Z. Taylor Vinson collection of transportation ephemera

Accession 20100108.ZTV

Published Collections Department, Hagley Museum and Library


PO Box 3630
Wilmington, Delaware, 19807
302-658-2400
research@hagley.org

Finding aid prepared by Emily Cottle, Laura Muskavitch, Robin Valencia, Nicole Watts, Kenton Jaehnig, Alison Kreitzer, Annalise Berdini, and Vicki Wasserman in 2013.,

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2013-12-13T15:56-0500

Finding aid prepared using best local practices and Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Cite items for this collection in the following format:
[Description and dates], Box/folder number, Z. Taylor Vinson collection of transportation ephemera (Accession 20100108.ZTV), Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE 19807

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Descriptive Summary

Title: Z. Taylor Vinson collection of transportation ephemera
Dates: 1860-2011, bulk 1893-2009
Accession Number: 20100108.ZTV
Creator: Vinson, Z. Taylor
Extent: 1300 linear feet
Language of Material: English
Repository: Hagley Museum and Library: Published Collections Department
Abstract: Consists of Z. Taylor Vinson's collection of transportation ephemera, which focuses primarily on automobile history but also documents other forms of transportation. Includes trade catalogs, books, magazines, and artifacts in addition to manuscripts relating to Vinson's career at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
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Administrative Information


Provenance

Gift of the Z. Taylor Vinson Estate, 2010.

Processing Notes

The collection was processed with support from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives grant.

Access Restrictions

Vinson’s manuscript A Collector’s Life: An Autobiography, included in Series XIII, is closed to researchers until 2035.

Use Restrictions

Copyright restrictions may apply.

The collection is housed in off-site storage. Please allow 24 hours notice to view the materials. Advance notice is not required for books and periodicals.

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Biographical Note

For over sixty years, Zachary Taylor Vinson (1933-2009) amassed a large and comprehensive collection of printed material documenting on the history transportation, particularly automobiles.

Born and raised in West Virginia, Vinson was a 1955 graduate of Princeton University. He served in the U.S. Army in Germany, then moved to New York City to work in advertising until he graduated from the University of Virginia Law School in 1961. Vinson practiced law with O’Melveney & Meyers in Los Angeles, California and the International Finance Corporation in Washington, D.C. until 1967 when he began working as a senior lawyer with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a position he held until his retirement in 2003. Vinson played a significant role in the drafting of federal safety regulations governing tires and those requiring high-mounted brake lights in the rear window of automobiles, which began with the 1986 model year.

At the age of four, Vinson was introduced to automobile literature when he was given a 1938 Ford trade catalog. Vinson began attending automobile shows to actively collect by the time he turned seven. He would ask that his parents drive him to Huntington’s “Automobile Row,” where Vinson would collect literature from the dealerships located there. By the age of fourteen, Vinson was writing to the British, French, Italian, and Czech embassies in Washington, D.C. to request the addresses of automakers in those countries from whom he could obtain literature.

As he grew older, Vinson collected trade literature from additional sources, including, but not limited to, automobile manufacturers, fellow collectors, memorabilia dealers, auto shows, and auctions. He eventually amassed so much material that he built an addition to his Virginia home to store it all, which he referred to as his “Autotorium.”

In addition to collecting, Vinson was an active member of automobile organizations. He was president of the Society of Automotive Historians from 1993 to 1995 and served as the editor of Automotive History Review from 1995 to 2009. Z. Taylor Vinson passed away at the age of 76 on October 25, 2009.

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Scope and Content

Consists of Z. Taylor Vinson's collection of transportation ephemera, which focuses primarily on automobile history but also documents other forms of transportation. Includes trade catalogs, books, magazines, and artifacts in addition to manuscripts relating to Vinson's career at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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Separated Material

Books, periodicals, and selected trade catalogs are located in the Imprints Department. Item level inventories are included in Series XIV of this finding aid and can be found in Hagley's online library catalog.

Artifacts were transferred to the museum division. An item level inventory is included in Series XXV of this finding aid.

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Series Descriptions and Inventory

I. Automobile makes, 1893‐2010, undated
625 linear feet
Scope and Content
Consists of trade catalogs for specific models of cars and other vehicles, serials on specific automobile makes, press releases, media kits, and a variety of other types of publications by car companies.
Click here to view a complete, detailed inventory for this collection.
II. Automobiles - Miscellaneous, 1904-2010, undated
11 linear feet
Scope and Content
Click here to view a complete, detailed inventory for this collection.
III. Automobiles - Vertical files, 1901-2010, undated
17 linear feet
Scope and Content
Primarily consists of clippings (newspapers, magazine, trade catalogs) in addition to correspondence, publications, brochures, research notes and papers, and press releases.
Click here to view a complete, detailed inventory for this collection.
IV. Airlines, 1919-2009, undated
7 linear feet
Scope and Content
Consists of airline identification cards, clippings of airline advertisements, speeches by airline officials, fleet catalogs, government publications, publications created for airline passengers, airline serials, press releases and kits, route maps, flight menus, flight timetables, research notes, ephemera, and other printed materials.
Click here to view a complete, detailed inventory for this collection.
V. Airlines - Miscellaneous, 1919-2008, undated
4 linear feet
Scope and Content
Click here to view a complete, detailed inventory for this collection.
VI. Airplane makes, 1911-2009, undated
5 linear feet
Scope and Content
Consists of trade catalogs; articles and advertisements on airplane manufacturers; U.S. government publications; press kits; newspapers; research notes; serials; speeches by airplane manufacturer officials; and general publications.
Click here to view a complete, detailed inventory for this collection.
VII. Airplanes - Miscellaneous, 1908-2009, undated
4 linear feet
Scope and Content
Click here to view a complete, detailed inventory for this collection.
VIII. Airships, 1909-2008, undated
4 linear feet
Scope and Content
This series documents the history of dirigibles, blimps, and balloons. Includes clippings, publications, general printed materials, fabric samples and correspondence.
Click here to view a complete, detailed inventory for this collection.
IX. Ships, 1880-2006, undated
4 linear feet
Scope and Content
Includes brochures, clippings, menus, programs, passenger lists, and ship plans.
Click here to view a complete, detailed inventory for this collection.
X. Spacecraft, 1959-2009
2 linear feet
Scope and Content
Consists of mission reports, general publications, clippings, brochures, a congressional report, and congressional testimony.
Click here to view a complete, detailed inventory for this collection.
XI. Trains, 1865-2008
5 linear feet
Scope and Content
Consists of brochures, clippings, calendars, timetables, and company reports concerning railroads and railroad equipment.
Click here to view a complete, detailed inventory for this collection.
XII. Manuscripts, 1962-2008, undated
26 linear feet
Scope and Content
Click here to view a complete, detailed inventory for this collection.
XIII. Miscellaneous, 1862-2009, undated
2 linear feet
Scope and Content
Click here to view a complete, detailed inventory for this collection.
XIV. Imprints
355 linear feet
Scope and Content
Consists of Z. Taylor Vinson's collection of books, serials, trade catalogs, and pamphlets, which focuses primarily on automobile history but also documents other forms of transportation.
Click here to view a complete, detailed inventory for this collection.
XV. Magazine tear sheets, 1895-2009, undated
34 linear feet
Scope and Content
Consists of advertisements distributed by automobile manufacturers, coachbuilders, and tire manufacturers.
Click here to view a complete, detailed inventory for this collection.
XVI. Pictorial - Automobiles
15 linear feet
Scope and Content
Consists primarily of photographs and postcards, but also includes blueprints, business and promotional cards, greeting cards, photograph reproductions, prints, photocopies, and slides. Most of the items in the series regard specific automobiles and makes, but some items are more general advertisements for manufacturers or dealerships.
Click here to view a complete, detailed inventory for this collection.
XVII. Pictorial - Aviation
3 linear feet
Scope and Content
Consists primarily of postcards and promotional cards, but also includes some photographs, prints, and transparencies. Most of the items in the series are images of airplane makes and poster reproductions, but some items include images of model planes or illustrations.
Click here to view a complete, detailed inventory for this collection.
XVIII. Pictorial - General transportation
2 linear feet
Scope and Content
Consists primarily of postcards depicting railways and ships, although there are some objects regarding buses, as well as reproductions of historic materials such as telegrams and new headlines, as well as some poster reproductions.
Click here to view a complete, detailed inventory for this collection.
XIX. Pictorial - Miscellaneous
3 linear feet
Scope and Content
Consists of images of real and potentially fictional automobiles, images relating to travel or history, cigarette trading cards, family photographs, and a group of photographs shot by Vinson.
Click here to view a complete, detailed inventory for this collection.
XX. Pictorial - Albums, 1889-2007, undated
2 linear feet
Scope and Content
Photograph albums consist of a variety of media, including photographs, but also including postcards, envelopes, and other promotional materials. Subjects include zeppelins, flight, the Apollo Missions, automobiles, rail travel, travel destinations, designs by Tracta and J.A. Gregoire, and the Excalibur Series.
Click here to view a complete, detailed inventory for this collection.
XXI. Stamps, 1901-2008, undated
1 linear foot
Scope and Content
Most of the items are loose stamps, but there are also a variety of stamped envelopes and printed materials relating to stamps, such as news prints, booklets, and tear sheets. The stamps cover a variety of topics, such as automobiles, travel, aviation, trains, hobbies, history and historic figures. Many of the stamps are part of collections celebrating milestones, such as the 200th Anniversary of Manned Balloon Flight, or the 50th Anniversary of the Flight of the Graf Zeppelin from the Chicago World’s Fair.
Click here to view a complete, detailed inventory for this collection.
XXII. Audiovisual, 1932-2009, undated
4 linear feet
Scope and Content
The materials in this series are mostly promotional videos and brochures for new automobile models circulated by automobile manufacturers. The series consists mainly of VHS tapes, but also includes small numbers of cassette tapes, CDs, DVDs, promotional brochures, and a small amount of correspondence. Only a handful of items concern other forms of transportation, including airplanes and helicopters.
Click here to view a complete, detailed inventory for this collection.
XXIII. Artwork (flat), circa 1915-2008, undated
49 linear feet
Scope and Content
Consists primarily of posters and calendars, but also includes small numbers of art reproductions, billboard sections, blueprints, book and poster sets, calendar pages, drawing reproductions, photo reproductions, prints, shopping bags, and signs. An example of artwork, a display board, a drawing, a fabric print, a map, a scrapbook, a trade catalog, and a wrapping paper sample are found in this series as well.
A large majority of the materials in this series concern automobiles, but a handful of items concerning other forms of transportation, including airlines, airplanes, railroads, and ships are also found here. A few items pertaining to subjects outside the realm of transportation are preserved in this series as well.
Click here to view a complete, detailed inventory for this collection.
XXIV. Artwork (rolled), 1899-2006, undated
16 linear feet
Scope and Content
Consists primarily of posters, but also includes art reproductions, blueprints, calendar pages, a decal, and a drawing reproduction. A photo reproduction, prints, wallpaper, and blueprints are included in this series as well. Most of the materials in the series regard automobiles. Also includes a few items concerning airplanes and railroads and some outside of the realm of transportation.
Click here to view a complete, detailed inventory for this collection.
XXV. Artifacts
100 linear feet
Use Restrictions
Contact the Museum Curator to view these three-dimensional artifacts.
Scope and Content
Click here to view a complete, detailed inventory for this collection.