So far our methodology discussion has covered corporate hierarchy changes, as well as the first subseries, Trade Catalogs. As you may recall, this subseries is separated into Specific Model, Various Model, and Fleet Vehicle trade catalogs. Today, I’d like to describe the second subseries, called General Publications. Before we dive in, here is a quick refresher of the collection’s overall hierarchy:
Series 1. Automobile Makes
1.1 Car Make
1.1.1 Trade catalogs
126.96.36.199. Specific Models
188.8.131.52. Various Models
184.108.40.206. Fleet Vehicles
1.1.2. General Publications
1.1.3. Media Information
The simplest way to understand the General Publications category is as the “Everything but…” subseries. It includes everything but trade catalogs, media kits, and serials. As you might imagine, this can include an extremely wide array of items. To make sense of it all, we sort them by topic or subject.
Here is a list of frequently used divisions:
- Accessory Catalogs
- Apparel Catalogs
- Color and Upholstery Selections
- Company Overviews (includes corporate histories)
- Dealer Mailings
- Environmental Initiatives
- Narrative Catalogs
- Owner’s Manuals
- Price Lists
- Promotional Items (i.e. coloring books, comic books, other two-dimensional freebies.)
- Safety Features
- Salesman Literature
- Technology and Innovation
This list is just a small sample of the categories that you will see on the finished finding aid. Also, our list is always expanding and changing since processing a new company often means finding a type of publication that you haven’t encountered before. If there are any particular items of note within one of these categories (something rare or that is likely to be of interest to researchers), there will be specific mention in the narrative portion of the finding aid. (As a reminder, each subseries of the finding aid will have a narrative description, as well as a complete box and folder list displaying all the folders in the subseries.)
Feel free to post any questions you might have about the methodology or arrangement in the comments section below.
In the coming weeks, our next methodology post will explore the final two subseries, Media Information and Serials. Until then, come back next week to learn about some of the oldest items in the Vinson Collection.
Emily Cottle is the Project Archivist/Cataloger for the Z. Taylor Vinson Collection at Hagley Museum and Library.