Photo: PRR Boxcar

Andy Carlson

California's Cal Poly University (San Luis Obispo) about 4 years ago decided that a paper library was unwanted in this digital age. With a collection of 1000's of technical publications, it took weeks to dumpster the paper. I have a friend who worked at the university who saved some stuff but the majority went to the land fill. I probably don't need to say what I feel about this policy. Lots of RR subjects.
-Andy Carlson  Ojai CA

On Thursday, April 23, 2020, 10:50:04 AM PDT, Charlie Vlk <cvlk@...> wrote:


The other problem is that libraries, especially the academic ones, are totally fixated on “the humanities” with an emphasis on social justice and could care less about business, technical, engineering, financial, etc.. aspects of history.

Northwestern University has/had a Transportation Library but I have seen suburban public libraries with a better selection of post 1930 publications.   The historic volumes are in a demoralized state in basement stacks and it is obvious that there hasn’t been an interested party in charge of the collection for a half century or more.   I am sure the same is true for some of the former great collections elsewhere like the Crerar, now at University of Chicago, and the Degolyer at Southern Methodist. 

The Linda Hall Library (thanks to a large grant to have historic railroad journals digitized) and Google are bright spots digitally and the Barringer Library at St. Louis Mercantile Library and California Railroad Museum for curating collections and making them available.

The comment about local historical societies is spot on….cherished local memory is more important than documented facts all too often.

Charlie Vlk


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