Manuscripts & Archives
Manuscript & Archival collections are unpublished materials created by corporate bodies or individuals during the course of daily activities. The Library’s manuscript collections are extensive and diverse, ranging in size from a single item to hundreds of cartons. The archives contain corporate, operating, financial, personnel, and engineering records, personal papers, research notes of writers and historians, as well as a wide variety of railroad-related documents accumulated by private collectors.
Photographs consist of over 2.5 million images in print (black & white and color) and negative (film and glass plate) formats. Black and white images predominate. Over 4,000 corporate entities are represented. Both amateur and professional photographers as well as railroad and manufacturing companies have contributed photographic images to the Library. Every conceivable aspect of railroading has been captured on film. Although images of locomotives and rolling stock are the most common subject, users will also find views of trains, stations, shops and yards, bridges and buildings, as well as scenes of construction, railroad employees and documentation of significant events. Images which contain identified individuals have been catalogued separately in a portrait file.
Timetables, both public and employee, record train schedules, fares, equipment consists, station stops, and other useful operating information. Employee timetables contain additional information regarding operating rules, station services, and personnel. The Railway & Locomotive Historical Society timetable collection supplements the Library’s resources with extensive coverage of eastern and mid-western lines.
Employee timetables issued by over 400 railroads have been individually catalogued.
Audio & Video
Some of the collections from the Library & Archives have been digitized and are available to view online. In collaboration with partners such as California Revealed, the Library & Archives continues to add new digital collections to its holdings, including both audio & video material.
Additional information about our holdings is available here.