Re: My railroad materials
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Yes, finding a home for your collections can be difficult. I've had several collections that I have scanned and been asked to find new homes for.
The collections that I have dealt with have all had a northeastern flavor. As David stated, some places are getting full. What he didn't say is that other places like a previously mentioned College in Texas with large rr holdings are sitting on collections that they don't want to admit that they even own. For example, they have the CB&Q Steam Locos and all of the BN predecessor rr's freight car drawings are in their possession, but they are uncatalogued and therefore, unavailable.
In the last few years, CSX has donated a number of trailers to a predecessor rr society. The trailers contained a mixture of Family lines rr's stuff. The society retained the stuff from their rr and then eBayed the rest of it.
I would strongly advise that persons with large collections visit the locations that they would like to have their collections maintained by. Questions about availability, future sustainability of the organization, will the paper be scanned and back-up copies stored off site just in the event of fire or flood. Climate control is important for the preservation of 100 year old paper. Generally if the rr used rag stock paper, it is still in decent shape. Non rag stock paper gets rather brittle and needs to be steamed before it can be unrolled. It is better to store all of these drawing in a flat condition rather than rolled.
I have placed several collections with the Western New York RR Historical Society. They have heated buildings in Buffalo NY at the Discovery Center at 200 Lee Street. They are open several days a week and have a paid staff. They have plenty of space and don't seemed to be concerned about how far the rr was from Buffalo. Contact Ed Patton at epatton3@.... They have a second building that in being prepared for future use. Both the EL and NKP societies store their collections there.
Any organization will want to see a box by box inventory of the collection. A printed copy for each box should be placed into that box. Having these lists in digital format will go a long way towards making the contents of your collection useful to others. While you are preparing this inventory, prepare a list of standard abbreviations that are used. I would recommend fully spelling out most words. For instance, a freight car General Arrangement drawing should fully spelled out rather than using GA or Gen'l Arr abbreviations. When doing word searches, full words work a lot better.
Since this topic is somewhat outside of the scope of this group, I will offer to take comments and questions at my personal email: mark_landgraf at yohoo dot com
On Friday, August 31, 2018, 3:27:10 PM EDT, Dave Parker via Groups.Io <spottab@...> wrote:
I recently spent two days in the archives of the California State RR Museum, and learned quite a bit about their operation and capabilities. My take is that they are both staff- and space-limited and, by necessity, are rather selective about what they will accept. Their collection tends to emphasize western railroads, although they will accept other materials if they feel there is sufficiently broad. You can always inquire, but my guess is that they will say your materials are are too regional in nature.