First a reply to the original question: Yes, I think it is worth preserving.
Of the value: At one time...… I had AAR documents copied at the MNHS, and did presentations on them at the Naperville and CCB meets, many years ago.
1) I asked at the time, of the MNHS staff on any copyrights that might be on these (1956,1957) AAR documents. They came back with the declaration that these were reports complied and released - directly into the public domain. (Thus fully supporting the last part of Tony's post.)
2) I had these (photo-copied from the MNHS) pages of the AAR reports over this 15 month period. My wife talked about cleaning up the house a bit and as I felt I was done with these, have given the presentations years prior, they got recycled. About a year later, a young railfan I met at one of my historical societies events asked me if he could see the reports. I looked and then recalled I tossed them.
To him, and possibly others on this list, there was great value.
The AAR reports came out bi-monthly and gave traffic loading, crop reports and car loadings of these wheat, fruit, and vegetable loadings, industry strikes, (steel mills), car shortages, import export loadings, steel, iron ore, coal loadings, listed the two week time regional frames. Also when the farm implement builders went on vacation (that was a surprise) and how this eased the flat and gon loadings.
I used this principally to show on the reefer loadings and how reefers were busiest in fall, winter, and spring, when carrying protected shipments, keeping them warm. I do recall one person telling me that the presentation was OK, except that he doesn't model winter. (I suppose this person might think that on the real railroads the hand of God takes these reefers and packs them in drawers someplace and all those reefers magically disappear during his modeled time.)
In hindsight, the value I thought I had wrung out of these documents, others may still see and I ways I never envisioned.
If you do not want to do this and the binder (rusted you say) has no value, send them to me and I will scan them at our archives. (four by? scanner)
The only thing I will ask for is a copy of the electronic data.
The pages once released, would be returned to you for what ever disposition you decide. Jim Dick - St. Paul