The Carriage Museum of America is a library to serve as a source of historically accurate technical information on animal-drawn vehicles and related subjects. It is the only full-time library dedicated exclusively to the carriage industry. Incorporated in 1978 as a non-profit educational institution, the Carriage Museum of America was headquartered in Salem, New Jersey at the offices of The Carriage Journal.
The library collection of Thomas Ryder, a leading international expert on driving and carriages, was purchased by the Carriage Museum of America. Major contributions have been made to the collection from the Paul Downing Collection, Richard Harrington, Ken Sowles, Jack Pemberton and others.
The library's collections have earned an international reputation attracting researchers from all over the world. It houses approximately 1,200 books and trade catalogs on the subjects of carriages and wagons. The collection includes books on stables and carriage houses, horse training, management, diseases, breeds and breeding, as well as those on proper driving etiquette, whip and harness making, bridles, bits and horse shoeing. A number of early travel histories and travel guides are also available.
Now located at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky, the library maintains collections of prints, photographs and blueprints of carriages. Also owned is a large collection of books and carriages given to the Carriage Museum by Ken Sowles, former president and a founder of the Carriage Museum of America. The Carriage Museum of America is a research library. There are no vehicles on display.
Hours and Fee Information
The library is open by appointment on weekdays. It is the library's policy to provide the first fifteen minutes of research without cost.
- Individual $25/hr.
- Commercial $45/hr.
- Rush Fee $65/hr.
Includes up to 10 photocopies. All requests subject to additional photocopy fees. When submitting a research request, please be sure to include all known "clues". Also, include a mailing address and telephone number where you can be reached.
To contact the museum by letter, please write:
Carriage Museum of America
At the Kentucky Horse Park
4089 Iron Works Parkway
Lexington, KY 40511
To contact the museum by email:
To contact the museum by phone or fax:
Phone: (859) 259-2933
Fax: (859) 231-0973