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Tail Lights: December 12, 2015

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.

Tail Lights
Automotive History from a Different Perspective

Volume 4, Issue 5
A Happy Anniversary

Bill Crittenden
12 December 2015

Audi R8 V8 4.2FSI QuattroAudi R8 V8 4.2FSI Quattro from Colin Hubbard's Speedmonkey review.


It's been a while since I've written. While not a lot has been going on the site lately, we've been extremely busy behind the scenes. 2015 wasn't the year I thought it would be, but with one extra year of preparation 2016 should be the year I thought 2015 would be.

Tail Lights is back to the old text format because there's so much new material from so many new available sources that I want to free up time to focus on building the Library's collection. Plus, Adobe Acrobat doesn't work on my new computer. This is just a short "hello" to mark the anniversary and get a starting point for further issues.

Ten years ago I registered CarsAndRacingStuff.com with the intention of building an online store with my father-in-law, John Walczak. In addition to the model kits and collectible cards, I thought I would post a few articles I wrote, a collection of Heidi's Chicago Auto Show photos, and a database of model kits & die cast cars to be a draw into the site.

Throughout 2006 I started enjoying building my little source of information, and on September 5 I gave up on the store and turned my collection of information into The Crittenden Automotive Library.

At first, it wasn't a major priority for me, just one of a few hobbies. As the economy turned and extra money was needed, my priorities changed and I spent years chasing some spark that might make the site big enough to make some money so I could quit a job situation that was stressful to the point of damaging my health. I bounced from project to project, and the Library became a disorganized mess.

As life calmed down and proper priorities were rediscovered, I spent the last half of 2014 and all of 2015 organizing and cleaning up the mess, making the site look more professional, and readying the Library to be a valuable institution to the field of automobile history.

So...let's try this again. 2016: ready, set, GO!

Major Additions

Speedmonkey: Over the summer I completed adding Matt & Colin Hubbard's Speedmonkey articles. The blog ran from 2012-2015 and includes a lot of news, commentary, and original reviews from the British market.

Dead Trees

For my birthday I recently acquired the two-volume set of the 1999 Pontiac Grand Prix/Oldsmobile Alero Service Manual. I also purchased the Haynes Manual for Toyota Matrix & Pontiac Vibe for the Library's own 2003 Vibe AWD. They will be added to the Reference Desk list soon.

Current Library Statistics

Articles: 29,027
Images: 34,000+
Publications: 707,283 pages in 8,173 documents
Video: 1 week, 11:56:50
Audio: 2 weeks, 5 days, 9:44:23
Event Photography: 181 sets

November (vs. October): 16,633 (-160) page views from 9,480 (+910) visitors, daily average of 554.4 (+12.7) page views from 316 (+39.6) visitors.

Current Social Media Statistics

Facebook: 406 Likes
Instagram: 424 Followers
Pinterest: 6 Followers
Tumblr: 134 Followers
Twitter: 1,071 Followers

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 707,000 pages of books, periodicals, and documents, over 29,000 individual articles, more than 7 days of video and 19 days of audio, more than 34,000 photographs & other images, and a Reference Desk with more than 225 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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