Guide to the Robert M. Hanft Negative Collection MS 854

Library & Archives Staff
California State Railroad Museum Library & Archives
October 2019
111 "I" Street
Sacramento, California 95814

Language of Material: English
Contributing Institution: California State Railroad Museum Library & Archives
Title: Robert M. Hanft collection
creator: Hanft, Robert M., 1914-2004
Identifier/Call Number: MS 854
Physical Description: 12.5 Linear Feet "shoebox" negative boxes
Date (inclusive): 1930-1994
Physical Location: Big Four Building.
Abstract: The Hanft Photograph collection contains black and white negatives of United States railroad photographs. These photos were taken by Hanft and other photographers.


Robert M. Hanft was born March 17, 1914 to Jennie and Frank Hanft in Marinette, WI and passed November 29, 2004 in Paradise, CA. He was married to Annabelle Jane Lester on April 7, 1942 in Long Prairie, MN. They were married 57 years. Annabelle died Dec. 11, 1999 in Paradise, CA. During the depression years, he could be found riding the rails, hobo style, to find work wherever he could. His passionate interest in photography led him to start "Lakeside Photo Service" in Brainerd, MN in 1939. Hanft enlisted in the U.S. Army from 1941-1945 where he was posted in Hollywood making army training films. He educated himself with help from the G.I. Bill and achieved a B.A. in Psychology, a master’s degree in Business Administration and a P.h.D. in Philosophy. During his working career, he was employed by Standard Oil, University of California, Berkeley; California State University, Fresno and California State University, Chico. Hanft joined the faculty at California State University, Chico in 1967, where he was named Professor Emeritus in Management. He was a member of Beta Gamma Sigma Fraternity, U.C. Berkeley Alumni Assn., U. of Washington Alumni Assn., The Nature Conservancy and nearly every Railway and Trolley Historical Organization in the United States from Maine to California. Hanft developed a historical collection of railroad and trolley photos from age 15 and on through his life.Hanft was the author of three books on railroads; Red River: Paul Bunyan’s Own Lumber Company and its Railroads (1979); Pine Across the Mountain: California’s McCloud River Railroad (1971); San Diego and Arizona Railway: The Impossible Railroad (1984).

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research by appointment.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright has not been assigned to the California State Railroad Museum. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the CSRM Library & Archives.

Scope and Contents

The Hanft Collection contains negatives of railroad photographs including 17,000+ primarily original 2-3/4 x 4-1/2-inch 116 sized black and white negatives with a detailed 384-page accompanying inventory identifying the individual negative subject, date and location. The majority of nagatives are images of historic motive power, cars and scenes taken by the donor, 1930 to 1994.
Additional photographers whose names were noted on negative envelopes include, Johnson, Jones, Pennington, Whitaker, van Horn, Zorn.

Separated Materials

Robert M. Hanft color slides dated 1950's-1980's located at Western Railway Museum, 5848 State Highway 12 Suisun City, CA 94585, (707) 374-2978

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Robert M. Hanft, MS 854, California State Railroad Museum Library and Archives, Sacramento, California.


Arranged alphabetically by railroad name.

Separated Materials

Printed copy and pdf of Robert M. Hanft Railroad Photograph List

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Photography of railroads
Southern Pacific Company
Steam Locomotive
Diesel Locomotive
Electric Traction
Railroad Locomotives
Steam Engine
Diesel Engine
Railroads--United States--Photography
Hanft, Robert M., 1914-2004

box 1


box 2

Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe

box 3

Ba - Bi

box 4

Bl - Bz

box 5

Ca- Canadian National

box 6

Canadian Northern - Central of New Jersey

box 7

Central Pacific - Chicago and Northwestern

box 8

Chicago At... - Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific

box 9

Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific - Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific

box 10

Chicago, St. Paul ... - Cob

box 11

Col - Cz, Da - Delaware & Hudson

box 12


box 13

De - Dz, Ea

box 14

Ed - Ez, F, Ga

box 15

General - Gz

box 16

H, Ia - Illinois

box 17

Indian - Iz, J, Ka - Key System

box 18

Key System - Kz, LA

box 19

Le - Louisville & Nashville

box 20

Louisville & Nashville - Lz, Ma - Me

box 21


box 22

Mi - Minneapolis, St. Paul & Sault Ste. Marie

box 23

Minneapolis, St. Paul & Sault Ste. Marie - Missouri Pacific

box 24

Missouri Pacific - Mz, Na - Nevada Consolidated Copper

box 25

Nevada Copper Belt - New York, New Haven & Hartford

box 26

Northern Pacific

box 27

Northern Pacific

box 28

New York, Ontario & Western - Norwood & St. Lawrence

box 29

Oahu - Oz, Pa

box 30

Pe - Pl

box 31

Pl - Pz, Q, Ra- Reading

box 32

Q - R

box 33

Sa - St. Mary's

box 34

St. Paul Bridge & Terminal - Savannah

box 35

Schader, A. D. - Southern

box 36

Southern Pacific (Loco's No. 1 - 2299)

box 37

Southern Pacific (Locomotive Nos. 2300-3399)

box 38

Southern Pacific (Locomotive Nos. 3400+) - Scenes

box 39

Southern - Sz

box 40

Ta - Tu

box 41

Tw - Tz, U, Va- Virginia

box 42

Union Pacific (Locos No. 1 - 3899)

box 43

Union Pacific (Locos No. 3900) - Scenes

box 44

Virginia Central - Western Maryland

box 45

Western pacific - Winslow

box 46

Winston - Z

box 47

A - L 5x7

box 48

M - Sm 5x7

box 49

So - Sz 5 x 7

box 50