Guide to the Erie Railroad Collection

Summary
Collection ID:
NMAH.AC.1082
Creators:
Erie Railroad Company
ConRail
Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Division of [former name], NMAH, SI.
Olevsky, Walter
Work and Industry, Division of, NMAH, SI
Dates:
circa 1880-1980
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
57 Cubic feet
59 boxes, 97 map-folders
Repository:

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
Collection consists of six hundred sixty-eight (668) glass negatives relating to the Erie Railroad. Subjects include stations, train cars, railroad employees, employees' recreational activities, ferries, construction, street scenes, and resort hotels; drawings of structures built by the various railroads which, at the time of the donation, constituted the Consolidated Rail Corporation. Included are linen tracings, blueprints, and mechanical copies; and two cubic feet of photoprints made from negatives in the Erie Railroad Collection.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is divided into seven series. Series 1: Photographs
Series 2: Glass Plate Negatives Series 3: Lists Series 4: Subject Files Series 5: Specifications for Bridges, Buildings and Terminals Series 6: Drawings Series 7: Bridge Notebooks

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
The Erie Railroad was founded in 1832 by large group of investors from the Southern Tier Counties of New York. Among these investors, businessman Eleazar Lord had been among the originators and later became the first president of the company. The railroad's construction took place from 1832 to 1851 with a seven-year pause between 1842 and 1849.
At the time of its completion, the Erie Railroad was the largest railway system in the United States, both in length, 446 miles, and in gauge, six feet. Thanks to its tracks span from New Jersey to Illinois and itsabove-average gauge, it could transport larger cargo.
Throughout its history the company underwent numerous bankruptcies and merged with several companies. The first merger was in 1960 with the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad creating the Erie Lackawanna Railroad. The second was in 1976 when the once-again bankrupt company merged with five other lines to create Conrail.
Source
Allegany County Historical Society, Andover, New York
https://www.alleganyhistory.org/culture/transportation/railroads/erie-railroad/1060-the-erie-railroad (Last accessed on Decemeber 3, 2019)

Administration
Processing Information
Collection processed by John Benko, intern, 2019; supervised by Alison Oswald, archivist.
In 2019, some drawings were deaccessioned to the Industrial Archives & Library in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
Author
John Benko and Alison Oswald
Immediate Source of Acquisiton
Originally collected by the National Museum of American History's Division of Mechanical and Civil Engineering's reference collection.
In 1978, 668 glass plate negatives documenting Erie railroad stations were purchaed from Walter Olevsky; in 1987 drawings of structures built by the various railroads which, at the time of the donation, constituted the Consolidated Rail Corporation were donated; and in 2007, two cubic feet of photoprints and nine cubic feet of archival records were transferred from the Division of Work and Industry to the Archives Center.

Using the Collection
Restrictions on Access
Unrestricted research access on site by appointment. Unprotected photographs must be handled with gloves.
Preferred Citation
Erie Railroad Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.

Ownership and Custodial History
Ownership and Custodial History
Transferred to the Archives Center by the Division of Work and Industry in 2007.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Blueprints Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Railroads -- Buildings and structures Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Railroads -- Employees Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Railroads -- Rolling-stock Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mechanical drawings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tracings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Railroad tracksdrawings Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Railroad stations -- United States Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Glass negatives Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Railroads -- 20th century Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Railroads -- 19th century Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs -- 19th century Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs -- 20th century Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Drawings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
ConRail Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Division of [former name], NMAH, SI. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Work and Industry, Division of, NMAH, SI Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012
archivescenter@si.edu
http://americanhistory.si.edu/archives