The SPAAMFAA Archives consists of more than 120 feet of shelved materials, flat files, vertical files, and thousands of photographs, books, and fire service periodicals. We collect materials on the design, manufacturing of American fire apparatus including sales literature, parts lists, repair manuals and fire apparatus blueprints. The collections include information on hand-pulled (manual), horse-drawn (steam) and motorized (gas & diesel) equipment from the smallest details to the complete operating machine.
Established in 1985, as a program of SPAAMFAA, the archives were initially located in Hershey, PA as part of the Antique Automobile Club of America (ACA). In 2015, the SPAAMFAA Archives collection was moved to a new space in Kansas City, MO shared with the Antique Truck Historical Society (ATHS).
Unfortunately, the SPAAMFAA Archives is not prepared to handle any specific research inquiries at this time. Please be patient as we move and grow into our new facility and the new digital age.
A part-time archivist has been hired and trained, and research procedures are being established. We hope to soon facilitate in-person, on-site research, and varying degrees of staff-contracted-research requests, at our new facility. Ultimately we have lofty goals of indexing, scanning, and digitizing everything electronically, with “watermarked” copies of most of the illustrative material cross referenced and available for personal-use download and printing.
A small selection of images are avaliable online via our SmugMug account:
Our SmugMug account is very much a “work in progress.” We are still setting up policies and procedures. We are trying to determines what gets scanned first (photos, owners manuals), and what the procedure will be to do the scanning and uploading. Once photos and documents are scanned and uploaded, we are also working on ideas for how will these images and documents be organized, sorted, searched and used. In the future – we’ll be giving SPAAMFAA members special access and also coming soon the ability to download and print photos for a small service fee.
The library will continue to accept gifts of archival, two-dimensional, materials and the committee asks that you contact us to discuss such photographs or specifications that you have in mind.
With the vast holdings of the SPAAMFAA Archives comes great opportunities and great responsibilities. We are now own the collection outright, and are solely responsible for it’s storage and maintenance. In the past year, we have hired professionally trained staff, and purchased archival storage materials to better preserve and protect our holdings. We are also embarking on a long-term project to organize, inventory, and ultimately digitize the collection to facilitate online accessibility.
With these great opportunities and responsibilities also comes a “great” need for additional financial support. We encourage you to make a tax-deductible contribution to the “Lee Soderbeck Memorial Fund” which directly funds and benefits the Archives and Library.
Make a one-time or monthly donation via our convenient PayPal button: