James J. Bradley Distinguished Service Award

The James J. Bradley Distinguished Service Award is presented by The Society of Automotive Historians to deserving museums, archives, and libraries for exemplary efforts in preserving motor vehicle resource materials.  The Award is presented at the Society’s Awards Banquet held yearly at the Hershey County Club, Hershey, PA, during the Fall Meet of the Eastern Region of the Antique Automobile Club of America.

Each year, the Society recognizes significant contributions to the publishing, documentation, and preservation of the worldwide history of the motor vehicle.  Awards are given for publishing in print (books, articles and magazines) and non-print media (film, video, audio, websites, etc.).In addition, awards are made for papers authored by undergraduate and graduate-level students at educational institutions.  

Mr. Bradley, for whom the award is named, spent more than 25 years with the Detroit Public Library. In 1953, he joined the library and in 1955 the library’s Automotive History Collection. By 1958, he became the head of the Automotive History Collection. Auto history was his life and that positive relationship and great knowledge for automobiles was introduced to the people and auto historians he met throughout his life time.

Mr. Bradley graduated from St. Norbert’s College in Wisconsin and received his M.S. in Library Science degree from the prestigious Carnegie Library School in Pittsburgh. During World War II he served on General Eisenhower’s staff in London, Paris, Berlin and Algiers. Mr. Bradley was also a member of the Board of Directors of the Society of Automotive Historians, a former president of Car Care Council, and a member of the Special Libraries Association, the Antique Auto Club of America and the Friends of the Detroit Public Library. He had been an honorary member of the Ferrari Club of American and the Rolls Royce Owners Club.

Mr. Bradley admired automobile designs within the years leading up to 1910 because he felt that was the time when Detroit was just getting started and when so much was happening within the automotive world. He was a very soft-spoken man with a gentle disposition and a charming personality. As curator of the largest collection of automotive history in the world, he spent most of his life steeped in auto history as curator. He saw the auto archives grow from a small corner of the library to a large location on the second floor. He also helped collect a large part of the millions of items and photographs in the archives including songs about cars, personal papers corporate files books and advertising pieces.

James J. Bradley died November 27, 1980.  Mr. Bradley once said, “When you’ve been in it as long as I have, (25 years), some of it is bound to rub off.”

 
2018
 
The Canada Museum of Science and Technology at Ottawa, Ontario 
 

2017

 
The Digital Scholarship Program, Indiana University Purdue University at Indianapolis, Indiana
 

2016

The National Automobile Museum (The Harrah Collection), Reno, Nevada
 
2015
 

The Hagley Musem and Library, Wilmington, Delaware

2014
 
The Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan, Michigan
 
2013
 

International Motor Racing Research Center at Watkins Glen, New York

2012
 
Revs Institute for Automotive Research, Naples, Florida.
 
2011
 
Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust, Coventry, UK
 
2010
 
The Automotive Research Library of the Horseless Carriage Foundation in La Mesa, California.
 
2009
 
Gilmore Car Museum, Hickory Corners, Michigan.
 
2008
 
Benson Ford Research Center at The Henry Ford, Dearborn, Michigan
 
2007
 
National Auto History Collection of the Detroit Public Library
 
2006
 
SAE International, Warrendale, Pennsylvania
 
2005
 
Stanley Museum, Inc. Kingfield, Maine, and Estes Park, Colorado
 
2004
 
Citizens Motorcar Company – America’s Packard Museum, Dayton, Ohio
 
2003
 
Nash Heritage Preservation Project, Nash Car Club of America
 
2002
 
Museum of Transportation, St. Louis, Missouri.
 
2001
 
American Truck Historical Society, Kansas City, Missouri.
 
2000
 
The Nethercutt Collection, Sylmar, California.
 
1999
 
Reynolds-Alberta Museum, Wetaskiwin, Alberta, Canada.
 
1998
 
Frederick C. Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum, Cleveland, Ohio.
 
1997
 
National Motor Museum of Australia, Birdwood, South Australia.
 
1996
 
Automotive Hall of Fame, Inc., Dearborn, Michigan.
 
1995
 
Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum, Auburn, Indiana.
 
1994
 
Heritage Motor Centre, Gaydon, Warwickshire, England.
 
1993
 
Studebaker National Museum, South Bend, Indiana.
 
1992
 
National Automotive History Collection, Detroit Public Library, Detroit, Michigan.
 
1991
 
AACA Library and Research Center, Hershey, Pennsylvania.
 
1990
 
Museo dell’Automobile Carlo Biscaretti di Ruffia, Turin, Italy.
 
1989
 
GMI Alumni Foundation Industrial History Collection, Flint, Michigan.
 
1988
 
Fondation de L’Automobile Marius Berliet, Lyons, France.
 
1987
 
Henry Ford Museum, Dearborn, Michigan.
 
1986
 
Daimler-Benz Archiv-Geschichte-Museum, Stuttgart, Germany.
 
1985
 
National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, Hampshire, England.
 
1984
 
Free Library of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
 
1983
 
Helen Jones Earley, Archivist and Executive Secretary for Public Relations, Oldsmobile Division of General Motors, Lansing, Michigan.
 
1982
 
Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Association of the United States