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Don O'Reilly papers concerning motorsports

Identifier: MS0381

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of printed material related to NASCAR and auto racing collected by Don O'Reilly over the course of his career. Due to the large amount of time O'Reilly spent covering the sport, there is a large number of media guides and information for journalists. Additionally, a significant part of the collection consists of souvenir programs from different races throughout the country (especially the Daytona 500 and the Coca-Cola 600) from the 1960s-1990s. There is also a collection of yearbooks from the Indianapolis 500 and the Winston Cup Season in Review.


  • circa 1950-2000


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The Don O'Reilly Papers Concerning Motorsports is the physical property of J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections. Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Biographical Note

Don O'Reilly was born in Attleboro, Massachusetts on May 1, 1913. He was a well-known writer, photographer and NASCAR historian. O'Reilly began his career with the Eagle Press, which he owned and operated from 1930-1937. He then moved on to become a photographer for the Attleboro Sun from 1937-1939. Over the next eight years he had a series of jobs in journalism with several different newspapers, including the N. Attleboro Chronicle, New London Day and the Washington Post. In 1947, O'Reilly became the editor of Speed Age magazine, a job he held for the next six years, which covered the majority of the magazine's run. Speed Age was an important magazine in the history of NASCAR as it was one of the first publications to cover the organization, which was founded in 1948 by Brian France. Subsequently, O'Reilly went into broadcasting and became the manager of the National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing News Bureau. In his capacity as a broadcaster, he worked for NBC Radio Monitor, WESH-Television and WROD Daytona Beach. In 1959 he became the director of Public Relations at Atlanta International Raceway. In the later part of his career, O'Reilly wrote for several major magazines, including Popular Mechanics, the Saturday Evening Post, Stock Car Racing and Illustrated Speedway News and served as a feature writer for Circle Track Magazine and Racing Pictorial. He also collected a wide variety of magazines related to racing, such as the Winston Cup Series magazine, stock car racing guides and the Firestone Racing Record Book. His breadth of knowledge of auto racing is extremely large and his long career covering it has made a great impact on the sport.


8 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



The collection contains printed material acquired by Don O'Reilly throughout his career covering NASCAR and auto racing. Some of the items O'Reilly contributed to and others are part of his library and research materials. Included are fan guides and rule books, souvenir programs (Daytona 500, Coca-Cola 600), yearbooks and NASCAR record books. There are also several media guides that were given to reporters.


The collection is arranged into the following six series: NASCAR rules, regulations and guides, Racing records and statistics, Information for journalists, reporters, photographers, etc. in the media profession and public interest, Yearbooks and annuals, Souvenir programs and Winston Cup News and Camel GT News (1978-1993).

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Robert McInnes and members of the library staff in 2010.


Don O'Reilly Papers Concerning of Motorsports
Robert A. McInnes and Library staff
November 2010
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Manuscript Collections, J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections and University Archives, UNC Charlotte Repository

Atkins Library, UNC Charlotte
9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte 28223 United Stated

About this Site

Finding aids are guides to archival collections, including manuscripts, university records, and oral history collections. These guides help you find physical collections which can be viewed in the Dalton Reading Room on the 10th floor of Atkins Library. A small number of finding aids link to digital content online. Please contact us to learn more or to schedule an appointment:

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(704) 687-1170
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