Foundation News

May 15, 2017

AMF, AMCA Improving the Virtual Library

By Jon Radermacher

AMF president


For many years, the Antique Motorcycle Club of America’s Virtual Library has been a valued asset to its membership. As I write this, it contains hundreds of documents that pertain to antique motorcycles, including parts catalogs, brochures, owner’s manuals and more.

About 18 months ago, the AMCA approached the AMF about the potential of the foundation managing the collection since most libraries in the U.S. are non-profits and because the foundation’s mission is well-suited to undertake such an endeavor.

In late 2016, after months of planning and discussing scenarios, the AMF and AMCA hit on one that could retain the value for AMCA members, allow the AMF to serve the antique and vintage motorcycle community at large, and stay in compliance with U.S. copyright laws.

The club and the foundation reached a preliminary agreement to breathe new life into the Virtual Library. Both parties are energized by the potential of this agreement, which is now being drafted by legal counsel.

The foundation’s 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization status lends very well to the future of the library. Charitable organizations are eligible for grants and other streams of funding when operating libraries and/or archives. This will allow the foundation to pursue available funding to actively maintain and to solicit new materials in a variety of capacities. This should provide a better opportunity for the library to grow in the years to come.

Another enhancement to the library will be a change of platform for storing and making materials available. Digital archive management software will allow managers to better organize the materials and give users easier access.

Most importantly, the foundation sees this invitation from the AMCA as an opportunity to preserve motorcycle history and to make it available to enthusiasts and to newcomers alike. One of the benefits of electronic documents is their inherent ability to reach a worldwide (web) audience.

Although the agreement has yet to be formalized by the club and the foundation, the negotiations alone have strengthened the relationship between the two organizations. I can say as president that I am excited for the AMF to take on this new project and to create a new role on delivering its mission.

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