Collier Collection acquires famed ‘Ludvigsen Library’

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The Ludvigsen Photo Archive is international in scope. Here, the French race car driver, Robert Benoist, races his Delage in a 1920s Grand Prix. This Jazz Era historical motoring photograph is one of thousands found in the Ludvigsen  Collection at The Revs Institute Research Library in Naples, Florida. Please visit their website www.revsinstitute.org  ©Photo Courtesy The Revs Institute

NAPLES, Fla. — The Revs Institute, a leading automotive research facility in Naples, Florida, recently announced the acquisition of a major archive by the Collier Collection. The Collier Collection has obtained the Ludvigsen Library, repository of the automotive library of a leading author, researcher and historian of the motorcar, Karl Ludvigsen.

The vast historical research collection housed at the Revs Institute now holds the automotive archives, photography and library of prize-winning author and authority Karl Ludvigsen. Ludvigsen’s famed photographic collection, his files, research, library books and periodicals — which include many valuable items in Italian, French and German—plus long runs of rare periodicals, will all become part of the Revs Institute research resources. They are available to scholars, historians, media, authors, institutions, businesses and academia. 

Founded in 2009, The Revs Institute is a not for profit educational organization that advances the scholarly study of automotive history. “Although already substantial, the Revs resources will be immeasurably enhanced by the purchase of the archive of Karl Ludvigsen, the diligence and excellence of whose work is widely recognized throughout the world,” said Miles Collier, principal of the Collier Collection.

Karl Ludvigsen, born in America and a British resident since 1980, has dedicated a life to the motor industry and its many manifestations, resulting in numerous awards for his journalism and authorship. “I’m extremely pleased that my Ludvigsen Library is to become part of the Collier Collection Library that the Revs Institute manages,” Ludvigsen said. “I’ve known its Librarian, Mark Patrick, for many years and have every confidence that he’ll make the most of my files, books, periodicals and images.”

Mark Patrick, automotive librarian specialist and manager of the Revs Institute Library, explains that, “A great treasure of Karl’s archive lies in its photographic material. Starting with Watkins Glen in 1951, Ludvigsen has photographed races, tests, factory visits and personalities. In addition he acquired remarkable pictorial archives from friends like Rodolfo Mailander, John Dugdale, Stanley Rosenthall, Edward Eves, Cyril Posthumus and Max LeGrand. Together they provide a panorama of cars, drivers and motor sports from the beginning of motoring.”

“At Naples we already have an archive of more than one million items and nearly 20,000 book titles,” Collier explained. “To this we are adding Karl’s Ludvigsen Library. He has also provided his more than 100 drawers of research files. Together these will greatly enrich the materials available to qualified researchers utilizing The Revs Institute.”

“This doesn’t mean that I’m retiring from writing about cars,” Karl Ludvigsen was quick to add. “I still have some book projects on the go. But I’m aiming to give more time to my other interests in aerospace and military history, for which I’ve retained an archive. Somehow I don’t think I’ve seen the last of Ferdinand Porsche.”

Nor will the Ludvigsen Library’s valuable documentary material be locked away, said Patrick. “We look forward to working with the many publishers, periodicals, collectors, researchers and enthusiasts throughout the world who will be able to continue to rely on the Ludvigsen Library material for study, private information, car restoration and illustration. We will make it available through The Revs Institute’s website, and when possible, by appointment in the Naples library," he said.

“We’re pleased that this acquisition brings us closer to Karl Ludvigsen, with whom we expect to be cooperating in the future on suitable projects,” said Collier. “Based in Britain, he’s well placed to carry forward research studies that we regularly conduct on our own automotive holdings and those of others.”

To learn more about the Revs Institute please visit www.revsinstitute.org, email info@revsinstitute.org, or phone 239-643-5783.

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