Monday, March 11, 2013

Automotive Library Arrives

by Nancy DeWitt
© Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum

We recently acquired a library from the estate of J. Parker Wickham, the Long Island car enthusiast from whom we purchased 19 cars and one motorcycle to start our museum. Mr. Wickham built a substantial collection of old books and literature over the years, and we are grateful to be the new conservators of his library. Many of the books and pamphlets are more than one hundred years old.

As the historian for the museum, I was delighted to see many of the titles as they were uncrated, including a complete set of Automobile Quarterly books. Not surprisingly, Willy was fascinated by the old service and operation manuals. The docents who helped unpack the books were also intrigued, as shown by Ron at right. Imagine needing a book to learn how to drive a car!

As you can see, some of the books have curious titles, and others are in very poor shape. In addition to entering every book into a database, we need to determine how to best preserve some of the most fragile ones. Unfortunately, we do not have space to display the books or allow for public access to them. However, if you are interested in doing research on a specific topic, contact us and we will see if we can accommodate you.

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