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American Road Foundation Conference


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Has the American Road Foundation Conference been canceled? I saw a mention of this on the co-sponsor (Heritage Corridor) website, but wanted to be sure as I was going to register.


I was hoping to discuss the donation of my roadside collection to the University of Michigan, Special Collections Library, Transportation Section. They hold the archives of the original Lincoln Highway Association, plus 1/2 the papers of W. S. Gilbreath (good roads pioneer in IN and MI.) My collection consists of 50,000+ postcards (mostly roadside advertising, 5,000+ road maps and brochures, 500+ route guides and related auto travel narratives, plus photographs, souvenirs and ephemera such as match covers, stickers, water transfer decals. It may take me up to 5 years to complete the donation. There will be some costs involved including appraisals, archival supplies, and the U of M internal charges to scan the items. I will require the postcards to be organized (perhaps geographically by route),scanned, and be available on-line creating a virtual highway.


I presumably have the largest Lincoln Highway collection, and significant depth in the following named highways - Dixie Highway, National Highway, National Old Trails Highway, Pikes Peak Ocean to Ocean Highway, DLD and OLD Highways, Theodore Roosevelt International Highways, Old Spanish Trails Highway, Yellowstone Trail, Pacific Highway, and transcontinental auto travel narratives. I also have extensive collections of the following numbered US Highways: 1, 2, 6, 10, 12, 16, 20, 23, 24, 25, 27, 30, 31, 33, 36, 40, 41, 45, 50, 60, 61, 62, 66, 70, 80, 90, 101, 112, 127, 250, 421. I also collect programmatic architecture, diners, gas stations based on image in addition to routing.


I was considering starting a non-profit to support the donation, archival supplies and scanning charges of the collection. I am not looking for any funds for myself, only to go to U of M to support the collection.


Your comments are appreciated. Thanks.




Russell, aka ypsi-slim

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Hi Russell,


Thanks for posting.


First, yes, unfortunately, the in-person conference has been postponed until 2012. However, we are going to host five virtual meetings instead - the dates are currently being finalized and we will make an announcement in the next few weeks. The board and the conference committee are going to meet in person in Joliet on the 22nd of this month.


The in-person conference was canceled because we received feedback from many people that they could not obtain approval for travel expenses this year given the present budget situation many states are facing.


The Foundation would be very interested in discussing your collection and how we might work together. Your timing is perfect, as we are considering projects for the Foundation at the upcoming board meeting. Please contact me at becky@americanroadmagazine.com to discuss this further.




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That is one very impressive collection! I knew it was. It sure makes my assemblage (I try not to claim it rises to collection status) seem puny!


It is great that your plan is to have the University digitize much of it. Not only will we all then have access to it, it will also keep several student assistants fully occupied for a long time! I wish I was in the college going age. What a treat it would be to look your materials over!


I have wondered if U of M (or any other university) is making use of the Lincoln Highway materials or materials such as yours in a road history curriculum. Do you happen to know?




Keep the Show on the Road!

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