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Beaulieu National Motor Museum celebrates 60th anniversary of heritage library

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A SERIES of special films have been released celebrating the 60th anniversary of the National Motor Museum's reference library.

The vast collection of 300,000 items in Beaulieu is one of Europe’s largest publicly accessible motor heritage libraries and covers the origins of the automotive industry in the 1880s right up to the present day.

Highlights include early motor journals the Car Illustrated and Coach Builders Art Journal, and early French motor journals.

There is also a collection of vehicles sales literature and brochures dating back to the 1880s, technical material and almost complete runs of The Autocar and The Motor.

The reference library curators, Carina Taylor and Lindsay Whitaker-Guest, will commemorate the occasion with a series of behind-the-scenes films which can be viewed on the National Motor Museum YouTube channel.

Lindsay said: “The 60th anniversary is definitely a proud moment for us as it shows how far the collection has come over the years.”

Originally known as the National Road Transport Library, the resource was officially opened on 28th April 1961 by the late Edward, 3rd Baron Montagu of Beaulieu, to provide a reference point for historians, researchers and members of the public.

Beginning its life in the kitchens of Palace House, it later relocated to the John Montagu Building in 1972, and was then transferred to the National Motor Museum Trust’s collection centre in 1989.

Today, it occupies five rooms over two floors and includes rare and out of print publications on everything from cars and motorcycles to commercial vehicles.

The collection includes 14,000 books, 7,000 bound volumes of periodicals, 100,000 loose periodicals and 70,000 sales literature items. The collection continues to grow with over 2,000 items added each year.

Although currently closed, it is hoped library can reopen later this year with Covid-secure measures in place.

To watch the behind-the-scenes films visit www.youtube.com/user/MotorMuseum

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