Archival Processing Methdology: Part 4

The last methodology post left off with a discussion of the General Publications subseries. The last two subseries to discuss are Media Information and Serials.

As usual, I’d like to start with a refresher of the arrangement hierarchy (click on the linked subseries names below to read more about their arrangements in our previous methodology posts):

Series 1. Automobile Makes
1.1 Car Make
1.1.1 Trade catalogs
1.1.1.1. Specific Models
1.1.1.2. Various Models
1.1.1.3. Fleet Vehicles
1.1.2. General Publications
1.1.3. Media Information
1.1.4. Serials

The Media Information subseries contains press releases and media kits. These come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Many are just traditional folders containing printed press releases, with a selection of photographs and slides. Others are shaped like gas tanks or are wrapped in bandanas and contain electronic media such as floppy discs, CDs, or flash drives.

These kits are arranged by motor show, model, or subject. Motor shows represented prominently include North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), Frankfurt Motor Show, Geneva Motor Show, Paris Motor Show, and New York International Auto Show, among others. If the kit is not indicated for a specific show, but instead a model, it is filed under that model’s name. If the kit is not for a show or a model, but instead discusses a particular subject, such as safety features or new hybrid or environmental advances, the kit will be filed under the subject (i.e. Safety Features or Environmental Initiatives). Lastly, if a kit covers multiple topics or models, it is simply filed under Press Releases and arranged chronologically. This is where you will find many kits advertising a company’s full line-up when kits were not designed for a specific motor show.

Serials are largely made up of reprints of articles from automotive magazines. Frequently represented titles include The Motor, Road & Track, Autocar, and Car and Driver. Also included in this group are complete issues of serials published by particular companies, often directed at owners of their vehicles. The number of issues varies from company to company. Sometimes decades are represented with every issue included; other times, there is just a scattered issue here or there.

Keep in mind that the serials contained in this section are only those that are produced by a specific company or about a specific company. General automotive serials will be cataloged in the regular Library Catalog.

This wraps up all of the subseries in the Automobile Makes series. Future methodology posts will highlight challenges such as foreign languages and undated materials. Use the comments section for any questions or comments.

Emily Cottle is the Project Archivist/Cataloger for the Z. Taylor Vinson Collection at Hagley Museum and Library.

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