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R&LHS Research Grants

Deadline is June 30, 2017, for William D. Middleton and John H. White, Jr., Research Fellowships

The Railway & Locomotive Historical Society has long supported research through its journal, Railroad History and other activities. To promote the further study of railroad history, the R&LHS has created two research fellowships in the amount of $2,500 each. The fellowships, named for well known railroad scholars William D. Middleton and John H. White, Jr., are available for new and established scholars to support the research and publication of railroad history. Applicants need not be members of the R&LHS.

A committee to be named by the president of the R&LHS will review the applications. Recipients should note the support of the R&LHS grant in any publication resulting from the fellowship.

The deadline for applications is June 30. To be considered, all applications must be postmarked by this date. Awardees will be notified by August 31. Applications for the fellowships shall include the following:

  1. A statement no longer than two pages that describes the project and its importance in the field of railroad history. Reference should be made to any existing scholarship.
  2. A statement no longer than two pages describing the importance of the holdings of the archives or libraries to further the project. It would be helpful to the reviewers of the applications if it can be shown how specific collections relate to the research project.
  3. A brief budget showing expenses by categories such as airfare, mileage, lodging, meals, photocopying, etc.
  4. Applicants should include a vita or resume no longer than two pages to include educational experiences, employment history, publications, and other information relevant to the proposal.
  5. Applicants who are graduate students should include a letter of support from their major professor.

For questions or to submit the completed application, please contact

Robert F. Holzweiss
6500 Riverstone Dr., Bryan, TX 77808
(979) 575-8164

Mary E. Lyons Receives 2016 R&LHS Fellowship

To encourage the study of railroad history, the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society has awarded its 2016 William-D. Middleton/John H. White, Jr., research fellowship.to Mary E. Lyons, a freelance writer and lecturer from Charlottesville, Virginia. Her project is transcribing and annotating Claudius Crozet's correspondence about the Virginia Blue Ridge Railroad, with the aim of publication. The fellowship is for $2,000.

Crozet, born in France, was chief engineer for the state-funded railroad from 1849 to 1858. He wrote, Lyons estimates, 75 long letters from the field during those years. Most were to the Board of Public Works in Richmond as he reported on the state's endeavor to bore through the Blue Ridge Mountains and eventually reach the Ohio River by rail.

The R&LHS fellowship will allow Lyons to make a six-day, five-night trip to the Library of Virginia in Richmond. Due to a medical condition known as essential tremor, she cannot hold a camera steady enough to take photographs of the letters and then transcribe at home The library, which holds the Board of Public Works records including the Crozet letters, describes them as "rich in the details of the development of Virginia's internal improvements during the 19th century.”

Inability to access Claudius Crozet's letters in one place at one time was a constant frustration as she wrote two books about the Blue Ridge Railroad. Little other scholarship exists on the subject: one chapter in Claudius Crozet: French Engineer in America, 1790-1861 (1989); numerous passing mentions in a 1957 dissertation, "The Story of the Virginia Central Railroad"; one chapter in Southern Sketches Number 8 First Series Claudius Crozet Soldier-Scholar-Educator-Engineer (1936); and one chapter in History of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway Company, Its Antecedents and Subsidiaries (1927). More recently, Crozet and the Blue Ridge Railroad appear briefly in academic books such as Landmarks on the Iron Road (1999), Railroads in the Old South (2009), and The Iron Way (2011). Lyons says the Blue Ridge Railroad warrants additional attention. Her hope is that an annotated compilation of Crozet's letters will encourage historians to address more fully this multi-faceted topic.

Cordery, Titchenal Win 2015 R&LHS Research Fellowships

To encourage the study of railroad history, R&LHS has awarded research fellowships to Simon Cordery, Macomb, Ill., and Stephen Titchenal, Cleveland Heights, Ohio. Both will use the awards, $2,226 for Cordery, $1,500 for Titchenal, for travel to research collections. This is the fourth year the R&LHS awarded the fellowships, named for railroad scholars William D. Middleton and John H. White, Jr. An R&LHS review committee chose the recipients.

Cordery is a professor of history at Western Illinois University, Mccomb. The funds will allow him to conduct research for "Pullman Revisited" at the Library of the California State Railroad Museum and at the California State Archives, both in Sacramento, as part of a book-length study of the Pullman Strike of 1894. This book will reassess the strike by examining responses to and attitudes about Pullman around the United States and in Europe, where the company was trying to expand operations. .

Titchenal retired from teaching in 2008. His award will support the development of finding aids, digitalization, and digital publication of U.S. Interstate Commerce Commission railroad valuation maps and engineering notes. The ICC documented the rights-of-way of all common carrier steam railroads beginning about 1915. Since his retirement, he has been working with railroad historical societies, libraries, and government agencies to digitize and make available their valuation (as well as other map)collections. This award is intended to help cover the lodging expenses to identify, inventory and digitize map and related collections beyond his immediate area. His website is http://www.railsandtrails.com.

Stewart, Reevy Win 2014 R&LHS Research Fellowships

To encourage the study of railroad history, R&LHS has awarded research fellowships to William Benning Stewart, Greenwood, Indiana, and Tony Reevy, Durham, North Carolina. Both will use the awards, $2,500 for Stewart, $2,000 for Reevy, for travel to collections, scanning, and research fees. This is the third year the R&LHS awarded the fellowships, named for railroad scholars William D. Middleton and John H. White, Jr. An R&LHS review committee chose the recipients.

Stewart, who worked in corporate communications for 30 years, is writing a book about the Cincinnati Car Company, titled “Queen City Carbuilder.” He plans to produce a 250-300 page, detailed, illustrated volume that will appeal to many audiences. It will begin with an overview of Cincinnati’s rich social and economic history as a fertile setting for such an enterprise at the start of the 20th Century. It will discuss the personalities that developed and operated the company, from Philadelphia syndicate-affiliated traction magnates to trained engineers to skilled and unskilled laborers. It will trace the development of each of the company’s product lines and depict them in their operating environments.

Reevy’s award will help support development of a book, “The Railroad Photography of Lucius Beebe and Charles Clegg.” The book will be significant not only to those interested in American railroad photography, but also to scholars of art and photography and the history of New York City, according to Reevy, who is senior associate director and lecturer at the University of North Carolina Institute for the Environment. The proposed book would expand on his article, with Dan Cupper, “Writers of the Rail: Mixed Legacy,” from Railroad History 193. This article won the David P. Morgan Award in 2006.

Brouws, Hiner Receive 2013 R&LHS Research Fellowships

To encourage the study of railroad history, the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society has awarded 2013 research fellowships to Prof. Matthew C. Hiner, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, and Jeff Brouws, Standford, New York. Both will use the $2,500 awards to travel to collections. This is the second year the R&LHS awarded the fellowships, named for railroad scholars William D. Middleton and John H. White, Jr. An R&LHS review committee chose the recipients.

Hiner, a professor of history at Lakeland Community College in Kirkland, Ohio, is receiving the funds for "Death and Rebirth of the Youngstown and Southeastern Railroad, 1975-2012." His book proposal follows up on an article he wrote for Railroad History in 2004, "Fifty Years too Soon: How an Innovative Interurban Bent the Rules to Cut Rates in the Ohio Coal Fields." It dealt with the Y&S in the Great Depression. His new proposal "offers an opportunity to explore the important topic of late twentieth century deindustrialization on a local level, examining how the fight to save a regional railroad impacted not just the Mahoning Valley [the area around Youngstown], but Ohio's larger economy and larger rail carriers as a whole."

Brouws, a photographer and writer, received the award for initial research on the history and aesthetic development of southern railroad photography with an emphasis on photographers working between 1920 and 1960. Previously he had written about prominent railroad photographers during the steam-to-diesel transition. Now, he is exploring "the anonymous, unsung, and underrepresented amateur railroad photographers who have, in reality, taken the bulk of railroad photos made over the last century," according to his proposal. Brouws' Some Vernacular Railroad Photographs (Norton, 2013), prepared with his wife, Wendy Burton, is an example of this new direction in his writing.

2012 Grants Awarded to Jeffrey T. Darby and Gregory L Schneider

To promote the study of railroad history, the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society has awarded research fellowships to Jeffrey T. Darbee, Columbus, Ohio, and Gregory L. Schneider, Topeka, Kansas. Both will use the funds for travel to collections. Up to $2,500 was available.

The R&LHS awarded the fellowships, named for railroad scholars William D. Middleton and John H. White, Jr., for the first time in 2012. They are for new and established scholars to support the research and publication of railroad history. A R&LHS committee picked the recipients.

Darbee’s project is to prepare a book about the history of two Indianapolis railroads: the Indianapolis Union and the Indianapolis Belt. The former was a passenger railroad dating from the late 1840s, the latter a freight line built in the 1870s. They pioneered the concepts of the union passenger station and of a freight belt line around a congested city rail network. The Union took over the Belt in the 1880s and for a long period also operated a large stockyard. The physical plants of both railroads, in reduced form, are in operation today.

"My work as a historic preservation consultant leads me to explore not only the histories of these two small roads, but also to evaluate their impact upon the urban form, the look, and the character of Indianapolis. Transportation lines can have a significant effect upon the places they traverse, and even these modestly-sized railroads were important in shaping Indiana's capital city," Darbee wrote in the grant application. He received $2,100.

Schneider, a Professor of History at Emporia State University, is completing "Requiem for a Railroad: The Collapse of the Rock Island," which the University Press of Kansas will publish. His R&LHS proposal, "Government Rails: American Railroads in Depression, Prosperity and War, 1917-1945," is for a new project which he is starting research on in the fall of 2012. "It is a study of how American railroads and the government interacted during from World War One to the end of World War Two. Surprisingly, this is an area which has not been well explored by historians of American railroads," he wrote. R&LHS awarded him $2,500.


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