Automotive Archives to Open at Windsor Public Library

When the new Automotive Archives open at Windsor Public Library, it will be the first of its kind in Canada and will be a celebration of the automobile, the industry and its importance to the development of Windsor and Essex County.

The Saturday, January 30 Grand Opening on the second floor of Central Library (850 Ouellette Avenue) will begin at 7 pm and include dinner, a bar, auto memorabilia and artefacts.  Attendees will also be able to view the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction live with fellow automobile aficionados on our big screen TV system.

The WPL Automotive Archives material includes rare vehicle service manuals, dealer publicity materials dating back decades, manufacturing plans for classic models and even a set of rare design concept sketches from a prominent vehicle designer.  Attached is a list of examples of the materials included in the collection.

Windsor Public Library Board Chair, Dr. Peter Frise, believes “motor heads” visiting the archive will feel like “kids in a candy store”. “The collection of sales brochures alone – some dating back to the early 1900s – are unique and trace the development of car design and the vehicle marketing process.  Together with all of the other auto industry materials, data and memorabilia, the archive will be a fascinating window into an important part of Windsor-Essex heritage and a must-see visit for everyone.”

The Automotive Archives is the latest phase of a complete overhaul of the Central library.  Other projects include a Local History Centre and a space dedicated to technology, such as 3-D printers, which will be available for community use later in 2016.

“The new Automotive Archives is certainly something Windsorites can be proud of and is long overdue.  It’s important that public libraries celebrate their community’s heritage. The auto industry and Windsor go hand-in-hand. This is Windsor and this is our heritage!” says WPL CEO Kitty Pope.

Much of the funding for the rejuvenation of the Central Library, including the opening last year of our Library Living Room – a large area furnished with comfortable chairs and tables –  comes from a bequest last year of $250,000 from the estate of Norman Young and his wife Denise Young.

Tickets for the GRAND OPENING of the Automotive Archive can be purchased for $80. Tax receipts will be issued for a portion of the ticket price.  Tickets can be purchased online here.

The GRAND OPENING will also serve as a fund raiser for Windsor Public Library, with monies raised directed to much needed IT equipment.

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6 Responses to "Automotive Archives to Open at Windsor Public Library"

  1. Mike longmoore says:

    Is there, or will there be a section on the history of the UAW in Canada?

  2. Just curious as to why WPL would need to use this as a fund raiser for new IT supports, services or equipment. Isn’t IT run by the City of Windsor they took that over a few years ago from WPL including the staff.

    • Windsor Public Library says:

      Thank you for your question. Yes, you are correct, WPL is now a city department. We are using the Automotive Archives opening as an opportunity to provide technology which wasn’t in our 2016 budget and which will enhance the visitor experience.

  3. David Garlick says:

    May I ask, what original documents are housed at WPL in this area? I ask because my understanding is that the municipal archives was full a number of years ago. Plus, information from W.D. Lowe, which I brought to the archives more than 15 years ago has yet to be processed and made available.

    • Nancy Peel says:

      Regarding the Lowe materials, we’re pleased to announce that the W.D. Lowe yearbooks you donated will be available in our Archives/Local History Room in the yearbook collection by the end of January. Thank you again for your generous donation.

      Other items were accessioned at the time of their acceptance into the Archives, and are awaiting processing. It is our hope that the additional resources now allocated to the Archives will speed this process.

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