Heritage Assets


History of The Automobile Association

On 19 June 1905, Charles Jarrott and a group of other like-minded individuals met at the Lyons’ Trocadero Restaurant in Shaftesbury Avenue, London. Forming a committee and operating under the initial title of ‘The Motorists’ Mutual Association’, (MMA) they came together to consider ways to overcome the perceived police oppression of early motorists and their use of speed-traps.  Just a week later, on 26 June, the MMA committee voted to change its name to The Automobile Association (AA). 

The AA and Heritage Assets

The Automobile Association has a huge photo archive consisting of over 100,000 images and comprising of hard copy prints, 35mm projector slides, vinyl acetate negatives and glass slide negatives. Some of the photographic material dates to the foundation of the organisation in 1905 with a small portion dating to even earlier to the 1890’s and late Victorian period. Having discovered that some of the glass slides had begun to degrade, an urgent preservation programme was initiated. Initially identifying the material deemed most at risk and of greatest business value, Heritage Assets were then recruited to digitise the photo archive. Heritage Assets operated in a highly proficient and professional manner. Upon receiving the work they insisted on working closely with both the Archive and Media Departments to establish and comply effectively with both archive and over-all business operational procedures. Using National Archive and British Library guidelines, several scanned images of differing photos were trialled to ensure compliance with the AA’s now established working requirements.