SCA Publications

There are many benefits of an SCA membership, including two outstanding printed publications that anyone interested in the roadside will surely enjoy:  SCA Journal, published semi-annually and SCA News, published quarterly.  Douglas Towne has served as editor, for both publications, since 2004. Non-members interested in individual issues can purchase them through the SCA Store.


Looking for more roadside news? Sign up for the recently launched Society for Commercial Archeology e-newsletter: the Roadside Roundup. The quarterly e-newsletter will bring the latest SCA news, a roundup of roadside news articles and more. The Roadside Roundup will allow the SCA to share oodles of additional material with its membership. We’re happy to feature short articles, promote endangered roadside resources, highlight roadside places for sales, or any must-share roadside news. Send in your tips and suggestions to

The Roadside Roundup is available to SCA members and friends. Anyone interested in the American roadside is encouraged to subscribe. If you are a current SCA member and have not yet received the Roadside Roundup, we might not have your e-mail on file.

To sign up for the Roadside Roundup, click the subscribe button. You can unsubscribe at any time.

SCA Road Notes


The quarterly SCA news publication, known as Road Notes – provides timely news about the organization and commercial archeology. The eight-page, full-color publication features announcements about SCA conferences and tours and contains brief articles about the most important events pertaining to the roadside.

The SCA News has been designed by noted roadside historian and graphic designer Rick Kilby since 2005. There are five regular columns in the SCA News:

Five Favs

…is where SCA members extol the virtues of their five favorite commercial archeology places in a state, city, road, or business type since 2005. Recent examples include South Dakota, Boston, the Dixie Highway, and Midwest motels.

Sign Snippets

…is written by Debra Jane Seltzer, who has provided updates of vintage signs in the column since 2009. Debra Jane is one of the nation’s foremost sign experts and her column is an excellent place to learn which signs have been restored, relit, or destroyed.

Editor’s Column

…is where Douglas Towne briefly touches on important though often overlooked roadside topics such as Magic Fingers beds, roadside shrines, privilege signs, and the future of commercial archeology.

Use to Be A…

…is a new column written by Jeremy Ebersole that covers repurposed buildings such as Pizza Huts adaptively reused for other restaurants, medical offices, tax offices, and churches.

In Brief

…contains excerpts from important magazine and newspaper articles submitted by SCA members about commercial archeology.



The SCA Journal, published semiannually, features scholarly articles on commercial archeology. Richly illustrated, this full-color publication focuses on popular roadside topics such as auto trails, historic highways, diners, motels, movie theaters, tiki culture, mid-century architecture and gas stations. The Journal also enjoys taking the backroads, including articles on more obscure topics such as historic ravel journals, trading posts, roadside rest areas, shopping centers, auto hood ornaments, and the minority experience on the road. The SCA Journal has been designed by noted roadside historian and graphic designer Brian Butko since 1994.

There are five regular columns in the SCA Journal:

Editor’s Word

…is where Douglas Towne writes about eclectic commercial archeology topics such as the atomic roadside, store aprons, tramways, and welcome arches.

Next Exit

…has featured photography from the lens of Jeff Kunkle since 2014, including Leon’s Custard shop, the Circus Room bar, and the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile.


…Column author Diane DeBlois has explored often-overlooked facets of commercial archeology since 1995. Her wonderfully illustrated columns cover topics such as tourist camp stationery,souvenir placemats, and credit cards.

Sign Lines

Author Debra Jane Seltzer provides the history of the nation’s most stunning vintage signs since 2008. Her columns have thematic subjects, such as pancake or train signs, or focus on sign types, such as opal glass or mechanical signs.

Northern Roadsides

…is written by Canuck Peter Glaser (yes, he plays hockey) and has covered Canadian commercial archeology since 2008. His column topics include highways (the Lake Superior Circle Route), roadside bread ovens of Quebec and, of course, Niagara Falls.

Book Reviews

Each issue features assessments of the most interesting or important roadside books, reviewed by some of the foremost names in commercial archeology.