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Tail Lights: October 25, 2014

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Opinions expressed by Bill Crittenden are not official policies or positions of The Crittenden Automotive Library. You can read more about the Library's goals, mission, policies, and operations on the About Us page.



Volume 3, Issue 12
Digital Scissors

Bill Crittenden
October 25, 2014

Peter Ryan and Chuck DaighUp-the-tailpipe view as Peter Ryan's #83 Lotus is about to be passed by Daigh in Scarab. 1961 Pacific Grand Prix


One of the greatest advantages of digital information is the idea of hypertext. Hypertext is the formal name for the code that connects one web page to another, most commonly known in the form of a link from one web page to another. It makes the entire body of the internet's text function like a card catalog of itself, minus the inconvenience of having to physically go and find the next book on the shelves.

Like a card catalog system, the lines of links in The Crittenden Automotive Library (the "cards" of the hypertext-based Topic Pages here) can be placed in multiple locations pointing to the same book or article. Hypertext can also be used to copy one image onto multiple pages.

On paper, I have several magazine advertisements in my personal collection which can be classified multiple ways. One I keep seeing is for Lee Filters, featuring the BRE Datsun 510. I filed it under Lee Filters, but someone searching for information on BRE Racing or the driver or Datsun 510's in rally racing might also be interested.

What if I could put it in all four places? When I get around to scanning it, using hypertext, I can do just that.

With the online C.A. Library, I can take one scan of an image and through copying image tags (linking to one original file, no need to copy files) to various pages I can make that one file appear on as many pages of The Crittenden Automotive Library as I want.

This feature is incredibly useful for old racing magazines, which often have a lot of pictures with multiple drivers & subjects in them. One in particular that I've digitally "cut apart" is the January 1962 issue of Today's Motor Sports, covering the end of the 1961 racing season. This useful feature of the online C.A. Library starts right off on the cover, with an image of Bruce McLaren and Jack Brabham in the paddock at the 1961 United States Grand Prix. Thanks to hypertext, I've included the image on the page dedicated to the magazine issue itself (the full copy is linked to from the 1962 Publications Index), the United States Grand Prix page, and the pages of each of the drivers.

You can also view the issue cover-to-cover on the issue's page, which has been online for a few months, or now you can see most of the pictures from the issue on each driver's individual Topic Page. all without physically damaging the original copy, which now resides in an acid-free protective covering in an archival-quality box in a climate-controlled room for safekeeping.

Not that the copy was perfect to start with, but at least it won't suffer any more damage in its new home.

But digitally, it's been cut apart into over 90 individual photographs, many of which appear on multiple pages for the multiple drivers they depict, as well as pages for each individual article and the aforementioned complete issue page.

As I complete a major reorganization of my paper materials, many more items not yet available anywhere else on the internet will be coming online. I have a large collection of 1970's advertisements given to me by John Walczak and they'll be going on the scanner as time allows. Including a nice Lee Filters ad with a BRE Datsun 510 from back in the day.

History Beyond the Fenders

This issue's History Beyond the Fenders entry comes from the music industry again. Online music service Spotify has been used for "mood music" playlists by automakers' marketers, collections of songs selected to fit with each vehicle's marketing and image.

The first two I've come across are for the Lincoln MKC mini-luxury-crossover and the Porsche Macan.

Text lists of both playlists have been added to each vehicle's page for preservation long after they may be taken down from the music service. Sorry, it's just a text list, but all the songs are in copyright. Just download Spotify on your phone and a simple search should do for finding them both.

This reminded me that these playlists aren't a new marketing tool. I'm not sure who started it or used it most effectively but I personally remember that Nissan had done this before. I received a CD with my brochures in 2000 when I was very interested in a blue extended cab version of the redesigned 2001 Nissan Frontier.

I never ended up buying the truck, but I still have the CD, and that playlist is in the C.A. Library now, too.

And when I went to track down the CD in my collection, I discovered I had a whole stack of discs handed out at the Chicago Auto Show or sent with (or instead of) traditional brochures. Scion, trying to establish itself as a youth-oriented alternative-culture-friendly marque, had been very involved producing mix CDs with small artists from across the spectrum of music but heavily favoring young urban artists.

All of the playlists & track lists I've discovered will be linked to from the Audio Playlist page in the Multimedia section.

Dead Trees

Thanks to the good folks at the Friends of the McHenry Public Library there are now three books in my reference collection published by Trailer Life on recreational vehicle living and repairs, one odd obscure book on getting into kart racing, and an autobiography of drag racer Greg Moser (if memory serves, the first drag racing book in my collection), as well as a few other odds & ends.

Also noteworthy was finding a collection of Ken Purdy's automotive essays from Playboy Press. For those who have read the articles, the "Playboy lifestyle" was about more than underfed bottle-blonde girls. It involved sophistication in all sorts of life's pursuits, but then pictures of cigars and fine yachts just aren't as memorable, are they? Well, now I have a collection of essays in my collection, many of them from the pages of Playboy over the years, all without keeping copies of adult magazines where my kid can find them, nor will I ever have to try and explain that "I have them for the articles!" to my wife.

About The Crittenden Automotive Library

The Crittenden Automotive Library @ CarsAndRacingStuff.com, based in Woodstock, Illinois, is an online collection of information relating to not only cars, trucks, and motorcycles, but also the roads they drive on, the races they compete in, cultural works based on them, government regulation of them, and the people who design, build, and drive them.  We are dedicated to the preservation and free distribution of information relating to all types of cars and road-going vehicles for those seeking the greater understanding of these very important elements of modern society, how automobiles have affected how people live around the world, or for the general study of automotive history and anthropology.  In addition to the historical knowledge, we preserve current events for future generations.

The Library currently consists of over 537,000 pages of books, periodicals, and documents, over 22,700 individual articles, more than a week of video and two weeks of audio, more than 22,000 photographs & other images, and a Reference Desk with more than 120 book volumes and thousands of advertising brochures & documents kept available for the information they contain but can't be copied into the online Library for sharing due to copyright.



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