The SCCA Archives strives to preserve a racing treasure trove that isn’t necessarily a standard size
Sometimes people struggle to see the big picture. But in the case of the SCCA Archives, the challenge was properly storing the big picture – literally finding place to properly preserve the many oversized items that comprise an important part of the collection. And to that end, SCCA Archives technicians at the International Motor Racing Research Center (IMRRC) in Watkins Glen reached out to the SCCA Foundation for help in finding a solution for SCCA’s larger items in the Archives.
Foundation Board member Bob Eddy answered the call and commenced a nationwide search for specialized large format, flat storage cabinets of the type often found at architectural firms and art studios. An initial lead to used cabinets in an abandoned office in Oklahoma did not pan out, but a second lead to a source in Roanoke, Va., resulted in pay dirt – 11 five-drawer steel cabinets and one 10-drawer cabinet in excellent condition and available immediately. Bob even negotiated for the drawers to be delivered to the IMRRC’s storage facility in Montour Falls, N.Y.
Thanks to the generous donations of so many people during the year, including participation in the popular annual Sweepstakes fundraiser (reminder: tickets for the F1 VIP trip and Skip Barber school are still on sale until Sept. 3), the Foundation was able to fully fund the purchase and delivery of the desperately needed storage cabinets. “The new flat storage cases are the best way to preserve the oversized graphics of the SCCA Archives,” explains Archives technician Rick Hughey. “We have tons of posters, circuit maps, racecar blueprints, and some autographed flags from the Runoffs.”
When the SCCA Archives relocated to the IMRRC, in consideration of the space and storage constraints, Head Archivist Jenny Ambrose had her team concentrated on other parts of the collection for which there were available storage facilities. The ability to now work with the large-format items opened a whole new world of what she describes as hidden treasures.
“Now that we have the new cabinets, the SCCA Archives technicians started the process of unpacking and unrolling the large-format graphics,” explains Ambrose. “The early race posters from tracks and air bases from all over the country that Joe and Rick have discovered so far are truly remarkable. These posters from the 1950s and 1960s nicely complement the Archive’s many early race programs, another strength of the SCCA collection.”
Having this important collection of SCCA history preserved in the right manner in the proper facilities for doing so continues to be a core mission of the SCCA Foundation. The great work being done by Ambrose and team at the IMRRC would not have been possible without the generous support of so many SCCA members over the years. But most particularly, we remember and honor the significant contribution of longtime SCCA member R. David Jones in financing the relocation of the several trailer-loads of materials to Watkins Glen. While we will miss his presence at our Club meetings and events, his legacy continues to benefit the SCCA through the ongoing work to preserve the Archives.
This feature appeared in the July 2019 issue of SportsCar magazine.