turpen Aviation Museum please follow this link: http://www.sfoarts.org/about/alm.html