Archives Center, National Museum of American History

Guide to the Division of Mechanical and Civil Engineering Bridges Reference Collection

Summary
Collection ID:
NMAH.AC.1577
Creators:
Vogel, Robert M.
Shayt, David H.
Worthington, Bill
Dates:
1755-2000
Languages:
Some materials in French, German, and Spanish.
Physical Description:
45 Cubic feet
108 boxes, 23 map folders
Repository:
The collection consists of a wide range of materials--ephemera, trade literature, correpsondence, photographs, maps, plans, schematics, pamplets, brochures, postcards, calendars--documenting the subject of bridges.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
This collection was assembled by the Division of Civil and Mechanical Engineering (now the Division of Work and Industry) curators over the course of several decades. The collection consists of a wide range of materials documenting the subject of bridges broadly in terms of planning, construction, geography, aesthetics, cost, and failures. Well-known bridges such as the Brooklyn Bridge and its bridge builders and engineers is also documented.
The materials consist of photographs, negatives, copy prints, illustrations, correspondence, newsclippings, journal articles, HABS/HAER drawings, engineeeing reports, contracts and specifications for building bridges, blueprints, and notebooks. Throughout the files is curatorial correspondence, principally with curator Robert Vogel and historians of the history of technology, bridge enthusiasts, and civil engineers. There is a mixture of primary, secondary and tertiary materials found throughout the collection.
Some of the materials related to the Brooklyn Bridge are photocopies or copy prints from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Roebling Collection and other archives and libraries. These materials were assembled for the exhibit "Building Brooklyn Bridge--The Engineering and Construction, 1867-1883" staged in 1983 at the National Museum of American History. These materials are filed under the title "Building Brooklyn Bridge."
Many of the photographs and other items are from collections at the National Museum of American History: Llewellyn Nathaniel Edwards, Henry Grattan Tyrrell, Samuel E. Reed Collection, and the T.F. Healy Collection.
Publications vary widely, but some titles include
American Contract Journal
,
American Railroad Journal
,
Harpers Weekly
,
Scientific American
,
Engineers and Engineering
,
Civil Engineering
,
Engineering News-Record
,
Engineering Record
, and others.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged into one series, then alphabetically.

Administration
Author
Alison Oswald
Processing Information
Collection processed by Kendall McKinley, intern; Clare McElhaney, intern; Isaac Meth, intern; and Alison Oswald, archivist, 2022.
Custodial History
Collection assembled by the National Museum of American History, Division of Mechanical and Civil Engineering (now the Division of Work and Industry) as a reference file. The collection was transferred to the Archives Center in June 2022.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research.
Preferred Citation
Division of Mechanical and Civil Engineering Bridges Reference Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Conditions Governing Use
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.

Related Materials
Materials in the Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Horatio Allen Papers, NMAH.AC.1447
American Public Works Association "Top Ten Public Works Projects of the Century--1900-2000" Nominations, NMAH.AC.0983
American Petroleum Institute Photograph and Film Collection, NMAH.AC.0711
Archives Center Business Americana Collection, NMAH.AC.0404
Archives Center Lantern Slide Collection, NMAH.AC.0686
Archives Center Postcard Collection, NMAH.AC.0483
Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Records, NMAH.AC.1086
Benjamin Franklin Bridge Photograph Album, NMAH.AC.1029
Berlin Construction Company Records, NMAH.AC.1032
Victor Blenkle Postcard Collection, NMAH.AC.0200
Bollman Truss Bridge Collection, NMAH.AC.1064
Donald M. Burmister Paper, NMAH.AC.1068
Canadian Bridges Photograph Albums, NMAH.AC.1025
Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Collection, NMAH.AC.0930
Robert Covington Stereograph Portfolio, NMAH.AC.1201
Cummings Structural Concrete Company Records, NMAH.AC.0218
Arthur d'Arazien Industrial Photographs, NMAH.AC.0314
Victor C. Darnell Bridge Construction Photographs, NMAH.AC.1018
William E. Dean Papers, NMAH.AC.0230
Robert Dearborn Panama Canal Glass negatives, NMAH.AC.1111
Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad Records, NMAH.AC.1074
Beata Drake Covered Bridge Collection, NMAH.AC.0998
Llewellyn N. Edwards Papers, NMAH.AC.0959
W.J. Eney Collection, NMAH.AC.1062
Erie Railroad Collection, NMAH.AC.1082
Joseph C. Farber Papers and Photographs, NMAH.AC.0520
Foundation Company Records, NMAH.AC.0974
James Forgie Papers, NMAH.AC.0986
James Gallagher Collection, NMAH.AC.0228
Grand Central Terminal Collection, NMAH.AC.1071
Henry Grattan Tyrrell and Mary Maude Knox Tyrrell Papers, NMAH.AC.0948
Hartford, Connecticut Bridge Collection, NMAH.AC.1066
William R. Hutton Papers, NMAH.AC.0987
Kahn Family Film Collection, NMAH.AC.0722
Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railroad Bridge Profiles, NMAH.AC.1073
Beatrice Lizinger Postcard Collection, NMAH.AC.0530
Nicholas C. Mandragos Papers, NMAH.AC.0484
Mechanical and Civil Engineering Stereograph Cards, NMAH.AC.1090
Mechanical and Civil Engineering Glass Plate Negatives, NMAH.AC.1089
Montgomery C. Meigs Papers, NMAH.AC.0984
Richard H. Miller Bridge Collection of Postcards and Slides, NMAH.AC.0950
Minnesota Railroads Photograph Albums, NMAH.AC.1023
George S. Morison Collection, NMAH.AC.0978
Modjeski and Masters Company Records, NMAH.AC.0976
Nathan W. Morgan Papers, NMAH.AC.0965
Niagara Falls Bridge Commission Records, NMAH.AC.1060
Thomas Norrell Railroad Photographs Collection, NMAH.AC.1174
Northern Pacific Railroad Bridge Construction Photograph Album, NMAH.AC.1030
Panama Canal Commission Photonegatives, NMAH.AC.1116
Parsons, Brinckerhoff, Quade and Douglas Records, NMAH.AC.0969
David Plowden North American Bridge Photographs, NMAH.AC.1019
David Plowden Steel Manufacturing Photographs, NMAH.AC.1020
Samuel E. Reed Bridge Collection, NMAH.AC.1001
Lili Rethi Papers, NMAH.AC.0749
John A. Roebling Collection, NMAH.AC.0981
Lucinda Rudell Covered Bridges Collection, NMAH.AC.1028
Edwin G. Rust Papers, NMAH.AC.1070
Jean W. Seele Rural Photographs, NMAH.AC.0759
Lester Shanks Collection of Bridge Photographs and Ephemera, NMAH.AC.1244
J. Parker Snow Collection, NMAH.AC.1000
Society for Industrial Archaeology Records, NMAH.AC.0688
Quebec Bridge Photograph Collection, NMAH.AC.1026
Railroad Bridges Construction Photograph Album, NMAH.AC.1024
Holton Duncan Robinson Papers, NMAH.AC.0963
Underwood & Underwood Glass Stereograph Collection, NMAH.Ac.0143
U.S. Steel Corporation Photograph Albums, NMAH.AC.1037
Rip Van Winkle Bridge Photographs, NMAH.AC.1027
Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Series: Bridges, NMAH.AC.0060
Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Series: Railroads, NMAH.AC.0060
Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Series 2: Other Collection Divisions, NMAH.AC.0060
Washington, D.C. Bridges Collection, NMAH.AC.1095
Raymond W. Wilson Covered Bridge Collection, NMAH.AC.0999

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Articles Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bridges Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Civil engineers Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Color slides -- 20th century Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Contracts -- 20th century Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Copy prints Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Correspondence -- 19th century Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Correspondence -- 20th century Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Illustrations Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Letterheads Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Maps -- 20th century Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Negatives (photographic) Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Newsclippings Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Notebooks Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs -- 20th century Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Picture postcards -- 20th century Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pocket notebooks Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Postage stamps Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Press releases Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Railroads -- 19th century Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Railroads -- 20th century Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Reports -- 19th century Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Reports -- 20th century Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Specifications Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Stereographs Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
National Museum of American History (U.S.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Historic American Buildings Survey 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