Submitted by deborah on Wed, 03/23/2022

Historical records detailing the growth of one of the world’s largest airlines are available to the public online through the Digital Library of Georgia, thanks to a partnership between the Delta Flight Museum, the University of Georgia Libraries, and GALILEO.

The Flying D airplane and crew on the runway in 1950
The Flying D DC-6 propeller plane and crew on the runway in 1950

The collection contains Delta Air Lines’ digitized timetables, flight maps, and annual reports for the past century through its expansions, moves, and mergers with other airlines to become the aviation industry leader in the United States. 

"Sharing our collection of digitized annual reports and timetables of Delta and family member airlines provides wider access to this rich resource of materials documenting the nearly 100 years of Delta's history and the development of commercial aviation both locally and globally," said John Boatright, president of Delta Flight Museum, a non-profit museum housed in the original 1940s hangars at Delta’s Atlanta headquarters.

"This partnership with DLG allows us to enhance our engagement with educators, researchers, and aviation enthusiasts."

Delta Air Lines traces its history to the world's first crop-dusting company in Macon in 1925, and the company has been headquartered in Atlanta since 1941.

For Toby Graham, university librarian and associate provost at UGA, those connections to the state align the digital archive with the mission of the Digital Library of Georgia, a GALILEO initiative based at UGA's Main Library dedicated to the digital preservation and open access of historic materials that reflect the state's history and culture.

"As one of Atlanta's largest employers, Delta and its business history are fully integrated with the story of our state. We are proud to partner with the Delta Flight Museum to preserve and share these historical documents with the community and with researchers interested in aviation, business, travel, and other fields," said Graham.

In addition to historical items directly related to the airline, the Delta Flight Museum's online archive contains business publications from many of the more than 40 affiliated airlines that make up the "Delta family tree."

These include:

Chicago and Southern Air Lines, which brought Delta's first international routes to the Caribbean and Venezuela in 1953;

Boston-based Northeast Airlines, which extended Delta's East Coast services from Canada to Florida and Bermuda in 1972;

Los Angeles-based Western Airlines, the oldest continuously operating airline in the United States before Delta acquired it in 1987;

and Minnesota-based Northwest Airlines, which carried the most passengers across the Pacific Ocean and was a top domestic cargo carrier until its merger with Delta in 2008.
 

View the collections online

 

Promotional image of a Delta jet on the tarmac, 1948
 A Delta DC-6 propeller plane on the tarmac in 1948

 

About Delta Flight Museum

The Delta Flight Museum is a premier international destination located in the heart of Delta Air
Lines’ worldwide headquarters in Atlanta, where visitors explore aviation history, celebrate the
story and people of Delta, and discover the future of flight.

Housed in Delta’s historic 1940s aircraft hangars, the not-for-profit Delta Flight Museum offers
an unmatched experience for aviation enthusiasts of all ages. A fleet of rare vintage aircraft and
artifacts from more than 40 airlines related to Delta enhance our interactive experiences and
unique event and education spaces. Visit online at deltamuseum.org

 

About the Digital Library of Georgia

The Digital Library of Georgia is an award-winning initiative of GALILEO, Georgia’s statewide
virtual library, housed at the University of Georgia Libraries. With the state's cultural heritage
organizations, the DLG shares Georgia's history online for free through its websites. The project
supports its partner organizations by offering free and low-cost services. The DLG also serves as
Georgia's service hub for the Digital Public Library of America and as the home of the Georgia
Newspaper Project
, the state's historic newspaper preservation project.

 

Visit the DLG at dlg.usg.edu
Facebook: http://facebook.com/DigitalLibraryofGeorgia/
Twitter: @DigLibGA
Instagram: @diglibga