Holy Cow Batman! A trailer truck load of literature has arrived at the AACA Library & Research Center in Hershey, PA! Yes, the completely full, double and triple stacked 54′ commercial trailer was full of literature, films and ephemera mostly about the world of racing. This is the collection amassed by the former publisher of Speed Age, Don O’Reilly. The collection was donated to the library by a very good friend and supporter of AACA.
Don O’Reilly was a prolific writer, photographer and historian, which led him through a career of many assignments with NASCAR and magazines. Don practically invented the genre of writing about auto racing beyond the Indy 500. He brought stock car racing and his love for local race tracks to mainstream publications and had a lot to do with starting NASCAR on its way to such great heights today. For those who wish to know more about him, there is a definitive piece written about him by Charles B. Camp in the November/December 2011 issue of Vintage Motorsports.
O’Reilly must have had a big garage as he had collected a massive treasure of early magazines ranging from his own ventures to all the other popular race car magazines of the era. He also collected titles such as Popular Mechanics and Automotive News. Basically, if there was a story about the automobile industry or racing, he saved it! Voluminous photographs, home videos and other resources are being uncovered by the AACA Library staff. Every day is going to be a treasure hunt going through the 500+ boxes that arrived recently.
The Don O’Reilly Collection will be properly archived, digitized where appropriate and cataloged for future historians and fans to use. The AACA Library & Research Center is a 501 (C) (3) organization and is a free public library. With over 1,250,000 items in its holdings, three librarians with their master degrees and a purpose-built facility, the library is a great resource for the collector car hobby. Visit www.aacalibrary.org for more information.