So we’ve mentioned this collection is large, but how large is it? 700 cubic feet, which arrived at Hagley in approximately 674 boxes. The purpose of this post is to familiarize you with the types of materials present in this collection.
The collection contains both two-dimensional paper objects, like catalogs and photographs, and three-dimensional objects, like model cars and promotional freebies.
The bulk of the Z. Taylor Vinson collection consists of hundreds of thousands of trade catalogs from makes and models around the world. These companies include some that were only in existence very briefly. Catalogs date from the dawn of the automobile in 1891 all the way through to 2010.
In addition to trade catalogs, there are all of the other publications that the car companies released to advertise for their company and their products. Topics covered include: company histories, interior and exterior color and upholstery choices, accessory and options catalogs, internal salesman instructional publications, and much, much more. Also included are press kits for various motor shows, which include photographs, slides, and CDs. There are also calendars and posters.
The collection also contains a large number of serials. These include those published by particular automobile companies (i.e. Audi Magazine), in addition to those considered general automobile magazines (i.e. Motor Trend or Road & Track).
Mr. Vinson had a large collection of books which covered all topics of automobilia, as well as transportation in general, including books on planes, trains, blimps, and boats. (Don’t forget these books have already been cataloged and can be found by searching the library catalog for “The Z. Taylor Vinson Collection.”)
Model cars and other three-dimensional objects, including everything from hubcaps to ice scrapers to toilet paper holders, round out the remainder of the collection.
In the coming weeks, we will be sharing some information about how these 674 boxes are being arranged and described to make them accessible to research. Come back next week for our first post highlighting one of the interesting items in the collection.
October is American Archives Month and Hagley Library is celebrating by holding a Z. Taylor Vinson Collection Information Day! Come to the library building on Saturday October 8th from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm to get a sneak peak at the collection.
Emily Cottle is the Project Archivist/Cataloger for the Z. Taylor Vinson Collection at Hagley Museum and Library.