Press Release

Unlocking an Archival Treasure: The Harold Bixby Collection


 Charles Schuler 
Director of Marketing & Communications 
San Francisco International Airport
(650) 821-5031

Unlocking an Archival Treasure: the Harold Bixby Collection
New pair of exhibitions that present for the first time photographs and documents from the recently-acquired Harold Bixby Collection documenting aviation milestones and a unique aviation career in the 1920s and 1930s. 

SAN FRANCISCO—Harold McMillan Bixby (1890-1965) was a midwestern businessman who led an incredible career that encompassed remarkable milestones in air travel from Charles Lindbergh’s transatlantic flight in 1927, to Pan American Airways’ transpacific air service in the 1930s. Much of Bixby’s early work with Pan American was conducted in China and east Asia. Harold Bixby’s family preserved a collection of over 600 personal letters and documents and 500 photographs from Bixby’s life and career.

Since acquiring the collection in 2019, SFO Museum staff have been working to research, preserve and catalog its rare and unique items. Now, for the first time, original letters and photographs from the Harold Bixby Collection will be on view in a pair of exhibitions that give visitors a behind the scenes look at how archival collections are preserved.

Visit for more information

Unlocking and Archival Treasure: The Harold Bixby Collection is located pre-security in the Aviation Museum and Library in the International Terminal of San Francisco International Airport. This exhibition is on view to all Airport visitors from September 18, 2023 – September 7, 2025. There is no charge to view the exhibition.


About SFO Museum

Established in 1980 by the Airport Commission, SFO Museum’s mission is to delight, engage, and inspire a global audience with programming on a broad range of subjects; to collect, preserve, interpret, and share the history of commercial aviation; and to enrich the public experience at San Francisco International Airport. The Museum has been accredited by the American Alliance of Museums since 1999 and retains the distinction of being the only accredited museum in an airport.

Today, SFO Museum operates more than twenty-five sites throughout the Airport terminals, including fourteen galleries that exhibit a rotating schedule of art, history, photography, science, and cultural exhibitions. Among the sites is the San Francisco Airport Commission Aviation Library and Louis A. Turpen Aviation Museum, which houses a permanent collection of more than 160,000 objects related to the history of commercial aviation. To browse current and past exhibitions, research our collection, or for more information, please visit Follow us on,, or

About San Francisco International Airport (SFO)

SFO is excited to welcome travelers back to the skies with an airport experience featuring seamless access, thoughtful amenities, sustainable design and inspiring artwork and exhibits. SFO is proud to offer upgraded free Wi-Fi with no advertising.

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