Detroit Public Library opens large collection of wartime auto history

DETROIT (WXYZ) - An important automotive collection has lived in the shadows of the Detroit Public Library for more than 60 years, but thanks to a determined volunteer, it's now being opened to the public.

For years the world's largest archive of auto information, the National Automotive History Collection, has been housed at the Skillman branch.

Nestled among the files are 77 boxes of vintage photographs and documents chronicle Detroit's contribution to the Automotive Council for War Production.

Pictures from between 1942 and 1946 show women of different races working side by side to fill the positions men worked before World War II. Some documents also show how former Michigan Governor George Romney, father of presidential hopefully Mitt Romney, was involved with the industry.

The collection has been with the library since the early 1950s, but a volunteer recently spent more than two years putting it together to make it easily accessible for the public.

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