SPAAMFAA Archives

The SPAAMFAA Archives consists of 120 feet plus of shelved materials, flat files, vertical files and hundreds of books. We collect material on the design, manufacturing and manufacturers of American fire apparatus. The collections include material on hand (manual), horse (steam) and motor (gas & diesel) equipment from the smallest detail to the complete, operating machine.

Donating a 2-D item to the Archives: Contact Ed Peterson, our Archivist since 1985, to discuss your item(s) and whether it would be appropriate for SPAAMFAA to have. Ed’s phone is 717-566-2626 or email.  Other members of the Archives Committee (as of December 2015) are Steve Heaver (chair), Frank Tremel, Anthony Buono and Tim Cosgrove.

Doing Research in the Collections: Until later in the Spring of 2016, the Archives are closed for renovation, so please be patient. Once it us announced that we are ‘open for business’ you will be asked to contact the Librarian on site in the American Trucking Historical Society (ATHS) in Kansas City, Missouri, to make your request. All of the archival materials belong to SPAAMFAA but they reside at the ATHS HQ building as of November 2015.

Research may be done in one of three ways: you may make an appointment to visit the library and archives, you will be able to search our electronic files when that feature becomes available, or you may request hard copies and ‘real’ photographs from the staff. Our non-book materials are sorted mainly by the manufacturer’s name but you will be able to cross reference everything electronically, in time. It may be 2017 before we will be completely up with this new system. The second goal will be to scan all of the illustrative material so that you will be able to see stuff and make ‘watermarked’ copies on your printer. This will take 3-5 years depending upon staffing. In the meantime, here’s a searchable PDF showing a portion of the materials contained in the Archives.

Donating Money to the Archives: SPAAMFAA will need to support its Archives & Library in a different and stronger way than it has in the past. A really basic change has been the increase of the annual rental fee because we now own the collections ourselves AND because there had not been an increase in fee since 1985. We will be paying for acid-free storage material, and cataloging and researching services. The Lee Soderbeck Fund was established many years ago to support the Archives and quite a few of you have contributed over time. Please continue to do so any time during the year. The Board of Trustees is initiating a gift opportunity, i.e., a line on the annual dues notice, where you may give money over your dues renewal. All of these gifts will go into a restricted fund. Please contact any member of the Archives Committee for information; send a contribution to the Treasurer unless it is part of your dues renewal. Just mark the note line: Archives.

What’s Happening In Kansas City: The Board and Archives Committee started planning for the move from Hershey to KC last Spring when we were notified by the AACA to remove our material from Hershey. To make a long story short, Ed began packing and recording immediately. A team of volunteers under David Napier moved everything into boxes and a moving van on 19th November; the truck then headed for Tom Scott’s house in Tennessee to pick a wonderful gift of his library. Those cartons were filled and loaded by local fire fighters. Once the truck arrived at KC, another team, also under Past-President Napier, unloaded the truck into a holding space at ATHS. The shelving truck arrived that afternoon so this team unloaded that truck as well. Next came the team to assemble the shelf units and set them up.

All of the SPAAMFAA materials are now shelved (as of January 2016) and can be easily found. We continue to index electronically for a master list of material. The Archive Committee’s goal is to have a complete index on line by Spring of 2016. We ask that you make no inquiries at the library until further notice as we are not prepared to handle this.

The next goal will be to begin detailing the contents of each box and file so that members will be able to search on line. How fast we can get how much material on line will be determined by the Society’s fund raising efforts to hire a staff member.

The library will continue to accept gifts of archival (2D) materials and the Committee asks that you contact Ed Peterson directly to discuss such photographs or specifications that you have in mind.

The Tom Scott collection of rare books has been shelved.  Click Here for a look at what the collection contains.