Re: Services of the Pullman Library

Schuyler Larrabee

Tony Thompson wrote:

"Dave Nelson's [at the Pullman Library] experience
is out of bounds."

Dave's story is embarrassing to any library,
volunteer, public or private, or at least it
should be. To essentially accuse someone who's
traveled a good distance, and made every effort
not to inconvenience the staff of the library,
that their only interest in seeing the drawings is
so they can steal them, is absurd and insulting.

I have had excellent experiences in several
archives, including the Princeton University Rare
Book Library where I reviewed the collection of
Lewis B. Stillwell's papers (Stillwell cars, for
those wondering who he was). They had not
cataloged the papers or even organized them at all
prior to my inquiry, but when I got there, they
had organized them and cleaned them up (they were
very dirty when they received them) and gave me
free rein of the entire collection, under
supervision of course.


Sent: Friday, January 26, 2018 11:33 AM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Services of the Pullman

Fourth, all museums and libraries have to be
vigilant against theft. Each has adopted policies
to discourage theft, and abiding by such policies
is part of the "cost of admission". People who
feel the rules don't apply to them do arouse

Fifth, many of the drawings are not in good
condition. Preservation of the information
contained argues toward use of scans, not the
original tracings, to minimize handling. It is
also important to immediately return them to the
correct storage location, as a misfiled drawing
could be lost for decades.

Oh, c'mon, Alex. I have been to lots of
archives and libraries with rare materials, and of
course there is vigilance against theft, and there
should be. But how about a little common sense
here? One rare book library I visited allowed you
to examine one book at a time. Turn it back, and
you get your next request. I have worked in
archives that had photo prints in folders, and you
had to go through them under the eye of a
librarian, and in one place, the number of prints
was noted on the outside of the folder. Easy to

I know Ted Anderson a little and he seems a
reasonable guy. But in my view, Dave Nelson's
experience is out of bounds. II would call it a
black mark on the Pullman library. Just my two

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press,
Berkeley, CA

2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705

(510) 540-6538; e-mail,

Publishers of books on railroad history

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