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Z. Taylor Vinson collection of transportation ephemera, Series X. Spacecraft
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Z. Taylor Vinson collection of transportation ephemera, Series X. Spacecraft

Accession 20100108.ZTV.X

Published Collections Department, Hagley Museum and Library

PO Box 3630
Wilmington, Delaware, 19807

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 2014-02-10T13:46-0500

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, Series X. Spacecraft (Accession 20100108.ZTV.X), Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE 19807


Descriptive Summary

Title: Z. Taylor Vinson collection of transportation ephemera, Series X. Spacecraft
Dates: 1959-2009
Accession Number: 20100108.ZTV.X
Creator: Vinson, Z. Taylor
Extent: 2 linear feet
Language of Material: Most of the materials are in English, but also include one item in French.
Repository: Hagley Museum and Library: Published Collections Department
Abstract: This series documents spacecraft and space exploration.

Administrative Information


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.

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.


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.


Scope and Content

This series documents spacecraft and space exploration. Material include mission reports, general publications, clippings, brochures, a congressional report, congressional testimony, and an information sheet.



Arranged alphabetically by subject and thereunder, chronologically.


Series Descriptions and Inventory

10-1 Apollo 8-Apollo 17, 1968-1973 [Contains materials pertaining to the following American manned space flights: Apollo 8; Apollo 9; Apollo 10; Apollo 11; Apollo 12; Apollo 13; Apollo 14; Apollo 15; Apollo 16; and Apollo 17. Items include NASA published reports for all the above missions, an Apollo 14 launch invitation, an Apollo 14 schedule of events, and a map of Florida's Space Coast.]
10-OS1 Apollo 11, 2009 [Contains a newspaper section of The New York Times regarding the 40 th anniversary of Apollo 11 moon landing mission.]
10-1 Clipping File, 1961-1962 [Contains newspaper sections from the Los Angeles Times and The New York Times regarding space flight and space exploration.]
10-1 Congressional Report, 1959 [Contains a copy of the Congressional report The Next Ten Years in Space, 1959-1969, which was prepared by the U.S. House of Representatives' Select Committee on Astronautics and Space Exploration.]
10-1 Congressional Testimony, 1996 [Contains a copy of testimony from the Congressional hearing Life on Mars?, which was held by the U.S. House of Representatives' Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics, and a copy of testimony from the Congressional hearing Life on Discovery of Evidence of Past Life on Mars, which was held by the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Science, Technology, and Space.]
10-1 European Space Agency, 1982 [Contains a brochure regarding the European Space Agency's various space programs.]
10-1 International Space Station, 1990s [Contains 2 brochures regarding the International Space Station.]
10-1 Space Shuttle, 1983 [Contains 2 booklets and a photo reproduction regarding the Space Shuttle published by Rockwell International. Also contains a brochure/poster of the Space Shuttle published by the U.S. Information Service.]
10-1 X-30, 1991 [Contains a NASA information sheet for the X-30 National Aero-Space Plane.]