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For all of us who love automotive history and are considered gear heads, motors heads, or chrome divas the annual Automotive Authors Book Fair at the Detroit Public Library’s Skillman Branch on Saturday November 21st is Mecca. Now in its’ fourth year it is the one place where auto aficionados can experience a day of talking cars and car history and meeting automotive authors. Twenty three authors of automotive books from all over the USA and Canada will gather in one place to showcase their books, but also you get to talk to them personally and have them sign a book for you. All the questions and curiosity you have can be released on this group of car writers. So, if you are looking for a truly interesting afternoon (2pm to 5 pm) this is something you will not want to miss. Not only is the Fair a good thing, but also the historic building is one of Detroit’s treasurers. Last year I attended and was impressed with the scope of author’s and how willing everyone was to share their knowledge. This event is tailor made for groups looking for a quality outing spanning many ages. I am thinking target groups might be: a Girl Scout or Boy Scout troop, Woodward Dream Cruise groupies, and car clubs. Bring your cameras for photo opportunities with the authors, as you never know who is going to end up on the New York Times best seller list. You could have a valuable collectible book in a few years.
Hanging predominately in the NAHC is the 1908 poster “Winged Wonder” by artist Jean Paleologue. The NAHC’s collection also contains the rarely seen 1905 version of this poster. The depth of the collection which has over 600,000 items is a national treasure
We should brag about the Skillman Branch of the library which is home to the famous National Automotive History Collection known as the NAHC. John Gibson, interim Coordinator for Special Collections, stated, “Now in its’ fourth years, the Automotive Authors Book Fair has proven to be an event that excites both the automotive writers and their readers. Book creation is mostly done in isolation so the Book Fair gives the authors a chance to interact with their readers and, importantly, a chance to meet each other. Based on the wide acceptance of Automotive Authors Book Fair and its’ history of attendance and growth, we expect 2009 even to top all records”. The NAHC contains resources of over 600,000 photographs, articles, research and memorabilia related to the automobile’s historical, social, mechanical and design aspects. There are: biographical files, personal papers, business documents and insight into the auto industry. There is nothing like it in the world. It is unique to Detroit. We are proud to have it here. I find when I mention it to people they are surprised this treasure trove exists. It is rich in auto lore and facts. Many of the authors at the book fair did much of their research at the NAHC. For car people it is a must visit place.
An exceptional photo from 1900 in the NAHC shows a contest between a bicycle and a motorized vehicle. The NAHC’s collection traces automotive history from the beginning of the industry.
Throughout the coming event some of authors will speak about their area of interest and expertise. For example: John Heitmann, author of “The automobile and American Life” will take us through a drive of auto history. For all your Mustang fans and owners - John Clor, author of “The Mustang Dynasty” will focus on this historic vehicle and its’ creation. Plus, Anthony Yanik, author of “History of Maxwell Motor Company" will extol on a slice of past automotive successes. The talks as well as admission into the Fair are free. So talk about value, fun and an interesting experience – here it is!
A 1960’s photo shows a cast of auto show talent prior to the opening of the Detroit auto show. Part of the NAHC’S collection documents marketing efforts in the industry.
Event Info: 2009 Automotive Authors Book Fair
Date: Saturday, November 21
Time: 2pm to 5 pm
Cost: Event is free & there is ample parking at metered spaces and nearby private lots
121 Gratiot Avenue
Margery Krevsky is author of Sirens of Chrome: the enduring allure of auto show models published by Momentum publishing
For more information on other auto heritage sites, visit www.motorcities.org.
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