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Tail Lights: December 26, 2013

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Opinions expressed by Bill Crittenden are not official policies or positions of The Crittenden Automotive Library. You can read more about the Library's goals, mission, policies, and operations on the About Us page.

Volume 2, Issue 12
There's Always Next Year...

Bill Crittenden
December 26, 2013

Pontiac Trans AmsTwo Pontiac Trans Ams at the 2013 Mecum Chicago Auction.  At right, a first-year 1969 (sold for $118,000) and at left, the 30th Anniversary Edition 1999 (69 original miles, sold for $40,000).  More pictures from the auction begin at http://www.CarsAndRacingStuff.com/library/m/mecumauctions_2013chicago.php
Thus begins an even further simplified version of Tail Lights after a few months off.  Why so simple compared to the original version?  Because I want to spend my time adding new content to The Crittenden Automotive Library and not reformatting what I already have!

Event Photography

Since the last update, I've been to the 2013 Mecum Chicago Auction, which was actually in my original hometown of Schaumburg (instead of a hotel, I got to stay in my old teenage-years bedroom).  Over 400 photographs, many of very rare or unusual cars, are now online.  Also, a contributor sent in pictures from the Goodguys Rod & Custom Association's 2013 Lone Star Nationals.

News Articles

Progress continues on transcribing articles from the public domain archives of The New York Times, typing articles from scanned image files into searchable, copy & pastes ready text, recently adding a lot of interesting articles from 1900 & 1922.  Recently the Library's article count topped 17,900.

Contributing to the article count was transcribing articles from a scanned copy of an issue of Florida Automotive Journal from 1970.  I did this to try and fill in the gaping hole in the articles section between public domain's end and the internet news era's begin.  I would love to transcribe all of the books and magazines in the Library, but I don't think I'd have the time even if that's all I worked on until retirement!

Why not just use an automated program like Google uses?  More on that next issue...

Dead Trees

Offline, I've been assembling the collections of random papers, advertisements, and articles about cars ripped from non-automotive magazines into organized binders.  Once this is done, I'll be able to go through the collection much more easily and add what I can to the online Library both in the form of scanned advertisements and typed-in information.

History Beyond the Fenders

Our "History Beyond the Fenders" entries this issue are two sets of pictures of "Trunk-or-Treating" events.  If you haven't heard of it, it takes traditional trick-or-treating to a parking lot, decorated trunks taking the place of decorated houses.  It's safer, more social, and you can usually go a few days before Halloween, which worked out great in Woodstock as the weather for our two Trunk-or-Treating events was chilly but not the full-blown frigid rainstorm that hit on the 31st!  The two events posted in the Library cover both ends of the spectrum, too, one a school group from Mary Endres Elementary and the other a classic car group at the New Berlin Quaker Steak & Lube.

Plans for 2014

My original plan for 2013 was to double the content of the Library, but life took a detour through the land of home improvement and I didn't get nearly as much done as I had wanted.  The goals for 2014 are the same as 2013, but with a few higher numbers to start off with.  So, I'll start 2014 just above article number 17,900, 2 weeks of audio, a week of video, close to a half million pages of documents & books and about 770 races' results entered into the Library.  There are, as best as I can estimate, a little over 22,000 photographs in the Library (they're harder to nail down precise numbers because of the intermingling of .jpg & .png files for different purposes).

So, with a week of 2013 left as a bit of a "head start," it's off and running on 2014!

About The Crittenden Automotive Library

The Crittenden Automotive Library @ CarsAndRacingStuff.com, based in Woodstock, Illinois, is an online collection of information relating to not only cars, trucks, and motorcycles, but also the roads they drive on, the races they compete in, cultural works based on them, government regulation of them, and the people who design, build, and drive them.  We are dedicated to the preservation and free distribution of information relating to all types of cars and road-going vehicles for those seeking the greater understanding of these very important elements of modern society, how automobiles have affected how people live around the world, or for the general study of automotive history and anthropology.  In addition to the historical knowledge, we preserve current events for future generations.

The Library currently consists of over 498,000 pages of books, periodicals, and documents, over 17,900 individual articles, more than a week of video and two weeks of audio, more than 22,000 photographs & other images, and a Reference Desk with over 80 book volumes and thousands of advertising brochures & documents kept available for the information they contain but can't be copied into the online Library for sharing due to copyright.

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