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AACA Library Acquisition in Phila. Inquirer


MochetVelo
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Today's Philadelphia Inquirer featured the AACA Library and Simeone Museum on page one today. They jointly acquired the Philadelphia Free Library's Automobile literature collection. I'm sure the AACA staff will provide details. The Free Library's collection was right out of Charles Dickens (or Harry Potter); way up at the stone cornice in the old building. I enjoyed finding treasures there!

 

Phil

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Absolutely wonderful to read this. the library of material will now go to places where it can be shared more readily with so many more people and be cared for by well trained and enthusiastic staff! The Phiadelph9ia Library is a great place and the automotive collection was especially well looked after and cared for when Lou Helverson was the head of the automotive section after Mary Catty retired. Lou was a great great fellow and active in the Society of Automotive Historians as well. He made efforts to attend SAH events and came here to my home on long island for a Pioneer Chapter SAH meeting more then once.  Congratulations to AACA and well wishes to all in the staff at the library and headquarters. All of you there do more for the AACA then anyone reading this will ever realize or be able to fully appreciate.

Walt

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Steve M., thank you for your very well stated and significant remarks that were reported in the newspaper article. It puts in to perspective for the general reader who is not necessarily a "car person" a good idea what, who and where the material is going to , also the location. It will keep the flow of automotive history going for many many decades to come. Congratulations AACA.

Walt G.

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Folks, there was an error in the printed version of the Inquirer and corrections have been made to the online story. This is a very historic moment for our club, and we want to make sure everyone has the story correct. Our official statement at this time is as follows :

 

Earlier today, The Philadelphia Inquirer released an exciting story announcing the transfer of the Philadelphia Free Public Library's entire automotive reference collection to the AACA Library and Research Center and the Simeone Museum. Unfortunately, there was an error in the original story which incorrectly referenced an entity other than the AACA Library and Research Center as a partner in the acquisition. The online story has since been corrected and may be viewed at:

https://www.inquirer.com/arts/simeone-foundation-philadelphia-antique-auto-club-hershey-pa-free-library-archive-20191209.html

 

The Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) and the Simeone Museum are proud to be the recipients of this vast collection of important documents and will release a joint statement in the very near future. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact Chris Ritter or Stacy Zimmerman at AACA at 717-534-1910, critter@aaca.org or szimmerman@aaca.org

 

 

 

Edited by TomCox
correction of link (see edit history)
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6 hours ago, TomCox said:
6 hours ago, TomCox said:

Folks, there was an error in the printed version of the Inquirer and corrections have been made to the online story. This is a very historic moment for our club, and we want to make sure everyone has the story correct. Our official statement at this time is as follows :

 

Earlier today, The Philadelphia Inquirer released an exciting story announcing the transfer of the Philadelphia Free Public Library's entire automotive reference collection to the AACA Library and Research Center and the Simeone Museum. Unfortunately, there was an error in the original story which incorrectly referenced an entity other than the AACA Library and Research Center as a partner in the acquisition. 

 

 

 

 

 

THANK YOU! I caught the mention of the money pit on the hill, so glad to know it is a now corrected misprint. So happy that AACA and Dr. Simeone are now the caretakers of the collection. Bob

 

Edited by 1937hd45 (see edit history)
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In 1969-1970 I was able to do extensive research at the Philadelphia Free Library.  This was available during the AACA Annual Meetings in Philadelphia at the time.  I researched there for my major history treatise on the Buick Motor Division during the early straight 8 era, 1931-1942.  This treatise was published in Antique Automobile in 1971.  I received the Duryea Award for 1972.  It was a wonderful place, and I congratulate AACA for bringing the collection into our Library.

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I am not sure how to interpret this  post but it  is the right move in the short term and long term for all parties.  The FLP has not had a official curator of the collection for several years. Much of the collection was languishing in the library and unknown to most of the automotive public.  That also meant that  no ongoing preservation was occurring, no digitization and no promotion of the collection was being done.  The FLP rightfully realized the  collection was essentially being warehoused and  did not fit their mission.  After extensive research  and visitation by them they realized the library was better off in selling the assets to two groups that strongly were helping the hobby.

 

Fred Simeone has been recognized extensively as having one of the best museums in the world and he has a wonderful library.  The materials that  fit his mission are going to him but we will also have access.  In Fred's early days he actively provided materials to the FLP.

 

Now for AACA's part.  Thomas McKean , a past AACA president  donated the majority of the collection to the library since AACA  did not have a library at that time.  If we did, or had agreed to start one he would have donated it to us in all likelihood.  AACA has 3 librarians with their masters degree  in library science.  It has massive digitization capabilities including film which no library has to our knowledge.  AACA will house this collection in a new facility in 2020 which will be open to the public 6 days a week.  This facility will have every known protection from  HVAC, security and fire suppression! 

 

There is a lot more to write  but I strongly think that the automotive world is far better off with this new agreement.  

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Steve, your last sentence says it all. Just for the sake of preservation this is the right move to make. I have taken a fair amount of classes, courses etc.  in preservation of paper, photographs, etc as the appointed historian for the village I reside in that were sponsored by the state of New York. I was for several years  the librarian of Henry Austin Clark's private library at his home on long island  that now resides at the collection of the Henry Ford Museum. ( it was my time spent doing that 45 years ago that made me aware of so many assorted periodicals, factory publications, motor show souvenir programs , press release material, etc etc to enable me to eventually build my own archives/library of material that focus on my particular interest - pre WWII  coach builders)

there may be some nay sayers reading this and questioning - what about this, what about that - access won't be easy etc , well the new AACA facility was purchased with the preservation of not only the cars and the enough space  to serve the clubs needs but to protect and make available the information from original material to see the vehicles we all own restored correctly and authentically . Be positive and show you support!

Just to clarify - I have never been an AACA officer, nor intend to be , have nothing to gain by supporting this ( except what we all will- the material at our availability  to properly use)  , wasn't paid to say this, and wear a hat not a cap so don't need to have a feather to put in same ( cap) for these statements! Once again THANK YOU AACA . 👍

Walt

Edited by Walt G
typo (see edit history)
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Walt, you are very modest for someone who has a hat with many, many feathers.  You are a historian and a strong supporter of saving the written history of the automobile.  You have served as a Director of a major club and on and on...I just got out of the hospital yesterday and am putting in a few hours today but the drugs are stopping me from being more eloquent on the subject.  It is the people like you that have built this hobby and we are all very grateful.  I enjoy listening to your perspectives always.  Thanks for your support.  I am so proud of the job our Director Chris Ritter is doing!  Mike Reilly and Matt are the best.  Our library team  is on a mission to serve everyone  in the world and we do this for free!

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If ever there was a GREAT reason to help support the new building and Library facility now is the time.  It will not only be a big undertaking to relocate the existing material, it will be a big effort to bring in the Philadelphia holdings.   Every member should be proud of this accomplishment and what it does to further the AACA Mission as the primary resource for the collector car hobby.  

Terry

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest Mark McAlpine

The acquisition of the Philadelphia Free Library's Automobile Reference Collection is a fantastic historical addition to the AACA Library & Research Center and reinforces that our Library is the premier automobile library in the world and ensures the preservation of the collection for future generations.  It also highlights the close and important relationship between the AACA and Simeone Foundation Museum, and Dr. Simeone's equally important role in preserving the history of the automobile.  It's a win-win situation for all involved, but especially for anyone who loves antique automobiles.  We're very fortunate that Thomas McKean had the foresight to compile this amazing collection and then to donate it to the PFL so that it would be preserved for generations to come.  Now it's our club's privilege and responsibility to do the same.  

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I don't post on the forums very often but when something  this momentous happens I think it deserves to recognized. I think that increasing the AACA Library's collection, preserving the collection and making this information available are the most important functions of  AACA. Just think that if there were not dedicated people to this rask how would the rest of us be able to restore, maintain and enjoy this great hobby of ous.

GREAT JOB<WELL DONE to all those who made this happen. Steve R.

 

 

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