Gale Goes to San Diego: Balboa Park 104 Years Later

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| By Kevin Kohls, Associate Marketing Manager, Gale |

Last week, Gale employees gathered in San Diego for our annual engagement summit to discuss and strategize the ways in which Gale can better serve our customers in libraries around the world.

While in San Diego, I had the opportunity to spend an afternoon walking around and exploring the beautiful Balboa Park. Much of the park’s present-day architecture was constructed for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition, which celebrated the opening of the Panama Canal and showcased California’s ports of call now open to travelers coming though the canal.

One of my favorite collections to explore in the Gale Primary Sources program, Smithsonian Collections Online: World’s Fairs & Expositions, provides extensive coverage of the expositions at that time. I thought I would look and see if there was any interesting documentation.

Unsurprisingly, there is a treasure trove of fascinating documents, including a beautiful full-color souvenir book and post cards featuring the then newly constructed buildings that have become so synonymous with Balboa Park.

Below, I have pulled some of the images of Balboa Park from the Smithsonian collection and juxtaposed them with pictures I took on my phone last week. Comparing the historical documents with modern photos provides an interesting window into the past and shows how much or how little things have changed in the 104 years since the park’s creation.

Want to learn more about all the fascinating material available in Smithsonian Collections Online?

To learn more about Balboa Park’s history, check out their very cool site!

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