Major locations for railroad history research with websites and some email addresses are listed here.
Email addresses are sometimes those of individuals, and subject to change. If necessary, see website for up-to-date email contact addresses. Some email links point to web pages containing inquiry forms. Addresses in the table are generally mailing addresses. See website or use telephone contact for visiting directions.
|BAERA Archives, Western Railway Museum
||5848 State Highway 12, Suisun City, CA 94585 ||707-374-2978 x116|
|Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley||
||Berkeley, CA 94720-6000||510-642-6481|
|California State Railroad Museum
||111 "I" St. Sacramento, CA 95814 ||916-323-8073|
|Railway & Locomotive Historical Society|| ||111 "I" St. Sacramento, CA 95814 ||916-323-8073|
|Special Collections, Stanford University|| ||Green Library, 557 Escondido Mall, Stanford, CA 94305||650-725-1022|
There is a one day delay to see desired materials as they are stored in a warehouse. Has an excellent collection of annual reports obtained from Univ. of Wisconsin and railroad tariffs. Also good on railways of the British Empire, and to a lesser extent on other countries. Foreign material comprises annual reports of pre nationalized countries going back into the 1800s and some timetables plus other archival material. The Library has a detailed listing of railroad names for each country which they have material on. Material on U.S. railroads almost entirely annual reports going back to the l860s with a few tariffs of post l940s which are indicated by an X in the Archives column. The collection of railroad materials obtained from the Univ. of Illinois, Urbana, Il., has apparently been incorporated into the general Center for Research Libraries collection.
|Southern California Chapter, R&LHS|| ||P.O. Box 2250, Pomona, CA 91769||909-623-0190|
Collections include Phil Middlebrook, who was in train service for the Santa Fe and carried a camera with him while on duty; "Pete" Groome, a large number of Colorado Midland photos; 616 negatives of various railroads that cannot be attributed to any photographer; and Ed Ripley (grandson of E. P. Ripley, president of the Santa Fe), red-boarderd Kodachrome stereo slides of chapter activities, UP and SP steam, and Santa Fe trains.
|Colorado Historical Society||Email||1300 Broadway, Denver, CO 80203||303-866-3682|
|Denver Public Library||Email||10 W. 14th Ave. Pkwy. Denver, CO 80204||720-865-1111|
|Center of Southwest Studies, Fort Lewis College|| ||1000 Rim Dr., Durango, CO 81301-3999||970-382-6982|
|Colorado Railroad Museum||Email||17155 W. 44th Ave., Golden, CO 80402||800-365-6263|
Built in 1997, the Robert W. Richardson Railroad Library’s collection focuses on railroads in the Rocky Mountain region and American West, but in some cases the scope is national or even international. From timetables to employee records, photographs to engineering documents, maps to books, it offers a wealth of information on railroads. No on-line catalog.
|Archives and Special Collections, University of Connecticut|| ||405 Babbidge Rd., Storrs, CT 06269-1205||860-486-2524|
The Railroad History Collection consists of more than 50 individual sets of papers, records, and collections of a variety of archival materials related to southern New England's railroads, dating from the 1830s and the birth of railroad transportation in the United States to the 1980s. The materials are particularly strong in representing the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad, better known as the New Haven Railroad, which was the predominant railroad in the region from 1872 to 1969. Coverage is strong for the New Haven Railroad's predecessor lines, particularly the Central New England Railway, the New York & New England Railroad, and the Old Colony Railroad. The largest and most significant railroad collection is the corporate records of the New Haven Railroad, which consist of administrative, real estate, lega,l and financial files as well as an extensive array of financial ledgers and board of director's minutes for virtually every predecessor railroad, including street railways, that merged with or were leased by the New Haven Railroad. The collection holds an almost complete collection of right-of-way track maps of the NHRR system and other maps and railroad station drawings of properties and land owned by the railroad. Also included are many thousands of photographs of locomotives, railroad stations, crossings, equipment and personnel. There are several collections of research files compiled by railroad fans and historians as well as timetables and annual reports.
|Hagley Museum & Library ||Email||P.O. Box 3630, Wilmington, DE 19807||302-658-2400|
Hagley is an independent research library devoted to the history of American business and technology and is located at Buck Road East, about five miles from downtown Wilmington, Del. Extensive documentation of railroad history from the beginning down to the 1970s. Substantial collections include major portions of the archives of the Pennsylvania RR (2,200 linear ft.) and Reading Company (1,200 linear ft.) and smaller amounts from the Lehigh Valley, Jersey Central, Delaware, Lackawanna & Western and Interstate RR, plus records of the Northeast Corridor High Speed Demonstration Project, SEPTA, the Philadelphia area transit system, a small collection of Jervis Langdon’s papers, and the builder’s photos of the Vulcan Iron Works of Wilkes-Barre, Pa. Printed materials include a wide range of railroad company annual and special reports, Poor’s and Moody’s manuals, reports of governmental hearings and 19th century state railroad commissions, employee magazines, and most standard monographs. Hagley also covers many industries and professions that intersect with railroad history, including the railroad equipment industry, industrial design (Raymond Loewy), iron & steel, coal, petroleum and chemicals, automotive, electrical industries, shipbuilding, engineering, finance and management. Hagley is particularly noted for its large holdings of manufacturers’ trade catalogs. Most holdings are described in an online catalog. Some items are in remote storage and must be requested in advance. Research grants and on-site housing are available to scholars meeting certain qualifications. Mail requests and inquires are welcome and can be made through the web site. QNL, Fall 2011, Vol. 31, No. 3, pp 11-15.
District of Columbia
|Library of Congress|| ||101 Independence Ave., SE, Washington, DC 20540||202-707-5000|
|Archives Center, National Museum of America Historyemail@example.com||112th Street & Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20560-0601||202-633-3270|
The many resources include the Charles B. Cheney Jr. Railroad Photo Collection. About 20,000 negatives of railroad related subjects, with the vast majority of the images being views of locomotives. Some of the photographs were taken by Chaney, although a large number are copy negatives made from existing photographs. Many are copies of builders' photographs. The emphasis is on the eastern lines, especially the Pennsylvania Railroad and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.
|Seth Bramson (Private collection)||Email||330 NE 96th St., Miami, FL 33138||305-757-1016|
Private collection, visitors welcome. Prof. Bramson maintains the Florida East Coast Railway Company historic Archives, plus his collection of US railroad and traction memorabilia numbering more than 1 million individual items featuring the history of the FEC. Bramson is the Company Historian of the FEC, currently the only person in the US who bears that official title with an American railroad. The FEC and Florida transportation collection includes FEC history and records, letters signed by Henry Flagler, the bulk of the company's extant official negatives, hardware, Key West Extension maps and records and much material of both the FEC's predecessors and the predecessor companies of the ACL and SAL in Florida. Visits are by appointment. Please call (305) 757-1016, 9:30 a.m.—9:30 p.m. to arrange.
| Federal Archives at Atlanta|| ||5780 Jonesboro Rd., Morrow, GA 30260|| 770-968-2100|
The National Archives at Atlanta has received about 54,000 cubic feet of Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) Inactive Claims Folders from the National Archives Great Lakes Region. The U.S. Railroad Retirement Board administers a Federal retirement benefit program covering the nation's railroad workers. The folders deal primarily with the administration and payment of these benefits. It will provide information on deceased persons for genealogical or historical research.
|Center for Research Libraries|| ||6050 S. Kenwood Ave., Chicago, IL 60637-2804||800-621-6044|
|Elliot Donnelley Railroad Library, Donnelley and Lee Library Special Collections, Lake Forest College||Email||555 N. Sheridan Rd., Lake Forest, IL 60045||847-735-5064|
||60 W. Walton St., Chicago, IL 60610||312-943-9090|
|Special Collections, University of Chicago||Email||1100 E. 57th St., Chicago, IL 60637|
|Transportation Library, Northwestern University||Email||1970 Campus Dr., Evanston, IL 60208||847-491-5273|
The NU Transportation library has an extensive collection of US and international historical and current railroad-related books, serials, electronic resources, and archival materials. All are welcomed to search our collections through our discovery tool. Our Digital Collections can be found here (of note: the Thomas Taber III Railroad Digital Collection) while our Finding Aids can be found here (of special note the Silverman and the Gelzer collections.) For additional information contact the library at 847-491-5273 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
|Indiana Historical Society, Midwest Railroad Research Center|| ||450 W. Ohio St., Indianapolis, IN 46202||317-232-1882|
|Purdue University Libraries|| ||1530 Stewart Center, W. Lafayette, IN 47907-1530||765-494-2904|
Library is strong on railroad engineering, but little pertains to specific railroads.
|Union Pacific Railroad Museum||Email||200 Pearl St., Council Bluffs, IA 51503||712-329-8307|
A large corporation library. Also contains the Rastrick Library Collection which is primarily on British railway and locomotive circa 1820-1850. It has corporate records of U.P. and recently acquired railroads such as the Western Pacific and Missouri Pacific.
|Kansas Historical Society|| ||6425 SW 6th Ave., Topeka, KS 66615-1099||785-272-8681|
|Linda Hall Library||Email||5109 Cherry St., Kansas City, MO 64110-2498||816-926-8776|
The libary has an extensive listing of railroad-related databases, web resources, and a lecture series.
|Ekstrom Library, University of Louisville|| ||2301 S. Third St., Louisville, K¥ 40292||785-272-8681|
The Louisville & National collection documents the relationship between the railroad and the city of Louisville, and industrialization of the New South, including north Alabama steel manufacture and eastern Kentucky coal mining. Includes minutes, annual reports, and legal documents from nearly 100 early Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and other southern railroads. Topics include real estate transactions in southern and midwestern states, construction and maintenance of track, bridges, and terminals, relations with shippers, suppliers, and financiers, manufacture of locomotives and rolling stock, state and national regulation, wartime nationalization, transition from steam to diesel power, decline of passenger service.
|Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum||Email||901 W. Pratt St., Baltimore, MD 21223||420-752-2490|
|Rail Heritage Library|| ||Baltimore Streetcar Museum, 1911 Falls Road, Baltimore, MD 21201
Postal: Baltimore Chapter NRHS, PO Box 100, Lutherville, MD 21094-0100||410-837-1164 Wednesdays and weekends|
|National Archives||Email||8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740-6001||301-837-2052|
See description on main website.
|Baker Library, Harvard Business School||Email||Soldiers Field, Boston, MA 02163|| |
|Boston Public Library||Email||700 Boylston St., Boston, MA 02117||617-536-5400|
|Massachusetts Historical Society||Email||1154 Boylston St., Boston, MA 02215||617-536-1608|
|American Antiquarian Society||Email||185 Salisbury St., Worcester, MA 01609-1634||508-755-5221|
Open Monday-Friday. Contact ahead of visit is desirable, and all first time users will be interviewed before granted permission to research. Has the Thomas W. Streeter collection of pre 1841 railroad archives, the largest such collection in existence. It is necessary to check a main card index for items of a railroad which may be in both the main collections and Streeter. The Society limits its collection mostly to pre 1875 although its passes are 1870s-19l0. Passes contained in two scrapbooks in Archives Dept. and envelops in Graphics Dept. Most material is in archive boxes, but oversize is stored separately as are maps and broadsides (single sheet documents). Some timetables in the archive boxes and others in Graphics Dept. Has many stock certificates and some old tickets (kept with passes).
|The Henry Ford, Benson Ford Research Center||Email||20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn, MI 48124-5029 |
|Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan||Email||1150 Beal Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48109||734-764-3482|
A large railroad collection. The Bentley Library, located on North Campus, specializes in Michigan history. It also has all the special collections and some printed matter which is indexed by railroad name in their card catalog. The Special Collection Library, located adjacent to the Undergraduate Library on the central city campus, all historical (i.e. non current) material pertaining to railroads. Pennsylvania RR Collection of minute books, finance records, some annual reports, etc. Records of the Grand Rapids & Indiana, the Ann Arbor, the Detroit, Toledo & Ironton, and the minutes of the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern and Michigan Central and their associated companies. Library has inventory listing.
|Minnesota Historical Society|| ||345 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55102-1906||651-259-3000 |
Railroad collections include corporate records of the Great Northern, Northern Pacific, and Soo Line companies, plus the James. J. Hill Family Collection (acquired in 2008).
|John W. Barriger III National Railroad Library, St. Louis Mercantile Library||Email||University of Missouri-St. Louis, One University Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63121-4400||314-516-7240|
|Museum of Transportation||Email||3015 Barrett Station Rd., St. Louis, MO 63122||314-615-8214|
The museum is in the St. Louis suburb of Kirkwood, MO. The library contains a wide variety of general locomotive books with an emphasis on Missouri railroads. Additionally, the archives has a large collection of drawings and photographs from several local area builders. Appointments to use the Library and Archives must be made by advance appointment with the curator.
|Union Pacific Railroad||Email||200 Pearl St., Council Bluffs, IA 51503||712-329-8307|
|Nevada State Railroad Museum||Email||2180 S. Carson St., Carson City, NV 89701||775-687-6953|
|Special Collections, University of Nevada, Reno||Email||Reno, NV 89503||775-682-566|
Records of many Nevada railroads including the Virginia and Truckee from 1860 to 1960. The bulk of the V&T material was given to the Special Collections Department in 1952 by V&T vice president and general manager, Gordon A. Sampson.
|Firestone Library, Princeton University||Email||One Washington Rd., Princeton, NJ 08544-2098||609-258-4820|
Extensive railroad holdings in general collection. No specific railroad collections. Good online catalog.
|Kheel Center, Cornell University,||Email|| 227 Ives Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853||607-255-3183|
|New York Public Library|| ||5th Ave. & 42nd St., New York, NY 10018-2788||212-930-0830|
This library is second only to the Library of Congress in size. It has about 50,000 railroad items. Large pre-1841 collection. The library's card catalog is published in a 788 volume series, Dictionary Catalog of the Research Library, (1979) plus several other series of 3 to 30 volumes. Manuscripts Department holds the minute books of the New York Central and its predecessors east of Buffalo and of the Long Island RR. The library has a great deal on foreign railroads. It also has much on railroad signalling. Much railroad material is at a distant annex and is accessible only on one day's advance request. Periodicals are at the Science, Industry and Business Library, 188 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016, 212-592-7000.
|Oregon Historical Society||Email||1200 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR 97205-2483||503-222-1741|
A huge amount of material in numerous collections and several different photo files. There are two basic photo groups--loose in file folders and mounted and inventoried in a computer. Some photos are also in the special collections such as the David Stearns albums. The historical society also has the 17,000 negatives/pictures of the former Timberman Magazine, some of which show logging railroads.
|Pennsylvania State Archives||Email||300 North St., Harrisburg, PA 17120||717-787-5304|
|Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania|| Email||Library and Archives, PO Box 125, Strasburg, PA 17579 ||717-687-8628|
|Pennsylvania State University|| ||114 Kern Bldg., University Park, PA 16802||814-865-1795|
|Frank B. Fairbanks Rail Transportation Archive||100 W. Station Square Dr., Suite 450 Pittsburgh PA 15219||412-471-5808|
|DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University||Email||
PO Box 750396, Dallas, TX 75275-0396||214-768-2253|
A finding aid for the Baldwin Locomotive Works records, detail part drawings, and erecting card drawings is available online. The Everett Lee DeGolyer, Jr., collection of United States railroad photographs consists of 15,000 photographs and thousands of negatives of U.S. railroads. The collection is arranged alphabetically by railroad line, locomotive number, cars, and locations.
|Molar Archives, Utah State Railroad Museum||Email||2501 Wall Avenue, Ogden, UT||801-393-1482|
|Western Mining & Railroad Museum||Email||294 S. Main, Helper, UT||435-472-3009|
|North Ogden Historical Museum||545 E. 2750 N., North Ogden, UT 84414||801-782-7455|
|Stewart Library Special Collections, Weber State University||Email||2901 University Circle, Ogden, UT||801-626-6337|
|Utah State Historical Society||Email||300 S. Rio Grande, Salt Lake City, UT 84101-1143||801-533-3535|
The Library and Collections section of the Utah Division of State History (often referred to as the Utah State Historical Society) holds many records related to Utah's railroad history, including the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad. These records include photographs, books, pamphlets, manuscripts, and maps. The Denver & Rio Grande Western Payroll Ledgers, 1889-1919 are part of our online Digital Collections. Please visit our website, which includes the Library Catalog, the Digital Collections, and the Maps Database.
|Chesapeake & Ohio Historical Society||Email||PO Box 79, Clifton Forge, VA 24422||540-862-2210|
Has a huge C&O collection including 50,000 negs, 10,000 35 mm slide, 500 films,30,000 civil engr'g drwgs. of C&O, HV, PM, complete run employee timetables. Almost anything dealing with the operating department except equipment. Open Tuesday-Saturday 9-5.
|Museum of History and Industry||Email||2700 24th Ave. E., Seattle, WA 98112||206-324-1125|
Operated by the Historical Society of Seattle & King County. Collection accessible by advance appointment only. Probably the best railroad collection west of Minneapolis in the north west quarter of the U.S. Huge collection of employee timetables and maps.
|Center for Railroad Photography & Art||Email||313 Price Pl., Ste 13,
Madison, WI 53705||608-251-5785|
|Lakes States Railway Historical Association ||Email||330 Lynn St., Baraboo, WI 53913||608-356-5555|
|University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries|| ||728 State St., Madison, WI 53706||608-262-3193|
|Wisconsin Historical Society|| ||816 State St., Madison, WI 53706||608-264-6460|
|Milwaukee Road Archives, Milwaukee Public Library||Email||814 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53233|| 414-286-2116 messages only |
The collection includes indexes to some employee records and corporate records that are part of the archives of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad, which designated Milwalukee Public Library as its official archives in 1981. Other material housed in the Milwaukee Road Archives includes time tables, photographs, and drawings.
|American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming||Email ||Dept. 3924, 1000 E. University Ave., Laramie, WY 82071||307-766-4114|
The Center houses more than 200 collections relating to railroads in the United States, and is actively collecting still more. Among its holdings are the personal papers of John S. “Jack” Casement (construction foreman for the Union Pacific portion of the transcontinental railroad), and railroad memorabilia collected by enthusiasts such as Howard F. Greene, Rogers E. M. Whitaker, and James L. Ehernberger, as well as organizations like the Union Pacific Historical Society. The American Heritage Center is open to the public; more information can be found on its website.