Inventory of the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society Photograph Collection MS 886

Library & Archives staff.
California State Railroad Museum Library & Archives

Contributing Institution: California State Railroad Museum Library & Archives
Title: Railway and Locomotive Historical Society photograph collection
source: Railway & Locomotive Historical Society
Identifier/Call Number: MS 886
Physical Description: 102 Linear Feet (102 record cartons)
Date (bulk): Circa 1830-1960
Abstract: The Railway and Locomotive Society Photograph Collection includes black-and-white photographs of railroads and locomotives in the United States and Canada taken between 1830 and 1960.
Physical Location: Big Four Building
Language of Material: English .


Arranged alphabetically by railroad, then by subject.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This photograph collection has been on loan to the California State Railroad Museum Library & Archives from the Railway and Locomotive Historical Society since 1983.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research by appointment. Contact Library Staff.

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. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

Scope and Contents

The Railway and Locomotive Society Photograph Collection focuses on black and white photographs of steam locomotives from the East Coast and Mid-Western United States from the 1830s through the 1860s. Also includes photographs of railroads in North America, Central America, and South America. There are some photographs of diesel locomotives, railroad depots and a few landscape photographs. It includes locomotive builder's photographs and the personal collections of railroad photographers.

Preferred Citation

Railway and Locomotive Historical Society Photograph Collection, MS 886, California State Railroad Museum Library & Archives, Sacramento, California.

Corporate History

The Railroad and Locomotive Historical Society (R&LHS) was founded in 1921 by railroad enthusiasts Charles Fisher, Arthur Curran, Warren Jacobs, and Roy Carlson. It is the oldest organization in North America entirely devoted to railroad history and emphasizes the preservation and documentation of business history and industrial technology. The first chapter of the R&LHS was established in New York City in 1934. Originally centered on the East Coast of the United States, the society currently has ten local/regional chapters in the United States, including one in California. While the majority of members are nonprofessional railroading enthusiasts, the society counts amongst its ranks archivists, historians, preservationists, curators, and museum directors.
The Society has received multiple awards for its efforts in writing and photography. It has made its photograph and other collections available to researchers since 1927, when the Harvard Business School made two rooms available in its Baker Library. In 1983, the R&LHS collections were transferred to California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento. Since then, the National chapter of the R&LHS has partnered with the CSRM to house their extensive collection of photographs, documents, and locomotive related memorabilia.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Railroads--United States--Stations
Railroads--United States--History
Railroads--United States--Photography
Steam locomotives
Railway & Locomotive Historical Society